Around the world, schools are coming under attack - even here in the USA. Sports fields become battlefields. Classrooms become munitions rooms. This practice endangers children’s lives, their teachers’ lives, and denies hundreds of thousands of kids their right to education.
In times of crisis, such as after a conflict or natural disaster, children need reliable, structured, violence-free spaces where they can continue to learn, play, and realize their full potential.
The actions of Boko Haram in Nigeria have left nearly 50,000 children, primarily girls, displaced from their homes and out of school. You may have heard about the three hundred girls who were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Nigeria, in 2014 by Boko Haram- but this is continuing daily. Lesser known is that families’ homes and farmlands have been cut off by the group, with some areas now only reachable by helicopter, resulting in lost income and food supply. Children who are not in school and are not fed cannot learn and lift their families and communities out of extreme poverty.
Hear one rescued Chibok's story of what life was like under Boko Haram:
We want to make sure all leaders commit to signing the Safe Schools Declaration asking countries to condemn attacks on schools, protect education during armed conflict, and offer supervision, services and teaching to save children’s lives. Seventy-three countries have already committed, but we want countries like the USA and Japan, who are all part of the Group of 7 (G7) richest nations, to add their names to this list to protect and rehabilitate children affected by targeted attacks on schools.
Help us send a message to world leaders that conflict and crisis and violent attacks on schools can be addressed with their help this week.