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Girls & Women

YES. Kidnapped Nigerian School Girls to Return to School This Fall

By Colleen Curry|

Brought to you by: CHIME FOR CHANGE

In this photo released by the Nigeria State House, Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari, centre, meets with Chibok school girls recently freed from Nigeria Extremist captivity in Abuja, Nigeria, Sunday, May 7, 2017. Five Boko Haram commanders were released in exchange for the freedom of 82 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the extremist group three years ago, a Nigerian government official said Sunday, as the girls were expected to meet with the country's president and their families.
Bayo Omoboriowo/Nigeria State House/AP

It is a triumph for girls’ education around the world.

The Nigerian government announced on Thursday that 24 of the rescued Nigerian girls who were kidnapped three years ago by Boko Haram will return to school in September, picking up their education where they left off before their horrific kidnapping.

More than 270 girls were kidnapped in the middle of the night from their boarding school in Chibok in 2014 when the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, which is opposed to education, arrived in trucks with guns and ferreted the girls into Nigeria’s Sambisa Forest, where they were headquartered.

Read More: More Than 100 Chibok Girls Still Missing After Boko Haram Frees Dozens

About 21 of the girls were freed last October and another 82 girls were released just last week. Other girls have been rescued or have successfully run away from the group in the intervening years, but still more than 100 of the Chibok girls remain missing.

A Nigerian mediator and lawyer, Hannah Mustapha, said that some girls have refused to be “rescued,” which could mean they have been radicalized by the group, according to Reuters.  

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was elected on the promise of eradicating Boko Haram, and his military has successfully pushed the group into small pockets of northeast Nigeria, but the threat remains critical. Where the group remains in control, food security has become so vulnerable that the United Nations has warned Nigeria could be on the brink of famine.

Read More: 'Join Boko Haram or Be a Slave': Kidnapped Girls Share Details of Captivity

The girls who will return to school in September do not include any of the newly-released captives, who are still undergoing medical and psychological treatment, according to Reuters. The girls who were rescued last year are participating in a government-run rehabilitation program where their families can come visit them.

"The parents of the #Chibokgirls are free to visit them at any time. We will never prevent them from seeing their daughters," a government tweet said.

Around the world girls face challenges completing a secondary education, even though it is the key to a successful future. Globally, about 21 million children are out of school for various reasons, including leaving school to work and help earn money and food for their families, being married off at early ages, or having to miss school because of insecurity amid conflict. 

Global Citizen is campaigning to help raise money for the Global Partnership for Education , which works to ensure that kids everywhere get to go to school. You can take action to support that goal — and the return of girls to school around the world — today. 

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