A protester holds a sign during a May march in Cape Town, South Africa, in support of the girls kidnapped in Nigeria.
As we revel in pomp and circumstance as the young graduates in our lives cross the stage during commencement this spring, Nigeria seems very far away.
But somewhere in the arid northeast of the African nation, more than 250 teenage girls have been kidnapped by the militant group Boko Haram. They have been away from their families since mid-April, when armed gunmen abducted them from a secondary school and marched them into the forest.
Some parents in the United States will spend the summer months preparing to let go as their young ones leave the nest for college, or enter the workforce. Meanwhile, these girls’ parents are pleading with Nigerian authorities to place more value and energy in saving their daughters’ lives.
Religious groups all over the world are organizing prayer sessions. Celebrities and world leaders are voicing their support for the girls.
First Lady Michelle Obama joined the social media campaign, #BringBackOurGirls, to pressure Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to take serious action.
News groups report some of the girls have taken ill. Other stories circulating claim that the girls have been spotted outside of Nigeria, in Chad and Cameroon.
We are so lucky. Yes, our country has its struggles. But compared to many poor and violence-ridden countries in other parts of the world, our day-to-day worries seem so minor.
Take a moment during the hubbub of graduation season to keep these girls in your prayers.