Press Release: Children Dedicate Day to Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls

15 May 2014

Millions of children across the world will dedicate a special day to the kidnapped girls of Chibok.

Day of the African Child on June 16th will see events in 100 countries as young people come together to ask for safe schools in Nigeria, where the girls were abducted, and universal education across the globe.

Youth, faith groups, schools, teachers and activists will hold special events and are asking the public to sign up and participate.

Over 250 girls were abducted a month ago in the northeast of Nigeria by terrorist group Boko Haram. This shocking event has captured the attention of the international community as the world tries to understand how this could happen. Young people are taking matters into their own hands and are challenging governments to take action for education.

A flagship “Youth Takeover” event will be held at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A Youth Assembly will be held with young leaders delivering calls for action to African leaders. On the day prior, a Youth Run will take place – a community race through Addis Ababa symbolising the fact that we are running out of time to get every child into school and learning.

Events are already planned in nearly 20 capitals with Youth Takeovers of Parliaments and gatherings outside Nigerian embassies in support of safe schools.

Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education said: “The Day of the African Child on June 16th will be dedicated to supporting the Chibok girls and to ensure that all children are safe when they are at school.”

500 A World at School Global Youth Ambassadors have been activated as well as members of the Youth Advocacy Group of the Global Education First Initiative.

The Day of the African Child, which is observed every year on June 16th, honours the memories of students who were massacred in Soweto in 1976 for protesting against education injustice and inequality in Apartheid South Africa. The African Union designated the day in 1991 and every year events are organised around the continent to promote children’s rights.  We continue this campaign, as necessary now as it was then, in their memory.