Vigils are to be held around the world for Nigeria’s 200 kidnapped girls of Chibok on 23 July – exactly 100 days after their abduction from school.
After more than three months in captivity, the vigils will be staged at the same time in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States.
A new online petition by A World at School www.aworldatschool.org/100days will also call for the safe return of the girls and all messages of support will be passed to Chibok community leaders and families of the girls.
The petition will also be sent, by United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The Chibok Girls’ families are also expected to sign the petition and offer their full support for the Safe Schools Initiative.
The Safe Schools Initiative – a fund set up to pilot 500 safe schools in northern Nigeria – is a programme that brings the Nigerian Government and Nigerian business leaders together with the international community to ensure that all children are secure when learning. The fund total currently stands at $23million.
Vigils will be held in several African countries organised by the Global March against Child Labour, in Pakistan by Baela Jamil of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, in India by Kailash Sakharti’s Bachpan Bachao Andolan and across the world by A World at School’s Global Youth Ambassadors.
Mr Brown, who will start his new term as Special Education Envoy this month, said: “We, of course, hope that the Chibok girls will be released before July 23, however, by marking the 100th day of the abduction of the girls, kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists, and by pledging never to abandon them, we are reminding people that we are in the midst of a global civil rights struggle.
“Girls’ rights should be taken seriously and they should have the right to be at school free of intimidation and violence. We will mark the 100 days by pledging to rebuild their Chibok school and by calling for international support for safe schools across Nigeria.”