A 4-year-old Maryland girl and her brother, 6, took to making their own social media plea to release the nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped April 14.
Holding signs reading, “Bring back our girls please” Chisom and Nonso Kelechi (who are of Nigerian and Cameroonian descent) urged others to “say no to violence” and “say no to terrorism.”
Their aunt, Jeanne Foretia, who produced the video, said Chisom saw her activism work and starting drafting a sign herself.
“It just made me so emotional,” said Foretia, president and founder of the nonprofit Ije (walk) Africa. “She said, ‘I want to bring our girls back because they’re trapped somewhere and no one is talking about it.’ ”
Foretia agrees with her niece. “It happened a long time ago. When all the celebrities started talking about it, it forced people and social media to pay attention. And I’m so grateful.”
More than 1 million people, including first lady Michelle Obama, have tweeted the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.
The whereabouts of the schoolgirls, abducted by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram while attending Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in Borno State, Nigeria, are still unknown.
“I’m from Africa and I went to boarding school for four years. I know the saddest thing when you’re a parent is trusting an institution and putting your child in that institution and knowing that the only thing you did bad was that you wanted them to get an education,” said Foretia, who is from Camaroon.
“I just keep saying in my head it could have been me, it could have been Chisom.”