|Photo by Brenna Daldorph|
What joy to hear that some of the Boko Haram kidnapped girls now find themselves in very happy circumstances.
Thank you to PRI's The World with Marco Werman, to reporter Brenna Daldorph, and to KCRW, the public radio station that broadcast this report in Los Angeles today at 89.9 FM.
The world has mourned and prayed for the 276 girls kidnapped from their school in the Chibok village of northern Nigeria in April 2014, and for some of the girls those prayers have led to educational opportunities that anyone would envy.
They are now studying at the American University of Nigeria in Yola, Nigeria, with full scholarships.
Margee Ensign, president of the school, decided to offer these girls a refuge and an education. Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Reg Braggs was assigned to build a program for them because as high school students, they needed training before entering the mainstream of AUN.
... Braggs was creating a whole new world for the girls — a specialized program called the New Foundation School. They were all housed on one floor of a residence hall. They received new clothes, computers and laptops so that they would be on the same footing with other students. Braggs set up activities for them. He found university students to become their mentors. The girls began coming out of their shells.
Then, there were the academics. The school the girls had attended in Chibok actually wasn’t very good. Glory says the teachers often didn’t show up and the students, left to their own devices, would just sit in class, sewing and braiding each other’s hair.
“We didn’t know how to read or how to concentrate on our books,” Glory says. “We never actually did our assignments.”
At the American University of Nigeria, school is serious business. Even activities like talent shows and debate nights are meant to help the girls cultivate public speaking and critical thinking skills. For Braggs, this is what an American-style education is.Now the girls have hope for a future in which they can change their world.
Instead of Western education being forbidden, which is the meaning of the words Boko Haram, these girls are drinking deeply from wells of knowledge that flow from east and west, north and south.
Other resources for educating those kidnapped girls who have been rescued:
David Oyewolo Leadership Scholarship for Girls: