It was likely a hot, still night. April temperatures, the warmest. The dormitories filled with nervous tummies, all anticipating the next morning’s final exam in physics. The nearby Sambisa Forest must have been alive with the nighttime sounds of chiming insects, settling birds and animals moving branches and leaves. And the girls – never without songs of their own – surely must have fallen asleep only after sending a hymn toward the night sky that sparkled with uncountable stars. Away from their families for just a short while, to take just one more step toward a vision that each day became clearer and clearer — dreams becoming realer and realer. Across the darkness at a great distance, their parents lay down to rest from a day of labor, farming, and child-rearing while hoping for – and worrying about – their growing teenage daughters. These daughters who carried desires and plans beyond their own. These bright, prized jewels of their families – wrapped up in faith and pride, pure like their white robes and vivid like their brightly-dyed dresses…
Across the tall grassy fields and scarlet-smudged horizons of rural Zimbabwe, I have met their sisters. I have sat in their kitchens. I have stumbled through their stables. I have heard them sing, laugh and pray. Though I have not laid eyes on the girls taken from Chibok, I know every singularly-unique and beautiful one of them.
We need not share a name for them to be our daughters and sisters. We need not share a continent for them to be our countrymen and kin. We need not share a god for them to be our angels. They are all of ours.
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To honor the girls in Chibok, I’ve set up a personal fund-raising page through Camfed
to raise enough funds to send 10 girls across Africa to school for an entire year. Please consider making a gift if you can.