08 May 2014

Honoring the Missing Schoolgirls this Mother’s Day

This mother’s day, of course my mind is on my two teenage daughters, but I also can’t stop thinking about the lost Nigerian teenage girls. While our government has stepped in to help, we too can help by promoting education and heath for girls in Africa. Nicholas Kristof, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, listed three ways we can contribute, which I have copied below:

“On Mother’s Day, let’s honor the Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by extremists and remain missing. Send a girl to school or help empower moms.

So here’s a challenge.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and, by all means, let’s use it to celebrate the moms in our lives with flowers and brunches. But let’s also use the occasion to honor the girls still missing in Nigeria.

One way is a donation to support girls going to school around Africa through the Campaign for Female Education, (https://camfed.org/); $40 gift pays for a girl’s school uniform.

Another way to empower women is to support Edna Adan, an extraordinary Somali woman who has started her own maternity hospital, midwife training program and private university, saving lives, providing family planning and fighting female genital mutilation. At http://www.ednahospital.org/, a $50 donation pays for a safe hospital delivery.

Or there’s the Mother’s Day Movement (http://mothersdaymovement.org/) which is supporting a clean water initiative in Uganda. With access to water, some girls will no longer have to drop out of school to haul water.

We inevitably feel helpless when terrible things happen, but these are practical steps to fight a blow against extremism while honoring some of those brave Nigerian girls who are missing — like Deborah, Naomi, Hauwa, Pindar, Mary, Monica, Grace, Esther, Aisha, Ruth, Saraya, Blessing, Gloria, Christy, Tabitha, Helen, Amina, Hasana and Rhoda. We may not be able to rescue them, but we can back them up.”

See Kristof’s whole article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/opinion/kristof-honoring-the-missing-schoolgirls.html?_r=1

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