Tomorrow, April 14, marks two years since terror group Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 girls from a school in Chibok, Nigeria.
In anticipation of the anniversary, Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai wrote an open letter today to the families of the kidnapped. In it, she praised parents for “the courage to send your daughters to school,” and called on the Nigerian government to continue its search:
Dear mothers and fathers,
I write this letter with a heavy heart, knowing you have endured another year separated from your daughters. I think of you every day since we first met two years ago—and join millions of people around the world in praying for the safety and swift return of your girls.
As I did last year, I call on President Buhari of Nigeria—and everyone who can help rescue the Chibok girls—to act now. Would a president give up the fight for his own daughter? These girls are just as precious to their families.
Parents, thank you for having the courage to send your daughters to school. My dream is that one day they will come home, finish their education and choose their futures for themselves.
I pray for the day when you can embrace your girls again.
Malala, who was shot in the head by Taliban fighters while riding the bus to school in Pakistan, has become an international advocate for girls’ right to education. In July 2014, a few months after the mass abduction at Chibok, Malala met with a few girls who had escaped Boko Haram. Speaking in front of a crowd, Malala called on then-president Jonathan Goodluck to “bring back our girls.”
One of Boko Haram’s tactics is turning kidnapped girls into suicide fighters. More than 100 women and girls have been used in suicide bombings orchestrated by Boko Haram since the summer of 2014, according to the The Long War Journal.