Global Responses to #BringBackOurGirls Campaign
The social media platform has become a powerful tool in addressing social challenges, and at no other time has it been used for the greater good than now with the hashtag campaign #BringBackOurGirls . The campaign seeks to create awareness of the more than 200 innocent Nigerian girls who were abducted on April 14th, by the Boko Haram terrorist sect. The girls are believed to be currently held hostage deep in the forests of Borno state. Their mothers have held rallies and campaigns in the streets of Nigeria pleading with the authorities to take decisive actions that will rescue their daughters from the hands of the Boko Haram. People from all walks of life have joined in on the hashtag campaign #BringBackOurGirls to create awareness and to pressure authorities to step up their rescue efforts. The White House too has not been left behind. US First Lady Michelle Obama breaks record for being the first US First Lady to issue a very outspoken foreign policy, and remarks on the weekly presidential address held today. Mrs. Obama stated that her and her husband were “outraged and heartbroken”. She claimed the incident reminded her of her own daughters and, in addition to condemning the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, cited other incidences around the world where retrogressive, chauvinistic ideas denying girls of the opportunity to advance their education and careers occur. The Boko Haram Islamist militant group, whose name comes from the Hausa language meaning “western education is forbidden”, abducted the girls from their boarding school claiming the girls should not have been learning in the first place, but rather married off. It is believed the sect is selling these girls into forced marriages. This is something that has sparked another interesting social media campaign by various male celebrities who are posting signs reading, “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls.” US politicians alike have also been drawn in by the #BringBackOurGirls campaign and are holding community rallies. Nigeria born renowned singers Psquare too have also added their voices to the social media campaign. The US Department of State has also tweeted “@FLOTUS: President Obama and I are outraged over the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls from their school #BringBackOurGirls”. The White House–over the limelight created by the social media campaigns–stated the US will be sending a team to Nigeria to help search for the girls. In Borno state, Nigerian traditional hunters are arming themselves with bows and arrows and shotguns, and are also preparing themselves to go into the parts of the forests where it is believed these girls are being held hostage. The army preparing to enter the forest comprises of roughly 400 to 500 men, with hope this hunt will increase Nigeria’s chances of locating the girls. Social media is flooding with #BringBackOurGirls campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. By Friday April 9th, Trendinalia.com ranked #BringBackOurGirls at 20th place in order of the most trending hashtags globally. It can be overwhelming to keep track of all these social media posts. There are simply too many pages created both on Facebook and Twitter alike for one to comprehensively follow. To help you keep track of all the #BringBackOurGirls posts, there is a newly released Android App called The Bring Back Our Girls App. This app collects all the posts on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls and enables you to easily locate postings all from one convenient platform. You can stay informed with all the posts from around the world about this campaign, hence, increasing your awareness on efforts being made to save these girls.
The app was created by Jared Arms and his team of software developers who came up with an innovative way to help followers read postings related to the abducted girls. The Bring Back Our Girls App showcases how software engineers and developers are doing their part in spreading awareness. To download this app for your Android device, visit this link. To follow this app on Facebook, click here.