#Bring Back Our Girls ➜ #helpagirl

#Bring Back Our Girls ➜ #helpagirl

#BringBackOurGirls #HelpAGirl.

“Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to do great things.” Dennis Diderot.

Let me start by introducing myself. I am a simple girl captivated by wanderlust who has a passion for the world through engagement in international development. I have been working in the field of international development professionally for the past 4 years and unprofessionally exposed since I was a child. In February of 2014 my job brought me to Nigeria. Despite all fears or limitations, Nigeria is a country of international progression with the potential of greatness.

Living and working in Nigeria I could say much regarding this movement. First and foremost, I praise God that people, government, and international organizations are beginning to recognize the depravation that has been occurring towards the people of Nigeria. This recognition has been long-awaited, and now is the time for Nigeria to take a face, creating an accountability platform for ownership and transformation to occur.

The #BringBackOurGirls campaign was launched during a week-long refreshment with my mom in Spain. Suddenly, all “breaking news” was focused on Nigeria and the problem that has been occurring in the North. Nigeria was receiving exploding amounts of international attention, it made me fearful to return. The Nigeria that I had left 4 days prior no longer seemed like the same Nigeria I would soon be returning to. Had the status of the country really changed overnight and would returning to Nigeria be the safest/wisest decision? Yet, I knew I couldn’t run-away from the situation because I believe knowledge without action (or apathy) is one of the biggest plagues to our current-day society.

The #BringBackOurGirls campaign started 2 weeks after the abduction of 200+ school girls. This was a horrific event but the more horrifying aspect is that it took this long for action to be taken. In Nigeria, this abduction was known as soon as it occurred and long before any international attention started. The people of the country knew the Nigerian government had received warning that the abduction was about to occur. So my question is, why, why did it take so long to act? I cannot give a definite answer to this question, as I am not Nigerian and I want to give respect to this country that has so dearly welcomed me, but I will say that apathy fueled with corruption leads to oppression and the stolen dignity of a human life.

It’s never too late to act. I want to challenge you to do more than hold a sign that says #BringBackOurGirls, I want to challenge you to tangible change for the transformation of Nigeria. I work for an organization called The Refuge Foundation; in Nigeria we work under the name of Calidan Emerald Foundation, due to The Refuge Foundation already being a registered company name in Nigeria. We may not be working specifically to protect and bring back the girls of the North, but we are working for the overall empowerment, education, and sustained livelihood for the women and children of Nigeria. Education, awareness, and support are some of the greatest tools to enable empowerment for transformation, which is the passion I am working towards in Nigeria.

Calidan Emerald Foundation is a charitable organization based in Nigeria whose focus is to support, protect and provide for widows, orphans and the fatherless in their distress. We provide beneficiaries with vocational, social and developmental skills, workshops, and financial independence through micro-finance. Calidan Emerald Foundation seeks to restore the hopes, freedom and self-dignity of individual victims by providing basic support and protection from injustice. We give a voice and a support network to nurture the ambitions of widows, orphans, and the fatherless; allowing them the freedom to work towards individual dreams, economic empowerment, and transformed lives.

I would like to introduce a new aspect to the #BringBackOurGirls movement and challenge you to #HelpAGirl. Many people have asked me how they can become involved in a tangible way for #BringBackOurGirls. My best advice is to pray and continue to advocate for their return, keeping the Nigerian government and international agencies accountable. Yet, what about the millions of other women who are being oppressed by not being allowed to get an education due to circumstance, they cannot be denied attention. The purpose of the #HelpAGirl campaign, of The Refuge/Calidan Emerald Foundation is to raise funds to support these women and girls.

Everyone deserves the right to dream, the freedom pursue education, and the support to persevere.   If you would like to #HelpAGirl and transform the lives of current women and children in Nigeria, please partner with us. There is value in partnership and the lives of many Nigerian women and children will only have the ability to continue to be changed through your partnership. The world’s eyes have been opened to the tragedies of this hopeful nation and the time is now—partner with us and transform Nigeria.

If you would like to donate to the #HelpAGirl campaign please visit therefugefoundation.com, click on the donate tab and you will be further instructed. If you would like to write a check, please make all checks payable to, The Refuge Foundation, and mail to, PO 31807, Phoenix, AZ 85046. The Refuge Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 in the USA and all donations are tax-deductible. Or if you are a resident of Nigeria, you may donate directly to the Calidan Emerald Foundation account, the details include: Account Name—Calidan Emerald Foundation; Account Number—1013782684; Bank Name: Zenith Bank.

To learn more information about the Foundation please visit our website: www.therefugefoundation.com (USA) or www.calidanemeraldfoundation.org (Nigeria)

If you would like to speak with me and have further questions, please email or call: calidanemeraldfoundation@gmail.com or +234 7083329951 (Nigeria)

“Pity is an emotional response that touches our feelings, while compassion is an action, which engages our will,” Stan Rowland. Don’t let pity move you to a state of apathy, rather become proactive, enable compassion and transform Nigeria.

Together, we will #HelpAGirl.

Sophia Davis

Program Director

The Refuge Foundation