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Fresh start

Chibok kidnapping survivors, now in Oregon boarding school, share their stories

By WITW Staff on June 10, 2015

Mercy, Deborah, Sarah, and Grace may seem like your typical Nigerian international high school students in the United States, but they are tied together by deep tragedy: they all survived the Boko Haram Chibok kidnapping in 2014. While they contemplated how to escape from the clutches of their nation’s homegrown terrorist group, millions around the world, including activists and world leaders, rallied around them with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Through the efforts of a Virginia nonprofit called the Jubilee Campaign and Nigerian activists, these girls are now studying at a private boarding school in Oregon. They are adjusting to their new lives in America, replete with exposure to a wide variety of electronics and stores, and slowly recovering from the trauma of their kidnapping. Their lives are filled with uncertainty about their families, about Boko Haram, and about the people they’ve left behind. Supportive counselors and school administrators in Oregon are hoping that these girls get scholarships to college, but in the meantime, they are still navigating their new world.

Read more at Cosmopolitan.