Is this a daring and shocking simulation or a brilliant method of raising awareness?
Earlier this year the GC (Global Concerns) club at Daraja Academy organized the ‘disappearance’ of all Grade 7 and 8 girls after their mentoring group meeting @ 8.15 am.
In a carefully planned simulation, 180 young Middle School girls were suddenly whisked away from their next scheduled class and taken to a holding area within the campus.
Meanwhile notes were left with their teachers.
The boys in Grade 7 and 8 who knew nothing about the simulation looked puzzled and concerned.
While the boys and the teachers were trying to figure out what was going on, the girls made their way to their holding area. Once all the girls were downstairs and the boys and teachers came down, a message was read over the school PA system, stating that these girls had been kidnapped and would be sold into marriage at $12 a piece. At which time the girls were holding signs that said, “How Much Are We Worth?”
The simulation was soon over but the awareness was long-lasting and hard hitting.
In a debrief the following email was sent by the perpetrators, the Global Concern club at Daraja. The email was addressed to all the students in the Dargaja middle school. The authors of the email and wanted to deliver a clear message…..“You will probably, be wondering why all the girls in your class randomly left during mentor time. This is because we, the Daraja GC have a mission to raise awareness about what happened in Nigeria, where nearly 300 girls were abducted from their boarding school at night by an Islamic militant group who believe western education is a sin. The coverage for this news has been hidden due to other major stories such as the South Korean Ferry accident and MH370’s disappearance.
It is has come to our notice that not many people in our school are aware of our GC and this incident and so we decided to create a simulation to show the thoughts of the people at the time. Our GC, Daraja promotes gender equality and try to spread awareness of the discrimination based on gender specifically in Africa. As you know this incident took place in Nigeria and we came to realize that if this same incident took place in Europe or other such places it would be the biggest headline but due to this taking place in Nigeria it has been ignored to an extent.
We would like to take this opportunity to educate you on gender equality and incidents taking place around the world which a lot of people are unaware of. Our GC aimed to make the girls whom we “kidnapped” to be unaware to show them how when such incidents happen, they can be rather sudden and shocking but also at the same time we wanted to capture the students’ thoughts on the girls disappearing suddenly through this simulation. Our GC wanted to see what the reaction of the student body was and compare that with the reaction to this real life incident.
In today’s Guardian I came across an essay entitled “What kind of Nigeria will the Chibok girls come back to?”
Somewhat ashamed I reflected that I had completely forgotten about the real kidnapping and the plight of these 300 young women who had suddenly disappeared.
The essay writer, Chibundo Ounuzo, explains that despite months of negotiation there are slim hopes that the 240 young girls who were still in captivity after months year will be released soon and that there’s a faded weary cynicism about their fate. Onuzo explains that protestors and demonstrators are not only fighting apathy but they also risk recrimination.
Protests have indeed waned both in Nigeria and abroad, but 2 weeks ago a group of 50 protestors were re-energised as they sought to draw attention back to this campaign that has been sidetracked by local politicians. Not only that, other dreadful, tragic world events have claimed global attention and our empathies.
Let’s not forget the Chibok girls nor the campaign #BringBackOurGirls.
What can you and your school community do to help?