EMC Sponsored Chibok Girls Graduate from Washington High School.
Two of the kidnapped Chibok girls who escaped from Boko Haram terrorists have graduated from a high school in Washington DC, US. The girls, simply identified as Debbie and Grace were one of the 57 girls who escaped when the terrorists kidnapped 276 girls in Chibok in April 2014. They completed junior year (11th grade) and senior year (12th grade) at a private school in the area. Emmanuel Ogebe, International Director of Education Must Continue (EMC) initiative, noted that the girls have become “the first escaped Chibok girls to graduate from an American high school with diplomas after completing and meeting academic standards.”
“Several other girls had dropped out of EMC’s school abroad project after managing to graduate from middle school (8th grade) last year and are now attempting to take the GED exam (external GCE equivalent),” he said. “On hand to witness the historic graduation of the two Chibok girls in the class of 2017 was a delegation from Nigeria which included the founders and directors of EMC initiative, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Gadzama, and the parent of one of the girls who traveled all the way from Chibok in North-east Nigeria. “The only Chibok girl currently pursuing a degree program in an American university, cut short her summer vacation in Nigeria to return for the graduation of her colleagues. The girls’ American host families and Mr. Ogebe and his family were among the audience who witnessed the historic graduation.
“We took steps of faith when we brought some escaped girls into our house for almost six months, and we eventually managed to take ten of them to the US,” says Rebecca Gadzama Co-Founder of EMC Initiative. “It’s a great achievement, not only for Paul and me but for all the goodwill of people whose contribution helped these two girls to reach that level. We were very excited and filled with joy to see these girls, whose education was about to be jeopardized by Islamist militants, continue their education in the US,” adds her husband, Paul. “We are really grateful to God for his faithfulness.” (It was symbolic of their commitment to the girls that the couple had not been able to afford to attend their own daughter’s graduation – with a Master’s in Public Health in Michigan – just a few weeks earlier.)
Unlike some of their schoolmates, who escaped the terrorists’ trucks in the moments after their abduction, Grace and Debrah were taken all the way to Boko Haram’s camp in Sambisa Forest, before they escaped and made it back home in a terrifying journey that took about a week, with their captors in hot pursuit. They were the last of 57 girls to have escaped in the immediate aftermath, until last year’s escape of Amina Ali, after two years in captivity. More than a hundred more have been rescued or released in the past year, but a hundred others are still unaccounted for.
Learn more about Education Must Continue Initiative