Mother’s Day 2014 was a very nice day for me. It started with my favourite breakfast, and since one of my daughters has chef-like prowess, it far exceeded the stereotypical Mother’s Day burnt toast and weak tea. My husband lavished me with stationery, knowing gifts of paper and ink are the most direct route to my heart. I went to church and worshipped in freedom. This Sunday, a woman preached. Women minister in the churches I attend.
Maybe it was the woman pastor who drew the dull ache in my heart to the fore. What wonderful liberty I enjoy every day in Australia, with such freedom that women can stand in a pulpit without being despised, threatened, or condemned. I couldn’t help thinking of and crying for the 300 Nigerian girls who were stolen away by men with darkened, depraved minds. And their mothers–Oh God, their poor mothers.
I prayed, “Why, God, isn’t someone doing something?”
The day went on, and gradually the molten sadness congealed into a steely knot of determination. I had to do something! I am one obscure woman, but I will not let Mother’s Day pass without crying out for those stolen girls and their broken-hearted mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and more.
- I posted a message on FaceBook, sharing my sadness with my friends. Some agreed with me with a “like” and a comment.
- I decided to take a more direct approach. I searched out the url of the Nigerian High Commission in Canberra and sent them an email.
- I posted both the url and the message on FaceBook and some friends shared it.
- I tweeted a couple of messages on Twitter.
- A smouldering ember began to burn brighter–I found my voice. I looked up the email address of the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and sent her an email.
- I checked FaceBook and little sparks of action encouraged me. The fire was spreading.
I only wish I could let those poor parents know someone in the world is thinking of them. How helpless and forgotten they must feel.
The world’s apparent inaction sends a message: that those children don’t matter–they’re “just girls.” Cynical voices amplify that notion, saying had they been white, 1st-world girls, they would already be reunited with their families. Well, I don’t want that to be true. Not on my watch.
They matter. I care. I want them back!
It’s 3:42 AM. I can’t sleep. In the darkness an idea was born. I intend to keep crying out for those 300 girls. For the next 30 days, I intend to use the freedom I enjoy 10 ways, one act for each of those girls. I’m calling this…
Operation 10 X 30.
Will you join me? Each day for the next thirty, do 10 simple but powerful things to remember the stolen Nigerian girl students.
Here are 20 small ways to use your freedom to gain theirs:
- Pray, meditate–whatever you call it, do it!
- Light a candle
- Post an article on a blog
- Use the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls on social media
- Put something on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc
- Read up on the Nigerian situation and share the links
- Email the Nigerian government agency where you live
- Email your country’s Department of Foreign Affairs
- Write a letter to your federal representatives
- Like/retweet/follow/reblog anything positive or helpful about this situation
- Wear a ribbon or armband
- Talk to neighbours, students, co-workers, classmates
- Raise your awareness about slavery in the world today
- Talk to Muslims you know and politely urge them to take an active, vociferous stand against this atrocity done in the name of their God.
- Talk to your children about women’s rights, the right to education and the right to safety
- Demonstrate to your sons the proper way to treat and value girls
- Express gratitude for your freedom–use poetry, photography, prose, art, dance, song–whatever!
- Revel in being a girl (If you are one! If you’re not, sorry–you missed out!)
- Create a daily slogan or hashtag. (Today’s is #DoItForTheGirls)
- Got any more ideas? Leave them in the comments!
One Down, 29 to Go
With the writing of this article this morning, I’ve achieved my 10th action in support of the girls and their families. That’s 1 day down, 29 to go. 10 girls and their families remembered, prayed for, loved. Now to use my voice and influence for the benefit off the remaining 290 precious girls.
For the next little while, Spilling Ink is going to be my chronicle of Operation 10 x 30. I intend to Spill some Ink for the girls! I hope followers of my usual posts on reading and writing will understand–and join in!
YOUR Operation 10×30
Make the first of your daily ten acts today to follow this blog. Your second can be to share this post on social media. You have a voice. Use the freedom you have to be heard in this world. Let’s stand in unity with those poor mothers on Mother’s Day 2014.