Last night I learned about Aisha, an extremely brave girl who was thrown into dire circumstances simply based on her geographical birthplace in Northern Nigeria.
Aisha and her brother were 10 years old when Boko Haram invaded their village, came into their home, killed their father and the other men in the village. The two of them fled into the woods and found a nearby stream where they got some water and spent the night. The next day Boko Haram insurgents found and abducted them. They were brought to a camp in the woods with other children where they were held in horrific conditions. Rape and beatings were a daily threat. After living among Boko Haram for some time, Aisha’s brother was called upon first. Boko Haram strapped a bomb to his chest and told him to go to into a crowded market and press the red button. Her brother didn’t want to...he was scared...in fact, he barely knew what was being asked of him. Aisha watched her brother ride off on the back of a motorcycle driven by the insurgents. When the motorcycle came back, the men were jubilant; the mission had been carried out. That was the last time Aisha saw her brother.
A few weeks later it was Aisha’s turn as she was called on by the insurgent group to carry a bomb into a military formation. They strapped the bomb to her and sent her off, followed by insurgents to make sure that she carried out her mission. When she was stopped by a soldier on the road, he asked her if she was carrying anything. She replied, “yes, I am carrying a bomb.” The soldier mobilized others and they were able to remove the vest and disarm the bomb. Aisha survived. She is the only one left in her family and she is one of 70 million global refugees that have been forced from their homes due to violence and persecution. 70 million. That number is staggering and is double the number from twenty years ago. That is 70 million individual stories and struggles.
We support this incredibly important cause because of girls like Aisha. Organizations such as the International Rescue Committee (www.rescue.org
) are working tirelessly on behalf of people like Aisha to help them find safety and stability in an unstable world. Refugees are not a threat to our communities as too many in our country today advocate. They are daughters and sons fleeing horrific circumstances that they had no control over. Immigrants and refugees have helped to shape our country in magnificent ways. We at Threads 4 Thought stand up for children & adults all around the world like Aisha and promise to always fight for and foster a welcoming community for those that don’t enjoy the same freedoms and security that too many take for granted.