When Boko Haram abducted the 276 Chibok girls in 2014, some of them were willing to take the risk to escape and returned home. Inspired by their stories, the American University of Nigeria offered these girls full scholarships. After weighing the different options and fears this opportunity presented, 24 Chibok girls arrived at the university. They were able to adjust through the initial culture shock and are unrecognizable as the timid fearful girls who first appeared on the campus.
3/31/2017 Nigeria (USA Today) - Much has been written about the Chibok girls, the 276 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok in northern Nigeria who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014. A few have been found or rescued in the past few months; most are still missing. However, there’s another group of those Chibok girls we’ve heard less about — those who managed to escape the night of the abduction.
Mary, Glory and Ladi are three such girls. Even though militants had threatened to shoot any girls who tried to escape, these three decided to risk it. They jumped from the trucks that were transporting them and fled into the forest. We're not using the girls’ last names because there are real, ongoing security concerns for them and their families.
In the weeks following the attack, Mary felt empty. She was home with her family, but she had witnessed her friends being kidnapped; Boko Haram still threatened the region and she couldn’t go back to school.
Then, something unexpected happened. Margee Ensign, the president of a private school, the American University of Nigeria, heard the escaped girls’ story. And she was so moved she decided to offer them full scholarships.