About a week ago, I expressed my outrage with the notion that in the year 2014, 300 innocent girls can be abducted from school, and after weeks of pleading and searching, we are no closer to bringing them back. Our strong international community has taken to Twitter using the hashtag, #BringBackOurGirls to encourage their release. While an offer has been made by Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group who kidnapped the girls, to swap the girls in exchange for some prisoners held by the Nigerian government – this offer was quickly rejected.  The Nigerian community believes the government should strongly reconsider as bringing nearly 300 abducted school girls back to their families is paramount in this unthinkable circumstance.

With more than 4 million tweets, the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls has stirred an international movement to get these girls home safely, while vigils at the Nigerian capital continue to spread a message of hope. 20,000 Nigerian soldiers have also been dispersed to rescue the girls, but many fear fire power will merely make the situation worse. Additionally, the U.S. has stepped in, deploying 80 members of the armed forces to aid in the search for the missing girls. They will offer support, surveillance and intelligence. The Nigerian government has also asked the United Nations to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist group, which would allow other countries the ability to impose travel bans, freeze assets and impose arms embargoes.

Small, strategic steps are being made to #BringBackOurGirls and power in numbers certainly makes a statement. Keeping these girls and their families in our prayers and keeping hope alive is key to bringing them home. They are in my prayers.