A New York Times photo editorial documents the lives of the Nigerian women kidnapped as adolescents by Boko Haram, a group that continues to terrorize several regions across Northern Nigeria.

In 2014, the world became captivated by the story of 200 girls swiped from their schools after Boko Haram militants ransacked villages wrecking havoc and terror in their path of carnage. Activists and supporters rallied around them with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Since then, over 100 girls have been released, but their stories have been largely overshadowed by news cycles that stray away from the plight of Black women around the world.

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In April 2014, more than 200 girls were kidnapped from a school in Nigeria. Boko Haram broadcast their images to the world. And the world responded: #BringBackOurGirls. 4 years later, more than 100 of the students have been freed. Saratu Ayuba, seen here, was one of 82 hostages released last May through negotiations between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram. Others have been found roaming the countryside, having escaped their captors. But more than 100 young women are still missing. Nigeria is in its 9th year of war with Boko Haram. Most victims will remain anonymous, their names never broadcast across the globe. Many of the young women from Chibok consider themselves the lucky ones — today, they live on a pristine university campus. But their celebrity has a price. Visit the link in our profile to read the full story, by @dionnesearcey, and see @adamfergusonphoto’s portraits of 83 of the young women who have been freed.

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The profile aims to shed light on their lives after their escape, their heartbreak and more importantly, their survival. Many of the woman profiled in the piece live under intense security detail at American University of Nigeria since the summer of 2017. Rightfully so, a portion of the released victims remain silent while there are at least 100 women who remain unaccounted for.

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One young woman wants to be a nurse. Another hopes to become a lawyer. 4 years after more than 200 students were kidnapped in Nigeria, more than 100 of them are back. The hardest adjustment is “being free, but not really free.” You might remember their story: #BringBackOurGirls, the world demanded in April 2014. Most of Boko Haram’s victims will remain anonymous and unaccounted for. But the world knew the Chibok girls’ names. Rahab Ibrahim was among 21 students freed in October 2016 after the Nigerian government negotiated with Boko Haram for their release. @adamfergusonphoto took this moving portrait of Rahib — one of 83 young women he photographed. Today, more than 100 of the young women live on a pristine campus, their days filled with math classes, karaoke and movie nights. Many see themselves as the lucky ones. More than 100 of their classmates are missing, still held by Boko Haram. Visit the link in our profile to read the full story, by @dionnesearcey.

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You can find the stunning visuals along with their harrowing journeys, here.

SOURCE: The New York Times


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