A letter from… Yola, Nigeria
Anna (not her real name) was one of 276 girls kidnapped from Chibok secondary school in north-east Nigeria by the Islamist group Boko Haram. The girls were enslaved and some of them made to marry members of Boko Haram. Eventually Anna and some of her friends escaped together. They were given scholarships at the American University of Nigeria (pictured above), as part of the university’s programme to allow the Chibok girls to complete their education.
I’m studying computer science because I want to be a lecturer. I’m not good with computers, I know that, but if I put more effort in, I can become a good student.
I often think about my home, Chibok, because what brings me here is to study so that I can then help my people at home. With a degree in computer science I could go to other places in the world and make a good living, but my people are very poor, and I want to build a computer station for them so they can have a more normal standard of living than they do now.
The first time I came here to the university, I couldn’t speak English. I felt shy because I was worried that people might laugh at me, so I used to keep quiet. But thank God I can speak English now and interact with people and make friends. The other girls that came with me had a similar experience, but now we can write and speak and do so many things, thank God.
I think about my other schoolmates, and pray for them that one day God will bring them back to us. We still love them and pray for them. We can’t forget them because they are our people and our friends. We hope that God will reunite us one day.
Anna was speaking to Nkem Ifejika for the BBC World Service. This interview was transcribed and reproduced with permission
This article was published in the June 2016 edition of Reform.