Asabe and Ruth evaded the fate of 219 of their classmates in the north-eastern Nigerian village of Chibok who are still in captivity. The mass abduction last April propelled the sect into global infamy, as the missing students became an international symbol of Boko Haram’s escalating war against lay education. But, far from the limelight, 57 young women who escaped were left grasping to make sense of their new reality.
They could not shake off the fear the militants would return for them. Instead of working towards becoming doctors, teachers or artists, the former students learned to sleep in the bush to avoid potential night-time raids. By day, they roamed for miles under the unforgiving sun so they would not be around if the men with machine guns swooped in again. Then, late one August afternoon, a stranger showed up at Asabe and Ruth’s tin-roof home offering a scholarship to study in Yola, the capital of a neighbouring state.
Acceptance would be a brazen act of defiance against Boko Haram, but the sect had repeatedly warned the students they would kill the families of those who continued schooling. It was an opportunity as much as a risk."
Read article by Monica Mark from The Guardian.