By Temie Giwa-Tubosun
Here is what I know:
Trying to hijack something you did not create is wrong. Claiming credit for what you did not do is a generally douchey move and it’s deplorable and folks should be called out on that.
However, I disagree that raising money for the education of girls in developing countries and trying to harness global interest in this issue that the plight of the Chibok girls raised is exploitative. We must find and save our girls and we must also help the millions who want to go to school but can’t. We must save these 270 girls but also all their sisters and daughters all over the developing world.
Girl Rising (with whom I am not in any way connected apart from being co-delegates at the Women Deliver Conference in Malaysia, in April 2013) aims to raise money to this cause. I know it is not a scam because they work with the Women Deliver’s Catapault platform to raise money and to distribute to deserving organization working on ground. Their partnership precedes the development of #bringbackourgirls movement and it has raised money for this issue before. The money doesn’t go to Girl Rising nor to Ramaa Mosley. It goes from the Catapault Platform directly to deserving organisations in the country where needed. In this case, Nigeria.
This is the text from Catapault’s Facebook page:
You can directly support girls education in Nigeria through Girl Rising and Catapult’s emergency project. Every text, every donation adds up. http://bit.ly/1shYMgB #BringBackOurGirls
I believe it will be a great tragedy if we fail to #bringbackourgirls or to help their sisters if we get bogged down in petty disagreements. The money being raised, as far as I know it, by GirlRising isn’t going to the pocket of anyone. And Nigerian organisations who believe that they can use any of it in pursuit of a better life for girls anywhere in Nigeria can apply to get any of it. It is not limited to Chibok, yes, but it is in pursuit of girl education which is a noble goal bigger than this one albeit important story. The arguments against vain and self-aggrandizing patronage the type of which we have seen in the past from well-meaning but ignorant western interventionists is a valid one, but in my opinion irrelevant in this particular matter.
You can also follow the money here: http://www.catapult.org/project/bring-back-our-girls
Meanwhile, let’s #BringBackOurGirls now!
Temie is a fellow of the Global Health Corps, and is the the founder of One Percent Project, an organisation working to improve access to safe and secure blood donation and transfusion around Nigeria, and creator of the LifeBank App.