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9.11 – Every Second of Life is Precious

Every second of life is precious.

2001 was quite a year for me. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and told that not only would a radical mastectomy be imperative to my survival, but also that I would have to begin a year’s worth of aggressive chemotherapy, followed by 35 rounds of radiation. I had the life-changing operation in July, and on September 6, I began the first of my many therapeutic and highly toxic infusions.

The chemo hit quick. It was an instantaneous slap in the face that would not stop slapping until it rendered me hopelessly immobile in both body and mind. My only thoughts: “Just one more year of this, that’s all. Just one more year. Hang on, Gabrielle, hang on.” Read more

Boko Haram Kidnaps 230 Nigerian girls ages 16-18

Boko Haram is an extremist terrorist group intent on bringing Nigeria back to strict Islamic rule.

What makes this incident so uique is the sheer number of students that they where able to kidnap.

LARISA EPATKO from PBS News Hour writes,

Prior to the latest and largest school abduction, Human Rights Watch documented the kidnapping of women and young girls from the streets of Maiduguri in November. Boko Haram fighters “would brazenly pick up the girl of their choice and throw a bit of money at the parents and declare that they had taken the girl as a wife,” said Segun, who was part of the research team.

Initially, the abductions were believed to be retaliation for the government’s security forces arresting the wives of suspected members of Boko Haram. And they were temporary: the women and girls returned home after a few months or years.

But the attacks have since evolved and grown in numbers, said Segun. Boko Haram fighters are on the move now and can’t take their wives with them. “So they are using these women and girls to take the places of their wives for domestic chores or sexual services.”

As the violence continued, Nigeria’s GDP was recalculated this month and determined to be the largest in Africa. But the World Bank still lists the oil-rich nation as having one of the poorest populations in the world.

The previous recalculation was 20 years ago, before the telecommunications industry soared and before the advent of the multi-million-dollar “Nollywood” entertainment scene, said J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center.

Even with money flowing into the country, Nigeria still struggles with development and corruption — and the inability to protect its civilians, Pham said. Although Boko Haram’s call for strict Sharia law isn’t shared by the majority of Nigerians, its message that the government is corrupt and isn’t helping its citizens “resonates somewhat” with the population, he added.

Must See Documentary “Girl Rising”

One of my new favorite films & a definite must see. I was fortunate enough to have had experienced the film in theaters thanks to a small community group in Brooklyn who organized a showing using gather. This impactful film talks to the empowerment that is hidden within education inside girls and women who are subject to third world realities.

Here Are some of the hard hitting facts the film exposes:

• 75% of AIDS cases in sub-Saharan Africa—the region
hardest hit by the disease—are women and girls

• There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary
school.

• 14 million girls under 18 will be married this year;
38 thousand today; 13 girls in the last 30 seconds.

• The #1 cause of death for girls 15-19 is childbirth.

• A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20%
more as an adult.

 

If you want to learn more about the film and the movement click here.