Nearly a month after more than 200 female students were kidnapped from a government secondary school in Nigeria, protesters took to social media and engaged in demonstrations to increase awareness about the ongoing crisis.

Weeks after the Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by the militant group Boko Haram, parents and supporters of the kidnapped children took to social media to complain about the government's apparent slow response to the kidnappings. As protests for more government intervention took place at the end of April and in early May, word of the crisis began to spread. Eventually, the hashtag “#BringBackOurGirls” started trending on Twitter, attracting 2.3 million tweets as of May 11.

 

 

The social media campaign eventually led to global awareness of the Boko Haram kidnappings. As a result, more protests were held throughout the world on Mother’s Day weekend and the week of May 12.

Community activists, supporters, politicians and protesters gathered last weekend in front of Nigerian embassies and consulates in their respective cities to take part in prayer vigils and other acts of support for the kidnapped schoolgirls.

Bring Back Our Girls New York Activists pause during a prayer vigil for abducted Nigerian schoolgirls in front of the Consulate General of Nigeria in Manhattan, New York Photo: Reuters/Gaia Squarci

As protests demanding more action to rescue the girls continued into the week, Boko Haram released a video on Monday that claims to show about 130 of the girls who were kidnapped last month. In the video, Boko Haram’s leader, Anubakar Shekau, offered to free the girls in exchange for the release of militants imprisoned by the Nigerian government.

In response to the ongoing crisis, Nigeria has since sent out two army divisions to search for the girls. Countries such as the United States, the U.K., Israel and France have also offered to help or send experts, Reuters reported.

Al Sharpton Bill De Blasio Bring Back Our Girls Rev. Al Sharpton (R) applauds as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (C), standing next to his wife Chirlane and daughter Chiara (L), speaks to those gathered for a prayer vigil for abducted Nigerian schoolgirls outside the Consulate General of Nigeria in Manhattan, New York Photo: Reuters/Gaia Squarci

As the hunt for the missing schoolgirls and Boko Haram continues, activists and leaders around the world such as U.K Prime Minister David Cameron, Michelle Obama, Pope Francis and many others have since joined the cause, calling for the release of the schoolgirls.

Boko Haram militants kidnapped the 276 schoolgirls during an attack in Chibok, Nigeria, on April 14. While some of the girls have managed to escape, at least 200 are still believed to be held by Boko Haram.

Bring Back Our girls London sign A sign is seen pinned to a tree during a demonstration against the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria, outside the Nigerian Embassy in London Photo: Reuters/Olivia Harris bring Back Our girls London Protester A protester demonstrates against the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria, outside the Nigerian Embassy in London Photo: Reuters/Olivia harris Bring Back Our Girls Washington People take part in a vigil held in the wake of the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, in Washington Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts Bring Back Our Girls New York Pin A woman, wearing a pin in the colors of the Nigerian flag, holds a carnation while taking part in a prayer vigil for abducted Nigerian schoolgirls outside the Consulate General of Nigeria in Manhattan, New York Photo: Reuters/Gaia Squarci Boko Haram Protests Lagos A student holds a sign with an image of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau as she protests for the release of the abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok, along a road in Lagos Photo: Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye Boko Haram Protests Malaga Nigerians take part in a protest, called by Malaga's Nigerian women Association, for the release of the abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok in Nigeria, at La Merced square in Malaga, southern Spain Photo: Reuters/Jon Nazca Boko Haram Protests Malaga People take part in a protest, called by Malaga's Nigerian women Association, for the release of the abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok in Nigeria, at La Merced square in Malaga, southern Spain Photo: Reuters/Jon Nazca Boko Haram Protests Malaga Square People take part in a protest, called by Malaga's Nigerian women Association, for the release of the abducted secondary school girls in the remote village of Chibok in Nigeria, at La Merced square in Malaga, southern Spain Photo: Reuters/Jon Nazca Boko Haram protests malaga sign A Nigerian woman holds a sign as she takes part in a protest, called by Malaga's Nigerian women Association, for the release of the abducted secondary school girls from the remote village of Chibok in Nigeria, at La Merced square in Malaga, southern Spain Photo: Reuters/Jon Nazca Boko haram Protests A woman holds a sign during a march in support of the girls kidnapped in Nigeria by members of Boko Haram, in Cape Town Photo: Reuters/Sumaya Hisham London Boko Haram Protest Sign Protestors demonstrate against the kidnapping of school girls in Nigeria, outside the Nigerian Embassy in London Photo: Reuters/Olivia Harris