Just miles from where Boko Haram extremists kidnapped 300 girls in Nigeria lies an all-girls boarding school. It’s two acres and is protected only by five walls, a lone security guard and an old machine gun.
“It’s maybe 2 acres [and] it would be easy for anyone to jump over the wall,” David Darg told TheBlaze. “At their request they asked us to buy razor wire to line the entire top of the wall, which we did.”
Darg is the vice president of international operations for the Christian humanitarian group Operation Blessing International. He told TheBlaze Wednesday that his organization has been heavily involved in helping the school kids by providing food, resources and technology.
But despite the added razor wire, Darg and the school — which TheBlaze was asked not to name due to safety concerns — are worried it could be the next target.
“There’s definitely an increased need because of the insurgency … the local economy in those northeastern states is really suffering,” Darg said. “There’s no new investing going on … commerce being disrupted, [there's] a brain drain going on.”
Despite the school’s vulnerabilities, students returned to the grounds last Monday after it was shut down in April following the mass-kidnapping.
Darg, who visited the boarding school last week to see the kids’ courageous return firsthand, stressed that the situation in the region is dire as Islamist militants continue their reign of terror.
“Some of the girls were telling me how they were concerned, they were afraid. And others were really defiant,” Darg said. “They would recite scripture and say, ‘Nothing will harm us.’ I was really blown away by how brave some of the girls were.”
He explained experiencing a range of emotions from the female students, who range in age from 12 to 17, when he spoke with them last week. While some expressed fear, others were resolute.
Regardless of their emotions, their bravery is corroborated by their willingness to head back to school even though they know that their safety is at risk in a region characterized by “completely lawless.”
“Even the Nigerian military is unable to control this wave of kidnapping and bombings that’s held all over the place,” Darg explained.
[See a video of Darg's experience and meet some of the girls below.]
For now, he said Operation Blessing is providing food, milk and sugar as well as educational elements like books and computers to assist in the students’ learning. In addition to financial support, Darg urged people to pray for the school.
“I think just prayer for security would be incredible for these girls,” he added. “Something that really encouraged them when I was there [and I told them there] are a lot of people around the world thinking about them and praying for them.”