When the story of the abduction of 276 young girls from a Government Girls Secondary School, in Chibok in Nigeria hit the world news, the women of Merici College in Canberra were horrified. Not only did they see it as social justice issue they were also concerned that it was an incredible injustice against women. This act of force provokes the deepest feelings of empathy from the staff and students of Merici College for the victims and their families.
As a symbolic prayer, the students chose a girl’s name from the list released last week. Each student wrote the girl’s name on long lengths of ribbon. These ribbons were draped from the trees in the grounds of Merici College. They used the colours of the rainbow – as a rainbow is a symbol of hope. They identified each of the girls by name to make a spiritual and real connection with the victims and they arranged them in the trees as a symbol of freedom. Symbolism is a powerful way for young people to deal with issues they find hard to fathom.
By their actions, the girls of Merici College are raising awareness of the total disrespect for life and the indignity of human beings, especially the most innocent and helpless.