‘School turned into nightmare after attack in Nigeria’ Statement from Save the Children

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Dec. 14, 2020)— In response to gunmen attacking a secondary school in northwestern Nigeria, Save the Children’s Acting Country Director in Nigeria Shannon Ward said:

“We are deeply concerned about the safety and wellbeing of the children who have been abducted by suspected gunmen in Katsina State in North West Nigeria. Hundreds of students appear to remain missing. Schools should be a place of safety and learning, but it has turned into a nightmare for these boys and their families.

“This could have a deep impact on the children – not only the boys who were taken but also the ones who had to flee and hide from gun violence or those who saw what happened.  

“We condemn any attack on schools and students as a grave violation of children’s rights – children should be able to go to school safely to learn and interact with their friends and teachers. The recruitment of children by armed groups in the Sahel region has been on the rise, but children have no place in conflict or violence.  

“We call upon all parties to ensure that the missing students are returned to their families and their schools immediately.  

“Nigeria is set to host the 4th International Conference on Safe Schools in 2021 and is one of the first African countries to endorse the Safe School Declaration). We urge the Government to ensure that Nigerian children have access to safe, quality and uninterrupted education at all levels.” 

Save the Children was one of the first humanitarian organizations that responded to the humanitarian crisis in North-East Nigeria, reaching 1.2 million people since the start of our response. We are providing food assistance and protection services to more than 320,000 internally displaced children and families on a regular basis. 

Save the Children works in over 100 countries around the world in both humanitarian and development settings. We work in partnership with governments, the United Nations, donors, and other NGOs to support children and their families in crisis and to ensure children can learn, survive and enjoy a safe environment so that they can reach their full potential in life.    

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we've been advocating for the rights of children worldwide. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming the future we share. Our results, financial statements and charity ratings reaffirm that Save the Children is a charity you can trust. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


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