Virginia

Escape from Boko Haram - a survivor's story

Kidnapped in Africa, now a student in SW Virginia

It has been almost a year since Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 girls from their school in Nigeria.

Most of those girls are still missing. A few managed to escape and have landed here in the United States at the Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Va.

News 5 WCYB's Samantha Kozsey sat down with one of the survivors  who wanted to share her experience with the world.

Saa says, "They say if we shout or if we run, they will kill us. There were many. They had guns."

So started Saa's encounter with the Boko Haram. It's been almost a year since the militants attacked her school in the Chibok village in Northeast Nigeria.

Saa says, "They were shooting guns and shouting at us. Did you think you were going to die? Yes, that was what I was thinking when they were shooting guns and shouting. I thought they were going to kill us."

Saa says, "They started burning our school and everything. They didn't let us bring anything. They burned everything and asked us to leave the school. We followed them out into the bush."

They were then loaded onto trucks. Their destination, unknown.

"I am together with my friend. She's my childhood friend, we went to school together and we always stay together. So I tell her I'm going to jump out of the truck because I don't know where I am going and they haven't told us what they'd do to us. So I'd rather die," says Saa.

They jumped and hid out in the forest until morning. Finally getting help from a local shepherd.

A human rights organization learned about Saa and helped bring her to the Mountain Mission School in Grundy. For the nearly 100 years, the school has opened its doors to children like Saa who are in need and at risk.

Now safe, a world away, she hopes by talking about her ordeal and Boko Haram, she can make a difference.

Saa says, "We need help to help rescue the girls that are still in captivity with boko haram so they continue with their studies and they should be be back with their families."

The  Mountain Mission school is now home to six girls who escaped Boko Haram. While they didn't want to talk on camera, they are adjusting well to life in the United States and are glad to be together.

Mountain Mission School has become a mini United Nations, helping children from here at home and around the world and it does so at no cost to the students. It receives no state or federal support, relying on fundraising and the generous donations from businesses and individuals.

Find out more about Mountain Mission School.

Learn how you can volunteer or contribute.


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