-- Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai today asked the people of the world to join her in demanding urgent action to free the more than 250 missing schoolgirls kidnapped by the terror group Boko Haram 10 months ago.
"I will not forget my sisters," Malala wrote in a statement on the 300th day of the schoolgirls' captivity. "We cannot forget them. "
Last July, Malala traveled to Abjua Nigera on her 17th birthday to meet some of the schoolgirls who escaped during the kidnaping attempt along with parents of the girls still in captivity.
She also met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who promised her "that the girls will be returned as soon as possible."
Since then, not a single student has been rescued. And Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sinful," continues to raid villages in Northern Nigeria, killing and kidnapping hundreds of women and children.
To Malala, the return of the Chibok girls is an urgent priority.
"We must demand their freedom until they are reunited with the families and back in school, getting the education they so desperately desire," she wrote in the statement issued today.
She also admonished politicians running for office in the Presidential elections this week to "finally take some responsibility for this tragedy."
The Malala Fund is currently funding several programs in Nigeria that help support education for young girls in rural and urban poor communities.
300 days since abduction of Chibok girls
Statement by Malala Yousafzai, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Co-Founder of the Malala Fund
"As we mark this tragic 300th day of captivity for hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, I call on people everywhere to join me in demanding urgent action to free these heroic girls.
"Nigerian leaders and the international community can and must do much more to resolve this crisis and change their weak response to date. If these girls were the children of politically or financially powerful parents, much more would be done to free them. But they come from an impoverished area of northeast Nigeria and sadly little has changed since they were kidnapped.
"Politicians now running for office for next week's elections should not only demonstrate their empathy but finally take some responsibility for this tragedy. The leaders of Nigeria should commit to work together and make the case of the Chibok girls a priority in their first 100 days in office, as well as the education of every Nigerian child.
"These young women risked everything to get an education that most of us take for granted. I will not forget my sisters. We cannot forget them. We must demand their freedom until they are reunited with the families and back in school, getting the education they so desperately desire.
"Through the Malala Fund, I will continue to support programs to enable the most vulnerable girls, including in Nigeria, to get the education they deserve. I will continue to advocate at the highest level, and support civil society to ensure that all children are able to access primary and secondary education. This is our mission.
"Let's end this horrible saga now. Leaders must make sure the #BringBackOurGirls effort results in a real outcome: the return of the Chibok girls."