This post is a recipe and a story and a cry for action. Maybe you’ve heard, but you may have not. In mid April over 200 girls were kidnapped from their school in Nigeria while in the midst of exams. The number of missing girls is unknown because the school records were destroyed in the attack. Read more about it on BBC Africa.
This is really unfathomable to me, a middle class American woman. I send my children to school and don’t worry that anyone other than maybe a grumpy classmate will hurt more than their feelings.
Not so for moms in other parts of the world. According to Justiceforyouth.org, 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year. I’m guessing that includes a lot of children.
I imagine the girls, heading to school for their exams, looking forward to the end of the day when they can have a break from school. Exams usually signal a break from school. I imagine them jingling the coins in their pockets or bag, thinking about the treat that they will buy on the way home. Maybe it will be barbecued meat or roasted corn. I think it will be something sweet, like fried yams or bananas. I have a wonderful cookbook that I’ve referred to here before called The World of Street Food by Troth Wells. I turned to the section for Africa and found a recipe for DoDo, or spicy fried plantains. That is exactly what I imagine a Nigerian girl ending her school year or semester would get as a treat.
DoDo (Fried Plantains)
2 plantains, sliced thin
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
1. Mix the spices with a bit of water in a bowl.
2. Coat the plantain slices
3. Fry in oil until golden brown.
4. Drain on a paper towel.
5. Best served while still warm.
I said I was providing you with a story and a recipe as well as a cry for action. Mother’s Day is one week away in the US. Here’s what I want my kids to do. Bring back OUR Girls. Let’s not look at these girls as someone else’s problem. Let’s make getting them back our problem. Join the campaign. Write Congress. Sign petitions. Wear red to raise awareness. Be outraged. Moms in Africa need our support. Check out the Facebook campaign.
We must encourage those in positions to do so to help people who can’t help themselves. Lets make it about something other than oil prices for once. Let’s make it about doing the right thing for humanity.
Please fry some plantains and while you’re enjoying the sweet aroma filling your house, think of these suffering families and figure out what you can do to help. Because you can do something.