Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Byron Bay Comes Together In Support of #BringBackOurGirls

This morning as I drove down the winding road towards Byron the sun tried valiantly to burst through the storm clouds gathering over the cape. 

I was up early.

My journey was in support of the Byron Bay rally for the international #bringbackourgirls campaign organised today by Sybil Steele and V Day Byron Bay. The gathering by Byron's peace pole was simple but profound, heartfelt and moving. We had been asked to wear red and/or a headscarf to raise awareness for the abducted Nigerian girls and the riot of colour brightened the overcast morning.

My images below, interspersed with a prayer read by Chrystal Dawn Fitzgerald, capture some of the spirit of solidarity and beauty of our local women, men and children. 

This is a magical place. And these are magical people. Let's spread this magic to the world and continue to show our support online and in person for this important call to action. 

Amber. x

Bring Back Our Girls
Prayer by Chrystal Dawn Fitzgerald
Inspired by other prayers and written for the Missing Girls in Nigeria, read aloud on this 15th day of May, 2014 at the VDay Byron Bay #bringbackourgirls rally in Byron Bay. Reproduced with permission. 
Dearest elders, Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, daughters and sons, those who are here in person and those of you here in spirit, thank you for having the strength and courage to be here now and stand up for what you believe in. Every act no mater how small has a reaction, has a meaning, is important. I thought a good way to begin our gathering this morning would be to connect and give thanks for this opportunity.

If you would like to join, I invite you now to lower your heads and close your eyes, hold the hand of someone next to you, take a nice deep breath and let your beautiful brave heart be opened even more.
Our sincere gratitude goes first and foremost to our creator God or Great Spirit, to our own and the ancestors of this land, thank you all-loving for the opportunity to pray and gather here, publicly and safely. Thank you for this day, that for most of us we are safe from harm and have all of our needs met. Thank you that we have the liberty, freedom and courage to be a beacon of light and hope for those whom are unable, restricted, or otherwise prevented from doing so.

As we are gathered here with our open hearts we call upon and believe in the infinite power of our prayers reaching, and helping in the safe return of our sisters; the missing Nigerian girls whom were violently taken from their schools, from their homes, families and lives.

Together we pray for courage, hope and strength for these missing girls that they stay alive and well though this time, with their innocence and dreams intact. We Pray for the illumination of this atrocity on a global scale, which demands and results in the immediate and safe return of each and every one of these precious souls. We pray for a rapid rescue if any of these young women is not returned, and we pray for divine wisdom, insight and resources to be shared with our governments, leaders and other organizations involved to effectively and rapidly bring back our girls.

We Pray for a miracle in the lives of these girls, and in the lives of their families that they be reunited in love. We pray endurance, to keep on, for those persons there the front line in Nigeria, working behind the scenes, with little to no help to bring back these young women. We pray for the members of the Boko Haram militant group, for divine intervention in their lives, that they would meet Great Spirit in the conflict and see their motives and actions changed immediately, by returning the abducted girls. We pray that justice be done with the Boko Haram in a way that not only rehabilitates them into healthy humans, but also awakens the world to the inequalities that can lead to such acts of desperation and pain.

We Pray that our international governments take immediate action on this crime and peacefully bring back our girls. We pray for the end of violence here and now. We pray for a mass uprising as one human nation to join forces, and hands and bring back all of our girls & boys, all the missing, all the child brides, all those forced into prostitution, enslaved and abducted, bring them all back home.

God we pray for courage to wake up out of our own slumbers, to wake our friends, neighbors, and governments to bring back our girls. We pray that each and everyone of these girls who’s names we read aloud now is brought back safely, un harmed, and healthy. We Pray that each young woman’s light shine bright and they be free from all suffering now and evermore. With love in our hearts, faith in the power of Prayer and in God’s grace, we pray that all of these miracles to come to pass.

Important links and resources:

+ VDay Byron Bay on Instagram and Facebook
+ Sign the change.org petition here.

Get involved. Share the story. Use your voice. Show you care. 

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