SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --The outrage over the kidnapping of Nigerian school girls is expected to fuel an even greater global media campaign this weekend. Sunday is Mother's Day and still missing are about 270 girls -- kidnapped by an extremist Islamic group.
Some Bay Area groups are trying to help get them home safely. It's well known that social media can be a very strong influence. The hash tag #bringbackourgirls has now been tweeted well over 1 million times.
First lady Michelle Obama has joined the #bringbackourgirls campaign. Political strategist Christine Pelosi, the daughter of the house minority leader, rallied for the release of the Nigerian girls. At Cal, the Nigerian Students Association announced that its member will have an emergency town hall meeting on Sunday to address the crisis in their country.
The director there says they will use social media to support their cause. "They just didn't care about the issue frankly, until social media sort of got on their case and they said, 'Wow, we need to do something about this,'" Solomon Nwoche| told ABC7 News.
In the past few weeks, the world has learned about the kidnappers -- Boko Haram. The words mean "western education is forbidden." The group has been around for 12 years, pushing its radical Islamic ideology in the north, the Muslim majority part of the country. The south is mostly Christian.
"We saw the Taliban and I think this is the closest approximation of the Taliban," said Professor Ugo Nwokeji, director at the UC Berkeley Center For African Studies. He's from Nigeria. "People do not get a sense that something is being done," he said.
On Thursday, the Congressional Black Caucus condemned the kidnapping and on Saturday, a letter was sent to president, signed by more than 160 members of the House, asking that Mr. Obama address the United Nations to unite behind this cause.
San Francisco-based Global Fund for Women has been actively involved in spreading the word about the kidnapped students. They say now is the time to must capitalize on the international awareness.
"Following the #bringourgirlsback hash tag and presence in social media, re-tweeting, really engaging in that space and saying this is an important, really really important story and we are not going to just let this be yesterday's news," said Caroline Kouassiaman| with the Global Fund for Women.
On Friday, the U.S. military landed in Nigeria to help the government there search for the girls.