Messages in Arabic, French and Spanish were among those written for the kidnapped schoolgirls of Nigeria at Aberdeen University yesterday.
Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from a boarding school in the town of Chibok, in the Borno State, on April 14.
Outraged at the kidnappings, Aberdeen University student, JaNae’ Bates, was compelled to show the support for the girls and their families in the north-east of Scotland.
Ms Bates, 28, who is studying a Masters of Theology at the institute, got the idea whilst attending a prayer service at King’s College Chapel last weekend.
She said: “I attended a prayer service on Saturday and we prayed about what was going on and that inspired me.”
A myriad of messages were written by students yesterday and hung on string between the trees on Elphinstone Lawn, in the heart of Old Aberdeen, as part of the international Bring Back Our Girls campaign.
Since the kidnappings, the movement has gained international momentum, with the likes of Michelle Obama, the wife of the US president, putting pressure on the group to release the girls.
Originally from Ohio, Ms Bates added: “This is about the ability for students to express how they feel. I look at this as a global tragedy, not just a Nigerian one.
“It’s important not only for people to be aware, but to remember that we are a global community, remember that we’re all linked.”
Fellow student, Victor Uweru, 30, who comes from Nigeria’s Delta State, said: “A group of girls who wanted to better their lives through education have been kidnapped, it’s saddening.”
The messages were from students of all faiths. Ms Bates added: “We have had Muslims, Hindus, all religions.”
Assistant chaplain at the university, Marylee Anderson, said: “I think it’s incredible, one of these is in Arabic, there’s so many different nationalities here.”
Nigerian student Kemi Owolabi, 28, said: “It shows that people from so far away and people from so many religions care, it shows a commonality I think. I think it’s great.”
Boko Haram are fighting to overthrow the Nigerian government and make the country an Islamic state. They have previously been responsible for assassinations and bombings in the country.
The messages at Aberdeen University were later pinned along the isle of King’s College Chapel, where students later prayed for the girls.