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Exactly exactly just How Mellissa Fung’s abduction informed her reporting regarding the girls whom escaped from Boko Haram

By on May 24, 2021

Exactly exactly just How Mellissa Fung’s abduction informed her reporting regarding the girls whom escaped from Boko Haram

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The journalist’s documentary, Captive, examines exactly how girls in Nigeria are dealing with the injury of abduction

An old CBC journalist who had been taken hostage in Afghanistan states building a documentary about girls in Nigeria have been kidnapped by Boko Haram aided her grapple along with her very own upheaval.

“we discovered a great deal through the girls,” Mellissa Fung told the existing‘s Matt Galloway. “You understand, they will have therefore small materially once you glance at where they live, the way they reside. However they have actually plenty strength that is inner. They will have so much faith in Jesus.

“and that is the things I find amazing. Their resilience is inspiring.”


Fung’s documentary, Captive, takes people to northeastern Nigeria, where Islamist extremist team Boko Haram is waging assaults on communities for a long time. The organization that is militant international condemnation in 2014 whenever it kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from Chibok, in the united kingdom’s Borno State.

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The movie explores exactly exactly what life is similar to for a small amount of girls who possess escaped the extremist team’s grips, they faced and the stigma that has made it difficult to reintegrate into their community as they come to terms with the violence.

The documentary ended up being generated by Antica Productions, and premieres on TVO tuesday.

Comparable traumas assisted build trust

Girls’ stories hit near to house for Fung, who had been kidnapped by armed males in Afghanistan in 2008 while being employed as a reporter for CBCis the nationwide. She happened captive in the gap when you look at the ground for 28 days.

“we keep in mind exactly just what it absolutely was like in my situation — my very first evening in a gap in Afghanistan — and simply exactly what operates throughout your brain, you realize. ‘Have my moms and dads been told?’ ‘Where are my parents?’ ‘Will they be likely to kill me personally?'” Fung stated.

“These girls had been plenty more youthful than me personally that i simply couldn’t imagine just what may have been dealing with their minds.”

A number of the girls Fung talked with for the movie had been who are only 12 or 13 if they had been captured by Boko Haram. Most of them had been taken hostage making use of their families that are entire and soon after divided from their website as Boko Haram proceeded to kidnap more children and grownups following the 2014 abduction associated with Chibok schoolgirls.

Girls all had fantasies to be physicians, reporters or lawyers, Fung stated. Alternatively, they certainly were forced to marry people of the extremist company, and quite often have young ones using them.

Having skilled the injury to be abducted by by by herself, Fung stated she wished to know how these girls that are young rebuilding their everyday lives. That interest became the impetus on her behalf documentary.

I became really, really available with them. After all, We told them things We haven’t also told friends that are close. Thus I believe that helped build trust and it also assisted them inform their tale.

– Mellissa Fung, journalist

But she did not wish to approach her interviews the same manner many other reporters do, simply by asking victims whatever they experienced. That technique often retraumatizes individuals, stated Fung.

“when we went in, we told the girls I comprehended in a fashion that a lot of people most likely never, as well as had been liberated to ask me personally about my experience,” she stated.

“I happened to be extremely, extremely open using them. I am talking about, We told them things We have actuallyn’t also told buddies. It helped them inform their tale. thus I genuinely believe that aided build trust and”

Freed girls face community mistrust

Section of that tale is approximately the girls’ escape.

Within the movie, they describe running away through Nigeria’s Sambisa Forest, where that they had been held by Boko Haram. A few of the girls had the ability to escape during army assaults from the Boko Haram encampment, while others got out by themselves.

However when they finally became free, girls had been shunned because of the communities and families they came back to.

“they will have valid reason not to ever trust [the girls whom escaped], because Boko Haram happens to be utilizing their kidnapped girls … as suicide bombers, delivering them back to villages,” Fung explained.

  • Boko Haram claims duty for abduction of Nigerian pupils
  • Re-integration starts for almost 900 Nigerian kids free of anti-Boko Haram force

Nonetheless, that mistrust has managed to get even more complicated for the girls to cope with their traumatization. Fung said this one regarding the girls she talked to, for instance, has struggled having a deep feeling of anger over her circumstances.

Fung can relate with the long-term effect of these abduction. She stated her captivity will be a part always of whom this woman is.

Nevertheless, it does not define her.

Along the way of creating the documentary, Fung stated a number of the girls in Nigeria had the ability to get counselling to assist them to cope with their injury, plus they realize them either that it doesn’t define.

“When we first came across them, you realize, they kept saying they truly are okay … and gradually they certainly were in a position to state, ‘Well, no, we still do have nightmares. I will acknowledge that for your requirements,'” stated Fung. “And I said, ‘That’s OK. I actually do, too.’ That’s section of just just what this experience is — just just what it indicates to heal.”

Fung said that making the documentary forced her to revisit her captivity that is own was not effortless.

“we will acknowledge there have been actually dark times, dark evenings,” the journalist stated.

Nevertheless, it absolutely was also gratifying. Fung stated she received energy through the girls she came across.

“we wish that likely to those places that are dark shine a light regarding the beauty plus the power why these girls reveal us.”

Authored by Kirsten Fenn. Made by Alex Zabjek.

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