Praying for Kidnapped Girls

PhotographerJohn Taschner
PrizeHonorable Mention

In 2014, extremist group Boko Haram killed hundred of Nigerian students and kidnapped 276 schoolgirls. 57 girls escaped during following months but over 200 remained hostage as sexual slaves and prisoner exchange pawns. In May 2016, one of the captured schoolgirls was found, leading to intensified efforts to rescue the schoolgirls. The photo was taken by filmmaker John Taschner on the morning of May 27, 2016 during community prayer for release of kidnapped daughters. Shortly after the photo, Boko Haram released a video of about 50 kidnapped girls, some of them holding babies, with an armed masked spokesman demanding release of jailed fighters in exchange for the girls freedom. By October 2016, 21 more girls were released. The scale of the kidnapping is unprecedented and remains unresolved