Last summer, Halima Sogbesan (MJ ’17) returned to her country, Nigeria, with probing questions about women escaping Boko Haram captivity. She travelled to towns and cities in Adamawa state in northeastern Nigeria, to find and talk to women who had found ways out of Boko Haram’s clutches.
“Very little is known about such an important issue,” said Sogbesan. “Nigerians continue to ask their governments to do more to rescue women and girls from Boko Haram captivity, but too many people don’t know what is happening to those who have returned.”
The Ottawa Citizen recently published Finding Home: The long road back from Boko Haram captivity, the multimedia Masters Research Project that was the product of Sogbesan’s summer experience.
“I feel grateful to have been able to tell such an important story, and learn so much about the women who continue to experience horrors even after leaving Boko Haram,” she said.
Susan Harada, the Associate Director of the School of Journalism and Communication, supervised Sogbesan’s project.
“Only a journalist with Halima’s sensitivity, attention to detail and writing skills could have produced such a powerful piece of work,” she said. “Halima is passionate about using her journalism to compel people to pay attention to injustice, and she has wanted to tell the stories of these women and girls for a long time.”
Sogbesan received the Diane King Stuemer award, which supported her research, in 2016.
After graduating in June, she worked with the Alpheus Group as a freelance writer. She’s now with CBC Ottawa as an associate producer of the radio show, All in a Day.
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