We could all use some good news this holiday season especially when it comes to the young Nigerian women who were kidnapped and brutalized by Boko Haram in April 2014. In a bit of good news, a Black Austin, Texas-based philanthropist and investor is supporting 24 Chibok schoolgirls – 21 of whom escaped Boko Haram – by paying all expenses for them to attend American University at Yola, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Billionaire Robert Smith’s identity was revealed on Tuesday as the financial backer for the gift to the Nigerian government by Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on the Media to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. The 54-year-old businessman has also offered to “take responsibility for the 21 girls freed in October and all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free.

Terror group Boko Haram took responsibility for kidnapping the 234 girls shortly after the news became a worldwide call to #bringbackourgirls. Over the months that followed, many of the young women were able to escape Boko Haram while too many others remained under the force of the terror group. Nearly three years later, many of the young women are feared dead, used by Boko Haram in other acts of terror.

In 2015, Forbes named Smith the 268th richest person in the United States putting him ahead of Michael Jordan. They also referred to him as a “private equity titan.”

Hopefully, Smith’s act of kindness will inspire many other political leaders and philanthropists to support the young women whose lives were uprooted by Boko Haram and those who continue to face oppression and terror at the hands of groups like this.


Read more at the News Agency of Nigeria.

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