Haram allegedly abducted as many as 276 schoolgirls from Chibok, and they were reportedly subjected to rape, torture, starvation and forced marriages. This sparked the #BringBackOurGirls campaign online, which caught the attention of former first lady Michelle Obama.
Bishara and Pogu are among the 57 girls who were able to escape from the terrorist group. The duo gave PEOPLE a detailed account of the events following the night gunmen invaded their school.
“We were all crying and screaming. They told us to keep quiet or they’re going to kill us. So they start to shoot their guns up on top of us, making us quiet. All of us were scared. We were just holding each other,” Bishara said.
The schoolgirls were sleeping when the invasion occurred. They woke to the sounds of gunshots, bombs and men in uniforms stormed into their dorm pretending to be officers who were there to protect them.
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“They asked us to follow them, we should go with them,” Bishara continued. “When we tried going with them, some of us start running … then they went and put us all back together and said, ‘OK, you all have to cooperate or else we are going to just shoot any girl who just followed a different direction that we didn’t point.”
She said the girls were given an ultimatum: run away and die or get on a truck and leave with them.
With all the girls scared into compliance, the truck created clouds of smoke behind it as it drove away. As The Huff Post notes, girls began jumping from the truck and running away in different directions. Bishara and two other girls found each other in the bush and were able to stop a motorcyclist, who brought them back to Chibok.
The girls were able to return to their families, and with the help of a Christian nonprofit and a Nigerian activist group, the duo and several other girls who escaped moved to the United States to complete school in August 2014.
During their senior year, Bishara and Pogu transferred from the boarding school they were attending in Virginia and recently graduated from Canyonville Christian Academy. Both gave speeches at the ceremony.
They will be attending Southeastern University in Florida in the fall and have started a GoFundMe to help with their expenses.
American billionaire Robert Smith offered scholarships to 21 girls who were released from Haram’s captivity. He’s also offered to take financially responsibility for the other girls who may eventually be set free.
As of today, 113 girls are still missing.
Watch the full video report over at People.com.