Bring Back Our Girls Co-Founder Urges World to Keep Searching
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TIME

One hundred celebrities, athletes, politicians and philanthropists gathered Tuesday night in New York City for the TIME 100 gala, including Obiageli Ezekwesili, the co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls movement.

More than one year after Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 219 Nigerian girls from their school in Chibok, Ezekwesili still hasn’t given up hope, and she’s asking the world to keep fighting.

“We all just carried on pretending that they never existed,” she said in her speech, pointing out that the movement has lost momentum in recent months. “No. They do exist. They are crying to be rescued, and we must rescue them.”

Just last month, Nigerian president-elect Muhammadu Buhari said that he wasn’t sure whether government officials would ever find the girls, who’ve reportedly been married off or sold into slavery. But Ezekwsili isn’t ready to give up. 

The activist believes that modern-day technology, like satellite imagery and GPS, can be instrumental in the effort to bring back our girls, and she has asked for President Obama’s assistance.

“There’s absolutely nothing that the God I believe in cannot do,” she said. “But the same God has given man and woman the power of choice. Whatever we choose to do, we can accomplish. Let’s choose to bring our girls back, please?”