Standing up to Taliban at 14. A world-wide foundation to support girl’s education at 16. A Nobel-prize at 17. Meet Malala who cannot be scared into silence.
In 2012, a masked gunman got on a school bus in Pakistan. He was looking for Malala by name. When he found her, he shot her in the head, neck and shoulder, injuring her friends as well. He then got off thinking his job was done.
Malala did not die.
But how did this 15-year-old become a target for the Taliban in the first place?
She spoke up for girls’ education.
With a father as a teacher, she received the best support for learning. With a soul of endless depth, she embraced that opportunity completely.
But she didn’t take it for granted. She knew not everyone had those chances and Malala felt it even more acutely when it was taken away from her and her friends with the Taliban takeover.
She didn’t give up though.
When someone takes away your pens you realize quite how important education is.
Barely 12, she started blogging to the BBC about life under the Taliban. About how she felt when her school closed. About the importance of education. About her love for her country.
When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.
This was unacceptable for the extremists who needed to oppress women and didn’t need educated men either who could’ve challenged their beliefs. So they reacted the only way they knew: with violence.
Luckily for us, Malala survived. And instead of stopping her, the attack spurred her on. She’s everywhere where girls’ rights are not respected: from Nigeria, Syria, Kenya to North America and Europe. She co-founded Malala Fund with her father Ziauddin to help to give education, voice, opportunities to these girls who need to shine.
Malala Fund works in regions where the most girls miss out on secondary education. Our priority countries are Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and countries housing Syrian refugees (Lebanon and Jordan). Read more about the programmes.
She keeps inspiring everyone with her perseverance, courage and energy. Teaming up with local champions in these regions Malala affects legislation, public perceptions and the future of these young ladies.
I don’t want revenge on the Taliban, I want education for sons and daughters of the Taliban.
These are not quick fixes, there isn’t a fast solution. But she has just turned 20 on the 12th of July. She will keep working.
There are many problems but there is one solution to all and that is education.