February 8, 2013; Source: CNN International
Last week, Malala Yousufzai, a teenaged girl from Pakistan who was shot by the Taliban for promoting the idea of education for girls, was released from a hospital in Birmingham, England after what many have described as a near-miraculous recovery. Also, for the first time since she was shot, young Malala spoke to the press, and this is what she said: “God has given me this new life. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated.”
Toward that end, the NGO Vital Voices has established the Malala Fund, which will provide funding to nonprofits and others working on education issues. Malala’s father and Malala herself will reportedly sit on the board of the Malala Fund and will be active in selecting and guiding the initiatives that the fund will support.
In an interview with ABC News Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson said, “We stand with Malala and girls around the globe who are boldly speaking out as advocates for education and equality. When girls move forward, they take their communities forward, too.” Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, put the project in context: “It’s not a privilege that we are educating them,” he said. “It is their basic right.”
As NPQ noted last year, Malala Yousufzai has received considerable support for a Nobel Peace Prize, and Malala has now officially been nominated for the prestigious award. But Nobel or no Nobel, it will be interesting to watch the Malala Fund and to see what this teenager does next. –Mike Keefe-Feldman