Malala Yousafzai started out as an ordinary girl — just like you. She lived with her family in Swat Valley, Pakistan. She loved going to school and hanging out with her friends.
Everything changed when a militant group called the Taliban took over town. They banned singing, dancing and watching TV. They stopped girls from going to school.
Malala continued studying in secret with her family’s support. Using a different name, she wrote about life under the Taliban for the BBC, an international news organisation.
Malala began to speak up about education in public. She knew it was risky, but she also knew staying silent would be worse. The Taliban didn’t like this. They targeted her – even though she was only 15.
One day, a gunman shot Malala on her way home from school. She was badly hurt, and had to be flown to the United Kingdom for treatment.
Guess what? Malala survived! The bullet didn’t bring her down; it only lifted her voice higher. She set up Malala Fund to fight for every girl’s right to 12 years of free, safe and quality education. She inspired many people all over the world. In 2014, when she was just 17, Malala received the Nobel Peace Prize – becoming the youngest-ever Nobel Laureate.
Today Malala is studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. She’s still working hard to make sure all girls go to school. But there is so much work to be done, which is why she needs you to join her and speak up. Your voice matters as much as hers. You too can help build a better world where every girl can learn and lead without fear.
Inspired by Malala’s story? Great! Know any problems keeping girls out of school in your community? Which of them would you like to help solve? Let’s chat in the comments.