Malala Day: "This is an opportunity for every young person on the planet to get together and tell the world: we will get our education." | ActionAid UK

Karen Garvin

PR and Media Co-ordinator for the Global Campaign for Education UK

Malala Yousafzai
I distinctly remember the moment, last October, when I heard on the radio that the Taliban had shot a girl on her way to school, simply for campaigning for education for girls. The whole world was shocked.

Malala Yousafzai, was flown from Pakistan to the UK for surgery. This Friday 12 July — her sixteenth birthday — Malala will make her first public speech at a youth takeover of the United Nations.

She says: “This is an opportunity for every young person on the planet to get together and tell the world: we will get our education, be it at home, in school or any place.” 

Malala is an outstanding, brave and inspiring young woman. At ActionAid we believe that there should be no difference between girls and boys getting an education.

We applaud young people around the world fighting for this right and we thought you’d like to know about a few who will be joining Malala at the UN on Friday.

Triumph over the Taliban

Zarmina Rasouli, 27, from Afghanistan.
Zarmina Rasouli, 27, from Afghanistan is one of the outstanding young people who will join Malala at the UN to work on an official youth ‘Call to Action’ to world leaders for education and ending poverty.

During the harsh five-year Taliban rule in Afghanistan, it was dangerous for women to leave their homes but Zarmina was determined to continue her schooling. She is now studying for a degree as well as working for ActionAid — particularly on girls’ education.

Zarmina has motivated many girls to come out of their homes and pursue higher education. Over the last five years, more than 300 girls have completed secondary school in ActionAid’s programme areas. Often it is through child sponsorship that girls get their very first chance to go to school at all.

Young campaigners from the UK fight the fight

Sam Whittingham and Millie Wells, both 15 from Ringwood School in Hampshire, will also be standing in solidarity with Malala in New York. Having won a national competiton to become the 2013 Young Ambassadors for the Global Campaign for Education they will be representing the 500,000 young people in the UK who have taken part in the Send My Friend to School campaign this year.

Although world leaders promised that all children everywhere would have completed a quality primary education by 2015, there are still 57 million children missing out on school. It is children from ethnic and marginalised communities, disabled children and girls who miss out most.

Watch this powerful film to see how education can make two girls’ lives so different:

What you can do

Add your voice to Malala’s — sign the petition here

Get your local school to join Sam and Millie on the Send My Friend to School campaign

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