Malala Yousafzai Speaks Today and Announces Malala Fund to Support Girls’ Access to Education

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Vital Voices and Partners Will Allocate Funds to Support Access to Education for Girls, Tina Brown's Women in the World Foundation and Angelina Jolie's Education Partnership for Children of Conflict Pledge $150,000 to Fund

Malala Yousafzai today spoke for the first time since she was targeted in October 2012 for her advocacy on behalf of girls’ education. Malala announced the creation of the Malala Fund, which supports the right to education for children across the world. Vital Voices has established the Fund on behalf of Malala and her family, working together with supporters of the cause including the United Nations Foundation and Girl Up, and several other organizations and individuals.

Earlier today, Tina Brown's Women in the World Foundation and Angelina Jolie's Education Partnership for Children of Conflict made a combined pledge of $150,000 to the Malala Fund.

Honoring Malala’s wishes and determination to help girls in Pakistan, the Malala Fund, through Vital Voices, will disperse a grant to an organization in Swat Valley, Pakistan that will aim to incentivize girls to attend school who are otherwise engaged in domestic work or at a high risk of entering the workforce.

Malala said in her English and Urdu statements: “I want every boy and every girl to have access to an education. I want our country—in fact, the whole world—to live in peace and security…We have started the Malala Fund for girl’s education. We want every girl to have access to an education. The Malala Fund, God willing, will build many schools filled with many teachers and a strong staff, and we hope that every child will be educated.”

Watch a video of Malala speaking for the first time since the October 2012 shooting.

Long before the October 2012 attempted assassination of Malala shocked the world, the teenage blogger from Swat Valley, Pakistan, was an activist. She wrote about life under the Taliban for BBC Urdu using the pen name Gul Makai, sharing the struggles of her family’s fight for girls’ education in her community.

Formed by a small group of committed individuals—education entrepreneurs, lawyers, teachers, business and tech leaders, engineers, innovators and NGO representatives—the fund came together in late October 2012 to keep Malala’s mission thriving while she recovers and rebuilds her strength.

Alyse Nelson, president and chief executive officer of Vital Voices, a global non-governmental organization advancing girls’ and women’s leadership through training and mentoring, said “Malala is a leader willing to sacrifice and take tremendous risks to see her vision for all girls and boys realized. We are proud to stand with Malala as she boldly reaffirms her commitment to advancing global access to education.”

Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala’s father, runs a school in their homeland of Swat Valley, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Ziauddin has been a great advocate and activist for educational change in Pakistan for many years and speaks with passion and dignity, saying:

“Malala and all other female human rights activists must be heard seriously and sincerely. If today, their voice goes unheard then coming generations will go without basic human rights and sublime values which men and women have been striving for centuries to achieve. We can’t compromise on the peace and prosperity of our future generations.”

To learn more about the Malala Fund and donate, visit MalalaFund.org.

About Vital Voices Global Partnership: Vital Voices Global Partnership is a leading non-governmental organization that identifies, invests in and brings visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. Founded by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 1997, the organization trains and mentors women leaders as agents of transformative change in economic development, human rights and political participation. The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network includes more than 12,000 leaders representing 144 countries who have trained and mentored 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities. Visit http://www.vitalvoices.org to learn more.

Malala Fund Supporting Advisors and Friends

Several organizations have come together to work with this Fund including:

Architecture for Humanity
Mobile Accord/mGive
The Office of the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education
Twitter
GLAMOUR
The United Nations Foundation and Girl Up
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Women in the World Foundation

and many supportive individuals.

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Margaux Bergen
Vital Voices
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