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26 Dec Courage Over Fear – Malala Yousafzai

 

There are many of us that see education for what it really is – a key to the future. Admirable and also the truth, education is that and so much more. Malala Yousafzai is among the very select few that would risk everything to ensure that education is always a priority.

Born July 27, 1997, in Pakistan – Malala is the daughter of a family that believes just as she does in the power of education. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai would run schools in her hometown to ensure that the local children had access to education. Her father often mentions memories of his baby daughter stumbling into the classes at a very young age only to take on the role of a teacher – clearly, education was an ingrained part of Malala’s DNA.

Young as she was, Malala was adamant on her right to education. She faced a massive injustice at the hands of her oppressors and with the help from her father; at her tender age of 11, Malala spoke up against them on Pakistani television in an effort to dismantle their hold on the area. Her exact words being, “How dare they take away my basic right to education? “.

The wave of change took hold, and this pivotal moment sparked a passion within Malala. Over the course of the next few years, the effort of her and her father together for education earned Malala the Pakistan National Youth Peace Prize and she was the voice of change. However, this wasn’t the sentiment shared by all, and on the fateful day of October 9th 2012, the 15-year-old Malala was shot three times on a public bus.

To say this was life-threatening would be an understatement, the severity forced authorities to airlift her to a military base and then to an intensive care unit in Birmingham, England. Thankfully she suffered no brain damage and in late March 2013, Malala returned to school in England. Inspired by her story and her recovery, Malala was granted the podium in New York at the UN where she voiced her opinion on Education and its importance.

Malala Yousafzai

Credit:Reuters

“This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change.”

She kept up the pace for her advocacy to education and at 17, she was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace. It is only because of her incredible story that Pakistan announced the very first Right to Education bill. The now 21-year-old is a household name for her great work. She is a published author and has been featured on shows with Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, both of whom believed her to be the bravest person they’d come across. She merits the influence she has to her message. Malala is a firm believer of love and peace especially with something as important as education, and incorporates these values in her message for change.

Malala is now the vessel of inspiration for Education through the ‘Malala Fund’. The organization she co-founded with her father to bring about educational reform worldwide. To say she put her life on the line for education is a serious understatement. Malala Yousafzai is a true hero to humanity and her work continues to make the world a better place.