Education activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has not stopped giving back to her community or fighting for the rights of young girls around the world to get an education. The teen recently marked her 18th birthday by opening a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
In 2014, Malala became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She earned that honor for her bravery and activism in her fight to help girls get an education. Malala not only fought for her own education, but she regularly campaigned for the rights of all young girls to go to school. Because of her activism, Malala was shot by the Taliban in 2012 while riding a school bus. But even that bullet did not stop her. In fact, you could say that it only reinforced her desire to fight.
Malala now lives in England with her family, but she continues to be the face of education for young girls around the world — and for defiance of any system that would deny that.
The Malala Fund, a nonprofit organization set up and run by Malala, will support the new school — which is located in the Bekaa Valley, close to the Lebanon/Syria border. More than one million Syrian refugees are currently living in Lebanon and while the country reports that there are about 500,000 Syrian school-age children in Lebanon, only a fifth are actually enrolled in school. Malala's school will provide an education for as many as 200 girls aged 14 to 18.
“Today on my first day as an adult, on behalf of the world’s children, I demand of leaders we must invest in books instead of bullets,” Malala said in a speech.
And when asked what advice she had for the girls who would attend her school, Malala answered through tears, “They are amazing, I don’t think they need any message, I don’t think they need any other advice because they know that education is very important for them.”
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