Malala Fund launched to help girls go to school

December 10, 2012 7:43:57 PM PST
A plan to motivate girls around the world to enroll in school was launched Monday by the United Nations and Pakistan. The fund is named for Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old Pakistani activist who was shot by the Taliban. There is another fund created by Silicon Valley to help the cause as well.

One of Malala's quotes is, "Education is our basic right." Those words have inspired a lot of people to help educate girls around the world. There are two funds set up to help achieve that goal. One was organized by the UN and the Pakistani Government and the second is a private funded with roots in Silicon Valley.

The Pakistani Government donated $10 million to the Malala Fund for girls' right to education. That will help the UN with its goal, to ensure that all girls have access to schools by the end of 2015.

"I want to become a doctor. That is my dream, but my father told me I had to become a politician," said Malala.

Malala is the 15-year-old Pakistani school girl activist shot by the Taliban in October. She is recovering in a hospital in England.

"The idea that a girl, simply for going to school or wanting to go to school, was shot by the Taliban is just so unspeakable," said Gordon Brown, the UN special envoy for global education.

Brown says Malala would be a worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her cause to educate all girls got the attention, of Washington-based Vital Voices, which promotes extraordinary women and girls around the world.

"When we first heard about the attack on Malala, we were outraged, but I think more than that we were inspired. We were inspired by her courage, her leadership, her voice," said Alyse Nelson from Vital Voices.

Vital Voices reached out to other partners including those in the Silicon Valley. One of them is Google X vice president Megan Smith. An estimate 32 million girls around the world don't have access to an education.

"Just wasting the talent of your country. All over the world, there are children who are not in school or don't have access to learning or education. It's one of the greatest challenges of the 21st Century is to have that stop," said Smith.

Together they created the Malala Fund. It will be up to Malala, her father and a small board to decide how to use those funds.

Malala has certainly inspired many young people.

"I have a right to sing, I have the right to talk, I have the right to go to market, I have the right to speak," said Malala.

The song "Richochet" was written by 12-year-old Lafayette resident Samantha Martin in honor of Malala. Two days ago Malala's father emailed Samantha saying, "I and Malala watched the song and I could not control my tears."

All the proceeds from that video will go to the Malala Fund.

In case you were wondering, Google X is a top secret lab, developing new projects and robotics.

The Malala Fund says:
Text BRAVE to 27722 to give $10 to the mGive Foundation Malala Fund-Vital Voices.

Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 27722 to STOP. Text HELP to 27722 for HELP.


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