First Lady Michelle Obama Calls on World Leaders to Match Courage of Malala
The First Lady, Michelle Obama, gave a moving keynote address at the third annual Global Education First Initiative event. Michelle’s speech focused on providing quality education for all girls across the world. Obama challenged world leaders to match the courage and commitment of girls who are fighting for their right to education.
I’m thinking about girls like Malala. I’m thinking about those brave girls in Nigeria. I’m thinking about all the girls who will never make the headlines who walk hours to school each day, who study late into the night because they are so hungry to fill every last bit of their God given potential.
Universal education is a Millennium Development Goal that the United Nations had committed to achieving by next year, but as the year ticks away it is unlikely to achieve the goal. Michelle stressed that quality education for every child and the empowerment of women and girls needs to be on the post-2015 deadline agenda. The speech ended with her again calling world leaders to action by reminding leaders of the girls who are sacrificing so much just for the chance to get an education.
If we can show just a tiny fraction of their courage and their commitment, then I know we can give all of our girls an education worthy of their promise.
Malala Yousafzai Featured in Windows For Peace Project
A museum staff member in front of Malala’s Peace Window
The Peace Museum in Vienna Austria has teamed up with local business to open a new exhibit, the Windows for Peace Project. The project uses windows in the Museum as well as local businesses in downtown Vienna to feature influential figures throughout history that have devoted their lives and careers to peace.
The project has chosen over 150 “peace heroes”, including Malala Yousafzai. The project opened this June, and will continue to expand over the next two years. The Vienna Peace Museum hopes that people who stop and look at the windows will be inspired to integrate peace into their daily lives. The Museum and window sponsors are aspiring to “change the world into a better, more peaceful place, one window at a time.”
If you’d like to know more about the project you can visit their site here
Pakistan’s army said on Friday
authorities had arrested a group of Taliban militants responsible for
shooting Malala Yousafzai, a teenage activist who was targeted for her
campaign against Taliban efforts to deny girls education.
Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for shooting Malala in
2012 for her passionate advocacy of women’s right to education but no
one had until now been arrested. Two other schoolgirls were wounded in
Asim Bajwa, head of the army’s press wing, told reporters that 10 attackers had been identified and arrested.
The Impact of Education in a Developing Country: My Experience in Namibia
Primary students in the computer lab
The Malala Fund works with local partners in developing countries to ensure education for all children. Currently Malala has projects in Pakistan, Jordan, Nigeria, and Kenya. However, there are still 66 million girls out of school around the world. The governments of many developing countries are working on enrolling and retaining all children into the school system, and this summer I was able to witness an education system in the midst of this battle.
In July, I took the opportunity to study abroad in Namibia with the University of Maryland’s iSchool. The trip enabled me to see first hand the impact a successful education and library system can have on a developing country. Namibia, located in Southern Sub-Saharan Africa, is a developing country that achieved independence in 1990. Before independence, the country was a part of South Africa and endured the oppressive and damaging policies of Apartheid. The post-apartheid government immediately began to address the inequalities the country faced, including the education system.
A student answering a question
Namibia has been striving to reach all 8 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals since the 2000 Millennium Summit. Goal two is to achieve Universal Primary Education by 2015. Namibia believed that education was the cornerstone to reaching many of the other Millennium goals. While I was in the capital city I was able to visit and talk with members of the Ministry of Education, as well as visit multiple primary schools in varying economic areas of Windhoek. Girls and boys were mixed in the classrooms at all ages.
The country successfully increased the number of girls that finished schooling by addressing the issue of teen pregnancy, and fighting the social norm of girls remaining home to help with housework. The country also faced a problem with children in rural areas since they had to travel far distances to reach a school. This was a deterrent to attendance and retaining students, especially since many students had to be boarded by a relative or family friend. To combat the disparities between rural and urban regions, the country increased access in rural areas by training more teachers and building more facilities. As a result, in 2013 almost all children were enrolled in primary school and the country is on target to achieve 100 percent literacy rate among youth.1
Designing bookmarks in the Oshana Regional Center
Namibia also addressed the lack of access in rural areas by partnering with IREX and the Millenium Challenge Account to build Regional Study and Resource Centers. The centers provide residents with access to library and information services, which is critical to improving the lives of Namibian citizens and enabling them to access information on agriculture, health, economics, finance, workforce development, and education.2
Programming for Secondary students
During my trip I was able to collaborate with staff to design and implement programming for primary and secondary school students. Our group held programs at the Ohangwena Regional Study and Resource Center and the Oshana Regional Study and Resource Center. We designed programming for young learners in kindergarten through 3rd grade that focused on library resources. We also designed programming for 12th grade students on how to apply to jobs and colleges, and on interview skills.
Overall, the trip to Namibia opened up my eyes to how important education is in a developing country and truly helped me place Malala’s story in context. Malala almost lost her life in her fight for education, and she has now committed her life to helping other children in developing countries achieve their potential and receive an education. The bright minds of the children I met and worked with in Namibia proved to me just how important it is to continue supporting countries and organizations, such as the Malala Fund, that are working to provide resources and an education for all children.
A group of talented 12th grade secondary students who are a part of the education revolution in Namibia
UW-Madison News reports on use of Go Big Read book on campus
Malala speaking to the United Nations in the Summer of 2013
The University of Wisconsin-Madison News site released an article this morning entitled, “Campus community reading ‘I Am Malala’ as semester begins.”
The article discusses why Chancellor Becky Blank chose the book from a list of possible books with a theme on service. The Chancellor told the 5,500+ incoming freshmen and transfer students at convocation that “Malala’s story is about the value of doing something – anything, even when it’s scary and even when you’re not sure it’s the exact right solution -rather than sitting around feeling hopeless.”
The article also talks to members of the campus community that have chosen to use the book this fall. Over 35+ courses have decided to use the book in their course material. Disciplines range from anthropology, English, enviornmental studies, nursing, political science, and education.
A group new to the Go Big Read program is the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions. The group was established to promote mutual understanding and civility among Jews, Christians, and Muslim after tensions arose following 9/11. To learn more about the different courses and groups participating in Go Big Read this year read the entire article by following this link: Campus community reading ‘I Am Malala’ as semester begins
October 15, 2014
March 11, 2015
4:00-5:30 pm Union South I Am Malala
Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
Book discussion led by the UW Women Deans
“When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At seventeen, she has come a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I Am Malala is her remarkable story.”
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