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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Tag: Malala Fund

The Bravest Girls in the World

In 2014 Glamour magazine created The Girl Project. The Girl Project is is a philanthropic global initiative that raises money to help young women all around the world receive a secondary education. The goal is to help the fifty million girls around the globe who are denied the right to an education.The Girl Project addresses the barriers girls face in pursuing an education by creating a way for women in the United States to support the education of girls all around the world.

Our readers were energized by Malala’s bravery and wanted to know what they could do to help courageous girls like her. Educating girls is proven to grow communities and even cut out the roots of terrorism. The fact that a group of women in, say, Des Moines can send a girl to school in Pakistan is one of the most optimistic acts I can think of, and we’re proud to partner with these knowledgeable organizations to help make it possible.

–Cindi Leive, Glamour Editor-In-Chief
The Girl Project highlights the stories of these brave girls, calling them Girl Heroes. To read their stories click here. To find out more about The Girl Project click here.

All Girls Deserve Free, Quality Education

Malala met Amina in Nigeria this past summer and found out they have quite a bit in common. Both stood up for their education in countries where girls’ education is under attack. Both girls are now advocates for girls’ and children’s education. And now both girls are demanding that world leaders vote for 12 years of free, quality education for all children in the world when they meet this September. In particular they are fighting for all women and girls to be educated. Far too many women are only educated through primary school. Malala and Amina know this is not enough

When we imagine the power of all our sisters standing together on the shoulders of a quality education — our joy knows no bounds.

 –Malala and Amina
For more information click here.

Shiza Shahid’s keynote talk is now available online!

People of all ages and backgrounds anxiously waited in line Monday night for the chance to hear Shiza Shahid speak about her experiences with Malala and her background as an activist. Varsity Hall quickly reached capacity, but auditorium doors were opened so that those who could not fit could still see and hear Shiza and over 700 viewers from home watched the live steam of her speech.

Shiza’s speech left the audience captivated, whether it was from the emotional videos she shared, or her own personal stories of triumph and heartbreak. The crowd was taken on a journey of this inspirational young woman’s life and when her story was complete she left the crowd with this parting advice, “We [all] have our struggles. We [all] have our fears, By
saying ‘I am Malala,’ we promise to try and be stronger than those
fears, than whatever is holding us back. I want you to remember, you are
Malala.” The crowd erupted into applause and gave Shiza a well deserved standing ovation.

If you were busy Monday night or even just want to
experience the talk again it is now available online, posted as a link below. A
captioned version will be available next week and I will be placing it
on this blog when it is ready.

Malala Yousafzai Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Malala Yousafzai and children’s right activist Kailash Satyarthi were jointly awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize today. The Nobel Prize board announced that Malala and Kailash were awarded “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

The Taliban took over the Swat region of Pakistan where Malala lived in 2008. The Taliban immediately began closing schools for girls. In 2009 Malala began her fight for education. Malala was only 11 when she began anonymously blogging for the BBC about her struggles to receive an education and the fear she lived in everyday. That same year she came forward and announced who she was. Malala publicly criticized the Taliban for not allowing girls to go to school. All Malala wanted was an education.

Two years and one day ago Malala was shot in the head by Taliban men on her way home from school. The world was shocked that a child who was only 15 had been so callously and cruelly attacked. Malala’s assassination attempt brought international attention to Malala and her cause.

Malala had a long road of healing ahead of her, but she never forgot about her fellow Pakistani classmates who were still fighting to receive an education. Malala and Shiza Shahid created the Malala Fund, an organization dedicated to helping all children receive an education. Malala had every right to be angry after her attack, but instead she said “I don’t want revenge on the Taliban. I want education for sons and daughters of the Taliban. Malala, who is only 17, is the youngest ever recipient of a Nobel Prize.

Malala has inspired an education movement that brings together people from all across the world. Her work through the Malala Fund is truly making a difference, and she has no plans of slowing down. I for one expect nothing but greatness in Malala’s future.

Comment and let me know what your favorite Malala quote is.

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

sources:
1. Namibia’s Vision 30 Document
2. Irex’s Regional Library development