Malala Yousafza, education campaigner, MiNDFOOD favourite and all round inspiration marked her 18th birthday by opening a school for Syrian girls.
The school in Lebanon’s Beka’a Valley will welcome up to 200 displaced girls ranging in age form 14 to 18 years of age.
Speaking to Reuters in a room decorated with butterflies, Malala said, “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.”
Yousafza was initially brought to the world’s attention after being shot by the Taliban. Despite her girls’ education advocacy work being the reason she was targeted, she has continued defiantly on her mission.
Over 1.2 million of the 4 million refugees that have fled war-ravaged Syria live in Lebanon, with over 500,000 being school aged children. Of these, only one fifth are currently attending school.
The new school was paid for by The Malala Fund, Yousafza’s non-profit organisation. It’s hardly a surprise that this young woman, still in her teens, is the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Happy Birthday Malala!