What does courage, strength and perseverance look like? What does it mean to fight for a cause near and dear to your heart?
Malala Yousafzai is the picture of all of the above – she is a Pakistani activist for female education. Born on July 12, 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan, Malala has won a number of awards, amongst them being the co-recipient for the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of only 17. She is the youngest Nobel prize winner, and received her award on October 10, 2014. Her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and her advocacy for all children’s right to an education is what put her in the international spotlight.
She has also been the recipient of the Mother Teresa Memorial Award, given to individuals and organizations that promote peace, equality and social justice through international advocacy. Curious about all of Malala’s awards? Check them out here.
Malala’s story is an extraordinary one. Malala spoke out against the Taliban in 2008 as a ghost writer for the BBC (she needed to protect her identity) explaining life under Taliban control. After reading Malala’s blog for the BBC, The New York Times featured Malala and Ziauddin in a short documentary about their life and fight to protect girls’ education in the Swat Valley where Malala was raised. The Taliban targeted Malala due to the world’s increased awareness of her and her good deeds. A masked gunman boarded Malala’s school bus and asks for her by name. Malala is shot in the head, neck and shoulder. Two of her friends are also hurt in the gruesome attack.
Malala survived this attack but had to be sent to a UK hospital for multiple surgeries and months of recovery. Read more about Malala’s story.
Malala gives a lot of her time and life to raising awareness of the terrible treatment that the people under the Taliban regime experience and girl’s right to an education. There are different ways that you can honour Malala in her quest for equality and justice in the world.
1) Donate to the Malala Fund – This organization was created by Malala and her father to allow girls the right to an education all over the world. She travels internationally to speak about education and justice for girls. You can donate to the Malala fund here.
2) Start a Fundraiser – You can gather your community, school, friends and family to raise funds for a great cause. There are over 130 million girls in the world today that are denied an education. For your birthday ask for a donation to this cause instead of gifts for yourself. Think of the difference you could make and how amazing you would feel to be supporting such an amazing cause!
3) Host a Screening of the Movie “He Named Me Malala” – This documentary is the life of Malala. Help raise awareness of free, safe and quality education for girls.
4) If there is a cause that is near and dear to your heart, tell the world! – Don’t feel as though your voice will not be heard. Malala has taught us that you’re never too young to speak up and fight for whatever it may be that you feel strongly about. Her voice has had an incredible impact and she is only one person. If she can do it, why can’t you? She has inspired so many people to believe in themselves and fight for what is right. It’s not only about raising money that makes a difference. You can make a difference by speaking up and doing something about an issue that you see is unjust in this world.
5) Join Malala in waging a war against illiteracy and terrorism – Pick up your books and pens and fight for the rights of girls, for all children ,to be able to have an education in a safe environment.
I would like to end this post by sharing one of Malala’s most inspirational quotes and one that resonates with the title of this blog post:
“Kindness can only be repaid with kindness. It can’t be repaid with expressions like ‘thank you’ and then forgotten.”
To spread kindness we need to share kindness. When someone does something kind for you, repay that person with kindness. You don’t have to wait to receive kindness in order to spread kindness. Kindness is necessary in our world to keep the peace, spread love and share joy. Let us not forget to be kind to one another and give of ourselves however we may be able to. It’s not only about money. There are many ways to make a difference in the world without spending a dime. Remember that. Your voice and your actions are powerful resources for change.
Make a difference today. Give something back to make a difference in the world. Join the global giving phenomenon at 365give by signing up for your free membership.