malala spent her birthday changing the world

Superstar education activist Malala Yousafzai spent her 18th birthday promoting education and opening a school for girls.

by Hana Beach
Jul 13 2015, 10:13pm

photo courtesy creative commons

While most teenagers spend their 18th birthdays buying lottery tickets or piercing their belly buttons, Nobel Peace Laureate and all-around inspiration Malala Yousafzai spent her first day of adulthood opening a school for Syrian refugees in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. The Malala Yousafzai All-Girls School and its innovative curriculum will help 200 displaced Syrian girls receive baccalaureate or vocational degrees, as well as provide skill courses designed to help the students find jobs and generate their own incomes.

Yesterday's opening was the culmination of the Malala fund's #booksnotbullets campaign, which asks world leaders to invest $39 billion dollars in education. According to the Malala Fund Blog, this money is equivalent to eight days of military spending and can ensure that every child gets 12 years of free education.

Malala's big 1-8 marks the third annual Malala Day, so it was only appropriate for the new school to open its doors on a day that celebrates the heroism of its founder. In 2012, Malala became the face of education advocacy when she was shot by the Taliban for fighting for her right to an education. The young activist is also the subject of the upcoming documentary He Named Me Malala, which is set to release late October. Malala may have officially become a woman, but she'll remain a powerful advocate for children everywhere. 


Text Hana Beach
Photo courtesy Creative Commons