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July 11, 2013 / Man in the Mirror

Killed for going to school

The young women were heading home from college in Pakistan when the Taliban firebombed their school bus, burning 14 of them alive. The survivors were rushed to the hospital, where another bomb went off, injuring their friends and the nurses who came to help. 

Sometimes out of the deepest darkness come our brightest lights. In the face of this horror, 15-year-old Malala has dared to campaign for girls education in Pakistan. She was shot in the head for it last year, but she survived, and with almost 1 million of us behind her, she helped win a new government policy to put all Pakistani girls in school! 

But she’s not stopping there. On Friday, Malala will speak at the UN to propose a new global goal: to put every child on the planet in school. Her request is shockingly doable — with experts saying it would cost the same as just two nuclear power plants! In the next 72 hours, let’s show world leaders that Malala has millions of us behind her as she appeals to them to act, and turn Taliban horror into powerful new hope — education for all: 

Malala will present our campaign to the UN Secretary General on Friday, and work with an army of youth delegates around the globe to lobby the UN Security Council to pass a resolution recognizing the global education crisis and listing concrete steps to promote education for all. Then we’ll help them take the message to capitals around the world, until governments write cheques and change policies. 

Here are top lines from the plan:

  • guarantee equality for girls and marginalized youth disproportionately denied education
  • provide rigorous training for teachers
  • increase education funding with higher aid from donors and all countries better targeting their spending to close the gaps and guarantee every child has at least 9 years education

Getting every child into school may sound ambitious, but it’s actually entirely achievable with a moderate increase in international financial support of $26 billion, and will yield massive benefits for the future peace and prosperity of our world. Let’s seize this moment and momentum, and make it happen 

When Malala was shot, our community rallied to her support and helped build an effective strategy to advance her cause, working closely with the UN Envoy on Education, Gordon Brown, to press the Pakistani government to announce a stipend programme to get all kids into school. Let’s do it again now, and make the Malala magic work across the world. 

With hope and determination, 

Mia, Diego, Ricken, Alex, Anne, Dalia, Pascal, Wen-Hua and the entire Avaaz team


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