Nobel winner Malala Yousafzai celebrated her 18th birthday by opening school for Syrian refugees and calling on world leaders to invest in “books not bullets”. The Malala Fund, a non-profit organization, founded with her father that supports local education projects, paid for the school in collaboration with Kayany Foundation in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon with whom our BOB Kids are a part of. Her father Ziauddin said he was proud she was carrying on her activism into adulthood. “This is the mission we have taken for the last eight to nine years”.
Malala took the occasion of her 18th birthday to ask world leaders to stop “failing the Syrian people”. In her speech, 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 not bullets”. Lebanon is home to 1.2 million of the 4 million refugees that have fled Syria’s war to neighbouring countries. “I decided to be in Lebanon because I believe that the voices of the Syrian refugees need to be heard and they have been ignored for so long,” said Malala in a schoolroom decorate with drawing of butterflies.
The Malala Fund also announced a grant of £161,000 toward UNICEF and UNHCR efforts to meet funding shortfalls for girls’ school in a Jordanian refugee camp. The new school is expected to welcome up to 200 girls from ages 14 to 18. Malala’s call for leaders to invest in education prompted the hashtag #booksnotbullets, with people around the world sharing photos of themselves and others reading. As a constant symbol of defiance and an advocate of girls’ rights to education, Malala Yousafzai has truly inspired a global movement! Malala noted that these girls’ “courage and dedication to continue their schooling in difficult conditions inspires people around the world and it is our duty to stand by them”.
At BOB, we are continuously amazed with the efforts of the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Happy Birthday Malala! We are so grateful for the opportunity you are giving Syrian refugee children and our BOB Kids!
"Hi, I'm Rev, 24 years old and a Master's student at Murdoch University, Western Australia. My hobbies include writing and baking of all sorts! Education has always played an important role in my life and B.O.B works towards that same goal of raising awareness and funds for the education of children in refugee camps. You get to work alongside selfless people that share the same perspective.