The brave Pakistani school girl, Malala Yousafzai s, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt on her life last year, was recently honored with the Children’s Peace Prize for her exceptional work in promoting education for girls in his troubled homeland.
The 16-year-old accepted the prize in the historical Knights’ Hall in The Hague on behalf of all the children in the world who are trying to go to school.
The prestigious award was also dedicated to parents who are overcoming fear and intimidation - of cultural opposition – to give their sons and daughters the chance of an education.
This is sometimes not easy in a country life Pakistan, where clerics often dictate what children should be taught.
Malala, as she prefers to be called, was 15 when she and two of her friends were attacked on their way home from school in Pakistan’s northwest Swat Valley.
She miraculously survived a gunshot wound to her head and now attends school in England after being flown there for treatment.
Malala harked back to the attack that turned her into a household name in her native Pakistan.
“…in Pakistan, the Taliban use terror and stop girls going to school,” she said on accepting the prestigious award. “I was just one target for their violence.”
The Children’s Peace Prize is awarded annually by a Dutch foundation to honor the achievement of an inspirational child activist.
This sought after award carries a prize of $137,000 that this year will be invested in education programs and projects for girls in Pakistan.
Malala is a courageous girl who speaks against the Taliban not fearing what could happen to her, her family, relatives and others in Pakistan.
This world needs a lot more girls like Malala.
Malala says Taliban used bullets to silence her but failed.
“With Malala’s words and strong communication skills, she positively raises awareness to the fact that all children have the right to education in a safe environment,” says a statement from Kids Rights.
Malala was only 11 when she started blogging under a pseudonym for the BBC about her love of learning and Taliban oppression in Pakistan, especially its ban on educating girls in her area.
A gunman shot Malala on a school bus taking children home from school.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for this.
Malala was treated in a hospital in England and now lives in Britain with her family.
Since the attack Malala has gained world-wide recognition for her work.
There is already an online petition seeking to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize.
This petition has already garnered 300,000 signatures.
She is the youngest person ever to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
It remains to be seen whether this petition will be successful.
Everyone should have the right to reach their full potential.
Malala has become an inspiration to young people around the globe.