As I’ve often said, I very much believe the children are our future. Teach them well, I’ve often said, and thereafter watch them lead the way. I also very much believe when the night falls the loneliness calls. And that you should give me one moment in time.
Look around the world of social work, you see how undereducation knackers people almost completely. How adults struggle with the basics of reading and writing, how they work shitty jobs or no jobs at all, how their confidence takes a dive, how they don’t value education because it did nothing for them, how they pass that on to their kids. Look around the world of the rest of the world, you’ll see how undereducation knackers everything almost completely and how male dickheads are stopping millions of girls getting an education. UNICEF agrees with me here, as it so often does, pointing to the links with child labour, sexual exploitation, the spread of HIV and AIDS, child mortality and other awfulnesses. Get girls into education, you grow educated women. That’ll be why the dickhead men aren’t so into it.
You’ll recall how Malala Yousafzai is a 15-year-old girl from the Swat District of Pakistan. Back in 2009, when she was 11 and the Taliban were banning girls’ education and blowing up their schools, she blogged for the BBC’s Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl under the pseudonym of Gul Makai. She wrote about how her dad’s school was slowly emptying, how her English teacher couldn’t make it in because of a curfew, how she got death threats on the way home. Clever as she was, brave as she was, she gave up her anonymity to feature in Adam Ellick and Irfan Ashraf’s documentary, Class Dismissed, which, you should be warned, includes shots of corpses left in the streets after the Taliban was done with them. Malala did a few interviews speaking out against the Taliban’s repression, got known for it, and in October 2011 was nominated for the Children’s Peace Prize. In October 2012, as she sat on her school bus after finishing an exam, she was shot in the head by some Taliban prick. Their spokesman called her activism “a new chapter of obscenity” and threatened the media for its unsympathetic accounts of their attempted assassination of a schoolgirl because what they lack in humanity they also lack in self-awareness.
Malala survived. The single bullet passed through her head and neck and stopped in her shoulder, not far from her spine. She was in a coma for days, passing through hospitals in Pakistan on her way to a specialist place in England. She regained consciousness after her arrival there and started her long recovery. She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and last month returned to education, starting her GCSEs in a school in Birmingham on her way to becoming a doctor and/or politician. She is so many kinds of awesome you can’t keep count of it all.
In her honour, and working with her and her family, Vital Voices Global Partnership set up the Malala Fund to campaign for and enable girls’ education. In April, Malala announced the fund’s first grant, paying for the education of 40 girls in the Swat Valley. It was, she said, the happiest moment of her life. I assume being named as the Chazza of the Month bumps it to second place. Like she says in that video up there, “Let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls”. You can help her with that by donating to the fund as close to immediately as you can manage.
27 Apr 2013 5:14 pm