Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, has announced the first grant of $45,000 from the Malala Fund for girls’ education to an unnamed organisation in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The grant has been given to support the education of 40 girls, aged five to 12, who would otherwise be forced into domestic labour.
“Announcing the first grant of the Malala Fund is the happiest moment in my life. I invite all of you to support the Malala Fund and let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls,” the 15-year-old said in a video message for the Women in the World summit in New York.
The video was introduced by Hollywood star and U.N. special envoy Angelina Jolie, who also pledged a donation of $200,000 for the fund. “Here’s what they [Taliban] accomplished. They shot her point-blank range in the head and made her stronger. The brutal attempt to silence her voice made it stronger,” Ms. Jolie said at the summit.
Malala, who now attends Edgbaston High School for Girls in Birmingham, set up the Malala Fund following the Taliban’s assassination attempt back in October 2012.
The fund is run by a board of trustees, including Malala and her family, with the support of the Vital Voices Global Partnership, founded by former US secretary of state Hilary Clinton.