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Friday, April 5, 2013

Malala Yousafzai Announces Grant for Girls’ Education

Malala Yousafzai announced the Malala Fund’s first grant to provide girls’ education in Pakistan.

Malala Yousafzai, the teenaged Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 because of her activism for girls’ education, has announced the first grant in an international fund set up in her name.

The $45,000 grant will go to supporting the education of 40 girls in the Swat Valley in Pakistan, where Ms. Yousafzai grew up, through an organization and a community that is not being named because of security reasons, a press statement said.

Ms. Yousafzai made the announcement through a video message broadcast at the start of the Women in World Summit in New York City:

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.

Last October, Taliban attackers shot Ms. Yousafzai in the head. The teenager received medical care in Britain and recently resumed her studies there.

After the shooting, the Malala Fund was established by Vital Voices Global Partnership, a non-government organization that works for the empowerment of girls and women, as well as other international organizations and individuals.

The fund’s first grant will help to support education for the girls, aged 5 to 12, who would otherwise be forced to work to support their families or who might be at risk of entering the labor force instead of going to school. It will provide uniforms, shoes, learning materials and a stipend for their families, the statement said.

Video showing Ms. Yousafzai announcing the start of the fund

Ms. Yousafzai spoke about the start of the fund in February in a video, and in another she encouraged people to raise their voices for girls’ education.

In what is a sign that girls’ educations is still under attack, a 41-year old female schoolteacher was gunned down late last month in an attack that recalled the one on Ms Yousafzai.

Follow Christine Hauser on Twitter @christineNYT.