Girls’ Education, Cows and The Nobel Peace Prize: Participate in Your Life

A few posts back I talked about our giving to Heifer International. During our conversation about giving, we talked about the many ways we could give. We could buy animals. We could help dig wells. We could sponsor a child to school. Miss S, my 5 year old girl, listened intently as we explained that in some places girls didn’t get to go to school to learn their abc’s or learn to read.

“They don’t get to go to school mom?”

“No baby girl, not everyone gets to go to school.”

We finished our conversation about giving and just before we closed, Miss S, with baby doll on her lap, said, “Mom, we need to send those girls to school. School is important.”

Today as I have read about Malala getting the Nobel Peace Prize, I have thought about my daughter’s comment, her desire to help, about my own belief that education can change the world. I am so inspired by Malala and her determination for something so good and life-changing.


Several excerpts from her talk stood out to me.  She says, “This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change. I am here to stand up for their rights, to raise their voice. It is not time to pity them.”

Not only was she accepting this award for herself but for all those who still wanted the opportunity. They say that when one of us rises, we all rise together. For me, this attitude of inclusiveness, or the village attitude as I call it, is one of the attributes of a visionary.

Another excerpt from her talk really hit me as truly participating in her own life. She decided what she wanted, an education and the ability to choose to do something beyond the four walls of her home, and then she was not dissuaded from it. She made a deliberate choice to speak up about education for girls – a topic that generated unwanted attention and an eventual assassination attempt by the Taliban. She has since recovered and says, “I had two options — one was to remain silent and wait to be killed and the second was to speak up and then be killed. I chose the second one. I decided to speak up.”

Such courage and determination, I believe, create a synergy that is not easily dismissed. Today I am amazed and profoundly respectful of this women and her courage.

To read more about her speech today, check here and here. To learn more about the Malala Fund,  to help educate girls in her region of the world, this might be helpful. And last, a good background articles on her is here.

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