Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 29th 2014 Contents B5
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Dear sisters and brothers, on
this Malala Day, I am honoured.
I am honoured to be here with
brave children, students, teachers,
social activists, and Nigerian peo-
ple.Last Malala Day, I was in New
York, in the big hall of the United
Nations General Assembly. This
year, I chose instead to turn 17
on the soil of Nigeria.
And I chose this for a purpose
which is to honour and celebrate
the strength of the children in
Nigeria, and children across the
world who are deprived of their
basic right of education. I thank
the Nigerian people for their
warm welcome. You are an
incredible, strong nation. You
work every day to fight against
your challenges through your
unity, resilience and determina-
Dear brothers and sisters, last
Malala Day, I told my story. I
spoke about my life in the beau-
tiful valley of Swat in Pakistan.
I spoke about the rise of terrorism
and the ban on girls education
there, in my hometown. I spoke
about the Taliban s attack on my
life, an attempt to silence me
And now I will repeat, I will
repeat what I said last year, that
nothing changed in my life except
this: weakness, fear and hope-
lessness died, strength, power
and courage was born.
When I was shot by the Tal-
iban, the world stood up. "I am
Malala" was the cry that I heard
all around the world.
I received thousands of good
wish cards and letters from peo-
ple. And I believe that God saved
my life because of people s
Today, this Malala Day, I am
not here to tell my story. Because
I am not the only one who has
been a target of extremism; there
are hundreds and thousands of
Malala stands up for kidnapped Nigerian girls
children who are suffering and suffering
from terrorism and violence and do
not have any access to education.
I speak for those children whose
right to safety, health and quality edu-
cation has been snatched from them.
I speak for the 66 million girls who
are out of school.
This Malala Day is the day for edu-
cation of every child and is dedicated
to my dear, dear, and dear Nigerian
sisters who are going through the same
brutal situation which I suffered
through in my past. I dedicate this day
to my sisters in Nigeria.
I will begin with a story. I am here
to tell you about a story about a girl
whom I met yesterday. I am really sorry
that I cannot mention her name, but
I will call her my sister.
My sister comes from the Nigerian
village of Chibok. She is 16 years old.
One day, when my sister was in school,
some armed terrorists, known as Boko
Haram came and tried to steal her
dreams. They kidnapped her. But she
was one of those luckiest ones who
escaped from the abduction.
Before that her father got killed and
her mother and sister got injured in
the unstable situation in the north of
Since this attack, because of inse-
curity and poverty, she can no longer
go to school. And her favourite subject
is biology and she wants to become a
Every day, Boko Haram raids nearby
villages to terrorise the local people.
Over 200 girls were kidnapped and
still have not returned. Next week, it
will be 100 days; 100 days since they
were taken; 100 days in captivity; 100
days out of school; 100 days without
parents; 100 days under fear.
Dear sisters and brothers, not only
in Nigeria, but in the situation all
around the world especially in the Mid-
dle East countries, African countries
and Pakistan is getting worse every
day and children do not have access
to education. And their studies are
Around 57 million children are out
of school; 10.5 million children in Nige-
ria do not have access to education.
Around 400 girls in total are abducted
by Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Seven million children in Pakistan
are deprived of education. And about
900,000 people are homeless in Pak-
istan. In Pakistan, they had to leave
their homes for their safety as there is
a military operation going on against
terrorists because of which many chil-
dren now do not have any access to
education and they are out of school.
Girls from Syria who were once in
school and learning, now live in a camp,
and struggle to understand a new life
as a refugee. While the world is stand-
ing silent, doing nothing and the chil-
dren in Syria are becoming a generation
Because of conflict between Gaza
and Israel, people are badly affected
and children on both sides are suffering
and recently many children died
because of air strikes in Palestine,
Yes, sisters and brothers, issues are
countless. But I am here to tell you my
birthday wish on this prestigious occa-
sion and to ask the responsible people
to listen to the voice of the Nigerian
girls and their parents for whom I am
This birthday is not a kind of cel-
ebration where I will be having an
enjoyment and eating cake and those
things. This birthday I want to celebrate
it, standing up with my Nigerian sisters
and their parents, who are right here
Thank you so much for coming here.
Thank you so much for coming here,
both my sisters and their parents,
because I know there will be many,
many people who will be coming
towards you and asking you questions
and doing interviews. I know that your
life is badly affected and these girls
they have escaped from the kidnapping
and they need some time to just sit
quiet and just enjoy their life, just to
relax for a little while, but they have
sacrificed their time for this purpose
that they want to tell the government
to listen to their voices, listen to their
voices and see to their wishes.
Thank you so much. Thank you. You
are standing for those girls who are
still under the abduction. Thank you
for supporting me. And Malala Day.
Malala Day is a day where we all
stand together for those that are voice-
less. For those that are voiceless and
must be heard. But for things to change
it must be a day of action.
TOMORROW: The conclusion of
Malala's speech in Nigeria.
Pakistani schoolgirl MALALA
YOUSAFZAI came to
international attention in 2012
when she was shot by Taliban
gunmen because she spoke up
for the right of girls to be
educated. Her story inspired the
world and she was nominated
for the Nobel Peace Prize in
For her 17th birthday, Malala
visited Nigeria where she spoke
about the ongoing struggle girls
have in receiving education. She
also spoke in support of the
girls who have been kidnapped
by the terrorist group Boko
Haram. Following is the first
part of her speech.
Malala is visiting T&T under
the auspices of the UTT and will
make appearances across the
country on July 30 and 31.
Guardian Media Ltd is the
official partner for the visit of
shows that she's
campaign to free
the kidnapped girls
from captivity by
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