Killed for going to school

15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head for helping kids go to school. Now she’s fighting back, and if a million of us support her when she speaks at the United Nations this week, we can help her put every single child in school:

They’d just finished their lessons in Pakistan when Taliban militants set off a bomb that ripped through the bus, killing 14 young women. Then the survivors were bombed at a nearby hospital. Must we live in a world where girls and women are murdered just for studying?

Last year, a brave 15-year-old girl named Malala Yousafzai dared to say no — she organized local children and families to get a safe education. For that, she was shot in the head. But she survived and got Pakistan’s president to agree a plan to get more girls into schools. Now we can help her take her call global. Malala’s about speak at the UN to demand that the world commit to educating every child. If we all stand with her, she could walk up to the podium with the world at her back!

Her request is shockingly doable — experts believe we could provide a quality primary education for every child on the planet for the same amount we spend on a couple of nuclear power plants. All we need is a strong commitment from countries with the money to pay for it — click to sign the petition to help her win:

Education is in massive crisis. Donors have slashed their budgets, reversing the past decade’s gains on universal education. It’s a devastating setback but one we know we can make right. All it takes is $26 billion (that sounds like a lot but the US spends double that on nuclear weapons every year) and a commitment from world leaders.

Malala will meet with the UN Secretary General and work with an army of youth delegates from around the globe to lobby the UN Security Council to pass a resolution to recognize the global education crisis and list concrete steps to promote education for all. Here are top lines from the plan:

  • guarantee equality for girls, as well as marginalized youth who are disproportionately denied education
  • provide rigorous training for teachers
  • increase education funding with more aid from donors
  • get all countries to target their spending better so we can guarantee every child has at least 9 years education

Getting our children into school is tantalizingly achievable. We can do this! Malala’s unshakable determination — and her incredible story of beating a Taliban bullet to go back to school — make her the perfect messenger for this dream we all share. But time and again history has taught us great leaders need massive public support to make this kind of gigantic change. So let’s make sure she gets the global support she needs to make the dream come true. Sign now!

When Malala was shot, Avaaz members around the world rallied to her support, forcing the Pakistan government to announce a stipend programme to put kids back in school. We can do it again now to make sure the Malala magic works around the world.

With hope and determination,

Dalia, Pascal, Julien, Alaphia, Ricken, Ian, Sam, Luis, Wen and the entire Avaaz team

PS – Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue – local, national or global:


Reductions in Aid Jeopardise Schooling for Millions of Children (Huffington post)

Drop in aid for primary schools puts education MDG at risk (The Guardian)

Poorly-educated worst off in economic crisis (EU observer)

Malala’s global voice stronger than ever (CNN)

Education For All Global Monitoring Report (UNESCO)

The Youth Resolution: The Education We Want (draft)

Supreme Court orders probe into Pakistan’s ‘ghost’ schools (

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