When most 18-year-olds receive gifts on their birthdays, Malala Yousafzai used her birthday to give to other girls her age. And she didn’t just give any gift, she gave the gift she treasures most — the gift of education.
NPR reports that Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban while returning home from school in 2012, celebrated her 18th birthday on Sunday by opening a secondary school in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. According to the Malala Fund, the school, located near the Syrian border, will serve 200 Syrian refugee girls between the ages of 14 and 18.
NPR reports that the Malala Fund’s blog explains how the new school will work, saying “‘the new curriculum will enable students to receive their baccalaureate or vocational degrees through the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education or the Syrian equivalent,'” while those who cannot commit to the four-year program can enroll in “‘skills courses intended to help them find work and generate their own incomes.'”
A fierce education advocate, Yousafzai vowed to continue her fight for girls’ education into her adult life, saying last week at Oslo’s education summit that “‘As an adult, you can be the voice of children.'”
Malala, you are the definition of inspiring.