Last Malala Day I told the world my story at the United Nations. This Malala Day, I have come to Nigeria to honor the stories of the brave girls who have sacrificed so much to get an education and achieve their dreams.
I am here for the girls and boys still suffering through terrorism and violence, not allowed to go to school. For the hundreds of girls here still in captivity, and the 66 million girls around the world who are not in school.
This Malala Day is dedicated to my Nigerian sisters who are going through the same brutal situation which I went through in my past and all girls who face oppression, intimidation and violence in their efforts to simply go to school.
These girls are on the frontlines of a shameful assault on education. Too often the world has abandoned girls like them. Girls like me.
I came here to hear and share their stories. Not just in Nigeria, but in Afghanistan, Yemen, Niger, Palestine, my home of Pakistan, and the list goes on. Girls — and often boys — face incredible obstacles to simply go to school.
I was honored to meet some of them yesterday, and after listening, sharing and crying together, we have a message:
We will not be silent while our Sisters in Nigeria and around the world are targeted in this war on education. Together we are stronger than oppression. We are stronger than violence. We are stronger than fear. We have a right to an education and we will prevail. We will see the return of our innocent sisters in Nigeria, and that they and all children will be able to go to school. We are stronger than those who stand in our way. Stand with us, and together we will win.
But as strong and determined as we are, we cannot do this on our own.
These girls in Nigeria must know they are not alone; we will not forget those still in captivity. We need you to stand with us.
This morning I gave my second Malala Day speech, not in the halls of the UN, but among my new friends and allies in Nigeria. I couldn’t be more honored.
In that speech I asked citizens of the world to choose, in this moment, to join us. Add your name to our statement now to let us know we are not alone. We will not let hatred drown us out. We will not be silenced by fear.
Today is also a moment for celebration. There are still 57 million children out of school, but this number is shrinking thanks to the dedicated work of activists, the drive of communities and political will.
When we come together we can solve the education crisis. We face great obstacles, but here’s the good news: Together, We Will Win.
Stand together with me and my Nigerian friends today, by signing on to our statement here: www.change.org/StrongerThan
Stronger With You,