“Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.” – Malala

On her 16th birthday (July 12, 2013) , Malala Yousafzai delivered a passionate, powerful and emotionally riveting speech to a room full of delegates at the United Nations. She spoke with an air of wisdom and philosophy that outnumbers her own age by centuries but seems trivial in the scope of what this young girl has gone through in just the last year of her life.

On October 9th, 2012, a then 15-year-old, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting the right for girls to get an education in Pakistan. By the work of amazing doctors and nurses, Malala’s life was saved and she was flown to the UK for a safer recovery and to continue her education. Succeeding for herself was not the end of Malala’s fight.

A natural-born activist, Malala began her journey blogging for BBC Urdu about her experiences under Taliban rule in Swat Valley, Pakistan back in 2009. She chronicled her fear of attending school and how each day she put her life at risk just to be able to have the ability to learn. She filmed documentaries to urge the world that education is a basic right for all people.

The speech from what has been deemed “Malala Day” is puissant and makes a 16-year-old one of the bravest persons in the world.  She spoke on her attack and delivered forgiveness and hope for the Taliban and their children. She defied the idea of just wanting to spread female education as a  part of her movement and proposed that all people be given the right to learn because knowledge is the starting point to greatness.

Her bravery, resilience and efforts toward a free and compulsory education for all trail blaze across the world as a reminder that is right for one to fight for what they believe no matter if they’re standing alone. Her lack of malice and her sheer forgiveness are examples of what it takes to change the world as one fights to survive in it.

Be Inspired to Spark a Change:

Watch Malala’s speech below and help to amplify her voice by signing her petition.

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