What does a Nobel Laureate do for her 19th birthday? Visit a refugee camp, of course…
“Yes, all girls—girls here in this camp and girls who return home. Girls who fear violence in their classroom and girls who are forced to marry young. Girls in every corner of the world, poor or rich, white, brown or black, Christian, Muslim or Hindu, yes, all girls are important in this world.
We should not ask children who flee their homes to also give up their dreams. We must recognize that the young people in this camp are future leaders on whom we will all depend for peace.
My sisters and I believe that all girls, everywhere deserve 12 years of free, safe and quality education.
But the world is not listening today.
The world fails to recognize that it’s not these children’s fault that they are refugees. The world fails to understand that for any country to recover it is essential to invest in its future generation. The world fails to learn that the education of refugee girls and boys is as important as the education of their own children.
Even worse, I have been to the summits where the refugee crisis is discussed, where deals are made. But I didn’t see you there. I did not see you getting the opportunity to tell the world what you need to build a better future for yourselves, your family and your country.
We will not accept a world where decisions about our future are made in rooms girls cannot enter.
We cannot talk about peace without your voice.”
Raise your voice. Celebrate the voices of girl leaders. Happy Birthday, Malala!