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Malala Fund for education set up
 
 
 



PARIS/LONDON  - President Zardari on Monday announced the formation of ‘The Malala Fund for Girl’s Right to Education’ throughout the world and Pakistan.Pakistan and Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) signed a historic MoU to establish this fund with the support of international community, and Pakistan announced $10 million dollars as seed money for the fund.The MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was witnessed by President Zardari as Education Minister Sheikh Waqas Akram and UNESCO Director General Mrs Irina Bokova inked the document at the UN’s Paris Headquarters.The event was held in connection with ‘Stand up for Malala – Stand up for girl’s right to education’ conference being held here to promote girl’s education and to mark International Human Rights Day.Addressing the conference, President Zardari said Malala Yousafzai was the symbol of a progressive Pakistan and was attacked by the forces of darkness. “Two months ago... a young determined daughter of my country was attacked by the forces of darkness. Malala stood for the right to education, not just for herself but for a bright, progressive future of Pakistan.”He also said that it was ‘deeply moving’ for him to meet Malala in the hospital on Saturday. “Her recovery is a symbol of resilience of my great nation. It is also a symbol of the battle between two mindsets – the one of Malala Yousafzai representing a bright progressive future of Pakistan which is the agenda of the democratic political forces of Pakistan and the other being forced on us by the minority of darkness, violence, hatred and conflict.”He said the government is committed to root out terrorism which is the main hurdle in the way of girls’ education in Pakistan. “I have no doubt that our resolve to provide education to all is the best strategy to defeat the forces of violence,” he said. The president added that there was a need for long term political reforms which were the key to education.President Zardari said Pakistan is not only working for promotion of girls education but is also raising its voice at the international level. Paying tribute to Malal for her services, he called upon other governments, donors, politicians and educationists to help so that it can be ensured that “every Malala” in receives quality education and contributes towards a progressive Pakistan and peaceful world.In a message read by a girl at the conference, Malala thanked her supporters and well-wishers and vowed to keep struggling hard. “Today is the happiest day for me because the honourable president of Pakistan and the Unesco are here to help the poor and uneducated children,” the message read.Malala added that she had received thousands of cards full of good wishes and a lot of gifts but a greater honour for her would be education for all girls. “The sooner all deprived children go to school, the sooner I will get better.”Organised jointly by Pakistan and Unesco, the conference is being held to pay tribute to the teenage education activists who was attacked by the Taliban who are bitterly opposed to girls education. As for the Malala Fund, it will consist of a revenue account and other modalities for managing funds for programmatic activities for the betterment of girl’s education.Under the MoU, the main aim of the Unesco is to reach out to ensure the education for girls within the framework and in line with the objectives and priorities of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Initiative on Education and the Unesco Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education.The programme will achieve the goals of improving access for girls at all levels of education, improve the quality and relevance of basic education to ensure that educational contents, teaching practices and learning environments are gender-sensitive and eliminate school-related gender-based violence.Indian director Amjad Khan on Friday announced that the next project he will work on will be a biopic on Malala Yousafzai, while a US diplomacy official in Pakistan recently written and sang a Pashto song “Jenaiy”, which means “girl”, as a tribute to the teenager.On the other hand, the father of Malala has been named a UN special adviser on global education, UN envoy Gordon Brown said on Monday. Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala’s father, is a former teacher and headmaster and has been appointed to help in what Brown has dubbed a new ‘Malala Plan’ to get all girls into school around the world by the end of 2015.Brown added that the 15-year-old schoolgirl, who is recovering in a British hospital after being brutally attacked on her school bus on October 9, will herself join the campaign when she is better. Brown is also pushing for Malala’s birthday, July 12, to be designated a day of action each year when children around the world are invited to march, demonstrate, petition and pray for education to be delivered worldwide.“Before she was shot, Malala was advocating the cause of girls’ education faced by a Taliban that had closed down and destroyed 600 schools,” said the former British prime minister, now UN special envoy for global education. “If the Taliban sought to vanquish her voice once and for all, they failed.“For today her voice and her insistent dream that children should go to school echoes all around the world, as girl after girl, each wanting all girls to have the right to go to school, identifies with Malala.” Brown added: “In time Malala herself is determined to join the campaign for every girl’s right to education and when she has recovered she will do so, becoming one of the leaders of that campaign.”In an attack that shocked the world, Malala was shot in the head as punishment for the “crime” of campaigning for girls’ rights to go to school. She survived the murder attempt but requires reconstructive surgery after the bullet grazed her brain, coming within centimetres of killing her. President Zardari on Saturday visited Malala at the specialist Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and met with members of her family.

 
 
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