Do you remember Malala’s story from my last column? Malala Yousafzai is the 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban after speaking out in support of girls' rights to education. I’ve been thinking about her a lot. Before Malala’s story, I knew that some girls couldn’t go to school in some parts of the world, but I never really thought about it. After I heard about Malala, I realized what a problem going to school is for some girls around the world.
It bothered me that I felt like I couldn’t do anything to help Malala. With my parents’ help, I decided to contact Ms. Jennifer Sanborn from the Women’s Education Worldwide group. I asked her if she had any ideas about what I could do to help Malala. Ms. Sanborn told me “going to school each day with energy and enthusiasm is the best gift you can give girls around the world without privilege.”
Her suggestion made me think about how I start my days before school. In the mornings, I usually don’t feel like going to school because I’m so tired. My alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m. I spend the morning trying to wake myself up while getting ready for school. Finally, I leave my house at 7 a.m. to catch the bus.
Now when I wake up, I try to remember what Ms. Sanborn told me I should do to help Malala and girls like her who don’t have the freedom to go to school. I am still slow to move, but I know that I am fortunate to be able to go to school. I think about how Malala would be really happy to just have to wake up early and go to school. I think she would feel lucky to only have to worry about feeling tired.
I learned online that Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, which is taking care of Malala, updates her progress every day. The updates are available online at www.uhb.nhs.uk/news/malala-yousafzai-status-updates.htm.
People from all over the world are sending cards and packages to Malala. She received a lion from a zoo that wrote in a note that she is as brave as a lion.
I believe people should send cards to her because she deserves them. She risked her life fighting for girls to have the freedom to go to school. Malala should know that we care about her and what she is fighting for. It would be cool if she got stacks of mail from Westlake and Bay Village, Ohio. If you are interested in sending something to Malala, the address is:
c/o Pakistan Consulate Birmingham
2-26 Constitution Hill
Birmingham, B19 3LY
I think that Malala symbolizes the women and girls all around the world who are trying to make a difference in their country. She is definitely as brave as a lion and someone who is an amazing role model for people everywhere.
Fifth-grader at Bay Middle School