Malala Yousafzai has used her voice to encourage world leaders to pledge $1.4 billion this year to help educate Syrian refugee children!
According to Buzzfeed, the activist was speaking at the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference in London on February 4, where she mentioned that 700,000 Syrian children in refugee camps were out of school. The conference, which was co-hosted by the UK, Germany, Norway, Kuwait, and the United Nations, hoped to raise billions of dollars in aid.
At a press conference, Malala told BuzzFeed that education was important especially for girls, who were often forced into early marriages. “Most of these girls in the refugee camps are kind of a burden on the families; the families force them to get married at age 12,13,” she said. “So it’s key they get education – it’s not just learning, but in a way a protection for them, for their independence, for their own personality, to have that identity of being themselves. Because once they get married at such an early age, they do not get the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and go forward in their lives.”
Malala was accompanied by Mazoon Almellehan, a 17-year-old Syrian refugee who lives in northern England now. Mazoon also campaigned for girls’ education throughout her three-year stay at two refugee camps in Jordan, noting issues with education inside refugee camps. “Many girls think that education is not important. They think if I get married, that will give me my future and protect me in my life,” the teen said. “Without education we cannot do anything. Who will rebuild the country, who will bring peace? We need education because Syria needs us.”
In addition to fundraising, Malala stated that these European countries should do a little more to help welcome more refugees.“If you welcome more refugees it’s going to help more, but also we should not forget supporting the refugees who are already in the host countries,” she said. “On one hand we see there’s a debate about whether European countries should welcome Syrian refugees or not, but on the other hand people are forgetting about the people who are already refugees in the host countries – and that’s really disappointing because there’s lack of funding in terms of education and other facilities.”
I’m optimistic that these children will receive the education that they need and deserve!
Image via Climate Change News