For Her Birthday, Malala Yousafzai Wants To Pay It Forward

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Malala Yousafzai turns 19 years-old today and she's just asking for one thing — to support her mission to provide education for girls around the world. Since 2013, the Nobel laureate's organization, the Malala Fund, has advocated and created educational opportunities for girls around the world. "Secondary education is the basic human right of every girl," she says in a video. "I won't stop until every girl can go to school." There's at least $3.5 million earmarked for educational projects across six countries. The organization funds scholarships for girls who escaped Boko Haram in Nigeria, schooling for Syrian refugees, and tech training programs in Kenya, just to name a few. Still technically a teenager herself, she's found it essential to push secondary education for all. Yousafzai first campaigned for this as a 12-year-old growing up in Pakistan, where she secretly blogged for BBC Urdu about the Taliban's attempts to stop girls from attending school. Two years later, she would survive being shot in the head by a masked gunman who jumped on her school bus, looking for her. Yousafzai spent her last birthday opening a school for adolescent Syrian refugees in Lebanon, called The Malala Yousafzai All-Girls School. It's a population she's particularly concerned about, calling on world leaders earlier this year to commit $1.4 billion to educate the displaced population. "The thought that they won't be able to go to school in their whole life is completely shocking and I cannot accept it," she said of Syrian refugee children. "I'm hoping to encourage and inspire world leaders to take action. I'm not going to wait. We can't wait. It needs to happen."

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