Malala Yousafzai 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee

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The Child Advocacy Hall of Fame is proud to announce Malala Yousafzai as our 2017 Inductee. Malala was born in the summer of 1997 growing up in the Mingora area of Pakistan where she became a passionate voice and advocate for children's education as a child herself. Despite several stern warnings from the Taliban to cease and dessist her child educational advocacy efforts, Malala continued on, ignoring their warnings to stop. In the fall of 2012, Malala was targeted by a Taliban hitman on her way home from school 


 Malala was educated in a school her father founded in Pakistan's lush Swat Valley, once famous for its festive outdoor events before the Taliban moved in and tried to take control of the region. The Taliban did not agree with access to education for girls and tensions began in the fall of 2008, when at age 11, Malala gave a heartfelt speech titled "How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education."


 Before Malala's 12 birthday, she began corresponding via the Internet with the British Broadcasting Corporation regarding her plight with access to education for girls and children in a region suffering with ideological hostilities and domestic unrest with the Taliban. As Malala's outspoken activism grew to an ever wider global audience, her anonymity as a blogger was lost. Malala received a nomination for an International Children's Peace Prize when she was 14 years old and received the Pakistan National Youth Peace Prize that same year. 


 In 2011 Malala' s family got word of a contract put out by the Taliban targeting Malala for her advocacy for children's education. Malala did not worry about her own physical safety, only the safety of her family, especially her anti-Taliban activist father. In early fall of 2012, on her way home from school, a Taliban hitman stormed the bus and demanded at gun-point to know who Malala was. As others turned towards Malala, the Taliban gunman opened fire hitting Malala in the head receiving a near mortal wound, placing her in a coma for weeks teetering on brink of life and death.


  The assassination attempt left Malala in a medically induced coma in the ICU, then flown to two separate hospitals for multiple surgeries ending up in England for most of her recovery.  Once Malala was in the United Kingdom, she was taken out of a medically induced coma. Though she would require multiple surgeries—including repair of a facial nerve to fix the paralyzed left side of her face—she had suffered no major brain damage. In March 2013, she was able to begin attending school.  Malala survived to become a global symbol of courage "in the face of death" and as an international advocate of education for all children. Malala has opened several schools, won numerous awards, addressed the United Nations and is changing the lives of children throughout the middle east and beyond.


  The attempted assassination of Malala by the Taliban resulted in a worldwide outpouring of support which snowballed during her recovery. Malala Yousafzai took to the podium and gave a famous speech at the United Nations on her 16th birthday in 2013. Yousafzai has also written an autobiography, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, released in October 2013.  To this day, the Taliban still considers Yousafzai a target. Malala was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. In 2014,  Malala was nominated again and won, becoming the youngest person in world history to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.


 Thank you Malaya for your sacrifices and unwavering courage in the face of death for what you believe in and advocating for children's access to education. We are honored to have you as our 2017 Child Advocacy Hall of Fame Inductee.