Today’s headlines heralded the good news of Malala’s release from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB). She will continue her rehabilitation at her family’s temporary English home before undergoing cranial reconstruction surgery later on this month or early next month (Malala Yousafzai Leaves Queen Elizabeth Hospital 2013).1 In the three months that Malala was at QEHB, she became like Pakistan’s sweetheart. Ziauddin said this of his daughter, ‘She is not only my daughter… She is the daughter of Pakistan and I am only the caretaker’ (Khan 2012).2
This blog is just one example of how the Pakistani people are not the only ones who adore her. “Her voice is the voice of people of Pakistan and all downtrodden and deprived children of the world” (Malala Yousafzai Status Updates 2012).3 The world seems to be taking the attack on Malala very personally.
Funds for Malala
As of November 16, 2012, a total of £9,982.13 [roughly, $16,000]* has now been donated to the QEHB Charity. This fund was set up soon after Malala arrived in Birmingham due to the overwhelming response of people interested in donating to show their support. Although the QEHB Charity is associated with the hospital, it is an independent entity. It provides “funding for facilities and equipment not normally available on the NHS, such as patient and family welfare, educational projects and research” (Malala Yousafzai Status Updates 2012).3 Once she is well enough, Malala will decide what to do with the money raised in her name.
Other groups have also raised funds for Malala. One of these groups is a team of graduate students from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. They have raised almost $50,000! (Malala Yousafzai Family Fund 2013)4
*Based upon a 1.607 exchange rate.
How to Donate
There is still an opportunity to donate to Malala. For those interested in doing so, this author would recommend donating to either of the following charities. If you are in the UK, the QEHB Charity is still accepting donations. In the US, you can donate to Vital Voices online or Text BRAVE to 27722 to give $10.
Cards, Letter, Or Gifts
You may also be interested in writing to Malala. She has already received thousands of letters from those around the world– including one from this author. Although she has received many notes, there will never be such a thing as an excess of kind and encouraging words.
For anyone interested in sending a note to Malala, you can mail it here:
c/o Pakistan Consulate Birmingham
2-26 Constitution Hill
Birmingham, B19 3LY
Last, But Not Least, Prayer
Ziauddin recognizes that people of different faiths are praying for his daughter. He considers it a blessing to have a daughter who has been prayed for not only by other Muslims, but also Christians, Hindus and Sikhs. He is thankful for the prayers and the support (Khan 2012).2
In this video (published on November 12, 2012), Ziauddin expressed his gratitude for all of the support they have received.
If you feel inclined, I urge you to join us in praying. Here are some suggestions for what you can pray for:
- Pray to thank God for her Malala’s survival and excellent strides made in her recovery.
- Pray for continued support and protection for the Yousafzai family while they stay in England, but especially for when they return to Pakistan.
- Pray for Ziauddin’s work as the special adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Global Education.
- Pray for wisdom and discernment in how to utilize the funds raised.
- Pray for justice and equality for Malala and girls just like her around the world.
It seemed apropos for my inaugural series of blog posts to be about a revolutionary girl who got her start as a blogger. Through this experience, I feel as though she has become like a dear friend and I look to her as though she were my little sister. As such, I am one of her biggest cheerleaders and I will undoubtedly follow her story as it continues to unfold.
My kindred feelings towards her are connected to my own educational aspirations and accomplishments. As a woman who has earned a Master’s degree, I am acutely aware of what a privilege that that was and the responsibility that comes with it. I am standing on one side of the educational spectrum– a place where she will stand one day.
In the recent political landscape in the US, there has been a lot of talk about the “99%.” The reality is that in comparison to the rest of the world many of us are not the “99%.” What makes us wealthy is not only the balance in our bank accounts, but also our access to clean water, health care, education, democratic due process, so on and so forth.
The weight of our own problems, let alone the world’s problems, can seem overwhelming. I know that when I get overwhelmed it is easy to become immobilized. I begin to ask myself, “But, what can I do?” When I am feeling discouraged, I am reminded by the words of Mother Teresa, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Needless to say, Malala inspires me. Is there any limit to how far she can go? Is there any limit to where any of us could go?
What the Taliban does not understand is that the forces of what is good, right, and just are unstoppable. Malala said it best, “They cannot stop me. I will get my education if it is in home, school, or any place. This is our request to the all world. To save our schools. To save our world. To save our Pakistan. To save our Swat” (Ellick 2009).5
I would like to encourage you to look deep into your heart and to start figuring out ways that you can help. You may have already decided to donate to Malala or to write her a letter. You may want to discover ways that you can give back in the community where you live, work, and play as well.
There may be opportunities to volunteer at a school or after school program near you. There may also be ways get involved with helping organizations like the Rotary club, Girl Scouts, or Boy Scouts. If your church, synagogue, or mosque has an outreach program for tutoring, you might like to get involved with that. Or maybe you would like to volunteer to teach dance or to give piano lessons? Do you have any books, laptops, desktops, or anything along those lines that you no longer use that you would like to donate? You can donate them to your local school, charity, or library.
There is no limit on the ways that you can get involved. Whatever it is that you decide to do, there is no “small” gift, because it all adds up! Do not wait, do it now. If you want help brainstorming ideas on how to give back, email me at email@example.com or leave a comment below.
May God bless our efforts– and multiply them!
- Malala Yousafzai Leaves Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 2013. BBC 2013 [cited January 4 2013]. Available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-20908439. [↩]
- Khan, Hameedullah. 2012. Malala is the ‘Daughter of Pakistan’ 2012 [cited December 18 2012]. Available from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2012/10/2012101223418610967.html. [↩] [↩]
- Malala Yousafzai Status Updates. 2012. 2012 [cited December 10, 2012]. Available from http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/news/malala-yousafzai-status-updates.htm. [↩] [↩]
- Malala Yousafzai Family Fund. 2013. 2013 [cited January 4 2013]. Available from http://www.indiegogo.com/FriendsofMalala. [↩]
- Ellick, Adam B. 2009. Class Dismissed. The New York Times. [↩]