World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Meeting Malala gives boost to creators of #GirlWithABook

FEATURE: meeting Malala gives boost to creators of #GirlWithABook project

18 August 2014

On October 11, 2012, two days after then 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai survived an assassination attempt on her way home from school in Pakistan, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the world that the abhorrent and cowardly attack exposed what really frightens extremists the most: “a girl with a book.”

Inspired by those words, two students at American University, in Washington, D.C., responded with a campaign using that phrase – #GirlWithABook – reaching out and urging the world to: “Stand with Malala Yousafzai and show the Taliban that there's no way they can stop us girls from getting an education. Ever. Post a picture of yourself reading a book or holding a sign of support.”
“The terrorists have shown that they are afraid of a girl with a book, so we stuck it to them by inviting people to post pictures of girls with books,” reads the website set up by creators Olivia Curl and Lena Shareef.

Within one month of the launch of their project last year, Ms. Curl and Ms Shareef received hundreds of pictures from around the world, including those of UN Secretary-General reading to his granddaughter, as well as UN Messengers of Peace writer Paulo Coelho, musician Midori and environmentalist/scientist Jane Goodall.

The pair then compiled the photos into a book for Malala.
Their dream came true last year when the UN Secretary-General presented their book #GirlWithABook to their favourite girl when Malala visited the United Nations on her 16th birthday on the occasion when she moved the world with her words on the importance of education.

Today, another dream came true for the two creators of the initiative when they were among the 500 young people invited to the United Nations and got to meet face to face with Malala and her father.

They were all gathered at UN Headquarters to join in on a conversation about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as a part of the UN's 500 days of action. “It was really exciting, after we brought out a copy of the photo book, that they all remembered getting the book last year. For them to make a connection between our #GirlWithABook project and the book was very special,” said Ms Curl, speaking also on behalf of her project partner.

Ms. Shareef also said on their behalf: “I'm also really appreciative for the words of encouragement from Malala and her father to continue this movement into the future. If Malala wants us to keep going, then there's no question that we will.”

The two women said they were motivated by the enthusiastic support for their works to stand up for each girl’s right to an education.
“The atmosphere was powerful and motivating, and we were really encouraged to see so many young people, most of them younger than us, participating and caring deeply about the many issues addressed by the MDGs,” Ms. Curl said.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news