A teenage girl who risked her life to fight for access to education for girls worldwide will next week receive the 2013 International Children’s Peace Prize – which includes a €100,000 project fund sponsored by AkzoNobel.
The award, set up by the Dutch KidsRights Foundation, will be presented to Malala Yousafzai in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Friday, September 6, by Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman.
Malala (16), became widely known when, aged 11, she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC highlighting her passion for school and the oppression of the Taliban in Pakistan. Following a targeted attempt on her life by the Taliban, Malala was severely wounded and fled to England, where she now lives and goes to school.
“We share the opinion of KidsRights that every child should have the opportunity to develop his or her talents,” said AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner. “We are therefore delighted to be supporting this fantastic initiative, which demonstrates our commitment to making a positive difference to communities around the world. The bravery and determination shown by Malala in highlighting her passion for education is truly inspirational and she is thoroughly deserving of the 2013 award.”
The AkzoNobel Children’s Peace Fund prize (which was first sponsored by the company in 2012) will be made available for projects that aim to improve access to education for girls in Pakistan.
Last year, former street child Kesz was presented the prize by Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu, patron of KidsRights and the Children’s Peace Prize. The 2012 prize fund is being invested in a range of projects designed to improve the welfare of street children in the Philippines.
“The winners of the International Children’s Peace Prize have proven that any child is able to change and to move the world. Each one of them has successfully fought to solve problems such as child slavery, poverty and the lack of access to education and healthcare,” explained Marc Dullaert, chairman and founder of the KidsRights Foundation. “Each of them has successfully fought to solve problems such as child slavery, poverty and the lack of access to education and healthcare.”