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Kind List 2021

Malala Yousafzai

She's working for a world where every girl can learn and lead

Malala Yousafzai has a heart of gold. Just ask her best friend and former university housemate, YouTuber Vee Kativhu, who shared a touching anecdote about the inspiring activist.

"My best friend Malala is an incredibly kind person who always shows up for the people she loves and the people around the world who she stands for," Vee told HELLO! "Her integrity, honesty and kind heart are among many of the things I both admire and love about her.

"One of the examples where she showed me kindness is with the birth of my book. I was doubting myself while at university about my dream to write a book. When I pitched the idea to her, she immediately made sure to encourage, uplift and brainstorm with me. She knew how scared I was and became the strength I needed when my imposter syndrome was kicking in.

"She handles her role in people's lives as friend, sister, daughter and advocate with care and consideration. I do not know someone who is more selfless, inspirational and kind" - Vee Kativhu, Malala's friend and former university housemate

"We stayed up late that night until 3am thinking of book titles and fleshing out what I would include in there, all while she made me tea and provided the digestive biscuits that fuelled our brain energy. Now fast forward two years later, I have written the book and she stood by my side doing proofreads, late-night reading sessions and now providing the quote for my book, Empowered.

"She handles her role in people's lives as friend, sister, daughter and advocate with care and consideration. I do not know someone who is more selfless, inspirational and kind."

Malala has a remarkable story, but as she sadly states, it is "not unique" but "is the story of many girls". The Pakistani activist has been campaigning for female rights and education ever since she was a teenager. Her horrific shooting by the Taliban aged 15 only encouraged her to fight harder for vulnerable girls around the world and she continues to do so through her Malala Fund.

Her organisation, whose motto is "working for a world where every girl can learn and lead", has committed to ensuring girls have access to 12 years of free, safe and quality education. It was created in 2013 and works in regions where the most girls miss out on secondary education, primarily Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

Her efforts were celebrated in 2014 when, aged 17, she became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner for her fight against the suppression of young people and for the right of all children to access education.

Currently, the Malala Fund has put an extra emphasis on making sure girls continue to learn despite school closures due to the pandemic. The fund is working to re-enrol girls in school, to support teachers with resources and training, to protect girls' physical and psychological well-being in the classroom, and much more.

"Our goal should not be a return to the way things were but instead a renewed commitment to the way the world should be, a place where every girl can learn and lead," Malala states.

See the full Kind List here

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