February 20, 2013 | Education, Violence Against Women

Your Letters to Malala

You sent generous donations—and told how her bravery inspires you.

In February, as the good news continued to roll out of England—Malala was recovering well from brain surgery, Malala had left the hospital—countless Americans were moved to contribute to the cause championed by this Pakistani 15-year-old. Back in October, Malala Yousafzai was shot point-blank by the Taliban because she wrote a widely read blog that called for the education of girls.

In response, the Women in the World Foundation and Angelina Jolie partnered to create in Malala’s honor a special fund on behalf of girls’ education. The $150,000 raised to date was recently given to the Malala Fund, a unique charity set up by non-profit Vital Voices; the fund will be administered by Malala herself when she is fully recovered.

With such a generous outpouring, we had to share with you some of the letters we received. Read ‘em—and cheer.

"Malala is truly an inspiration for the world," wrote Donald Skiver of Huntington Beach, California.

"The pen and voice are mightier than the sword," said a woman from North Carolina.

"Deeply moved by the event; I am a staunch advocate for women's education, particularly in Africa. Although still a college student, I strongly encourage all such efforts in any way I can," wrote Yale undergrad Metabel Markwei, a native of Ghana.

"Every woman deserves the right to be educated, as all people do," said a woman from Indianola, Iowa.

"I am in awe of this girl's bravery and tenacity… A world that is better for women is a world that is better for everyone," wrote a man from Whitman, Massachusetts.

"Malala is a true role model for young women and men everywhere," said June Perrone of Washington D.C.

"Each year I ask my children and wife, instead of a gift for my birthday to make a donation to the charity of my choice. How many shirts can one guy have?" wrote Solomon Turiel of Weston, Connecticut. "And of course I make out my own check as well.  What better cause than to honor Malala Yousafzai. Please do not let the world forget this girl."

"So happy to help," said Lila Igram from Austin, Texas.  Igram’s own organization, Connecther is currently hosting a Message of Hope campaign, to encourage people to send get-well messages and letters of support to Malala. Learn more at https://www.connecther.org/gitw/gallery?tab=malala.

There was the extraordinary group of high school girls at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis who sold wristbands reading "♀ Let’s Educate. #passion" and donated the proceeds to Malala’s cause. They made an amazing video, too. Watch it at http://vimeo.com/54675044

Likewise the young women at the Westover School in Connecticut were "touched...by the story of Malala…and her bravery in speaking out for the education of girls," wrote a school official. In honor of Malala, the students donated a portion of the money raised at their Human Rights Festival. "Their hope is that they will support you in the realization of Malala’s dream and perpetuate the global cry for equal education for girls."

Eighth-grade students in the Gifted and Talented program at Mount Olive Middle School in New Jersey worked "endlessly"  to raise money for their own Malala Fund on behalf of "the cause Malala fought so hard for." 

Finally, we had to mention the girls from the Dominican Republic who raised money for their school field trip—and then donated the funds to Malala’s cause. They also made stickers reading "Yo Soy Malala" (I am Malala) to distribute in their community.

To make your own donation in honor of Malala to educate girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan, go to  https://donate.womenintheworld.org/page/contribute/malala-yousafzai