Nobel laureate Malala rallies nations on refugees' education
17 July 2016, 12:33
Nairobi (Xinhua) -- The 2014 Nobel laureate Malala Yousafza,
warns the world could lose future generation as the young generation,
especially girls, are facing many challenges related to the refugeehood.
In Rwanda since Wednesday, Malala says international donors and all
countries should make education a priority and should invest in refugee
She made the remarks Thursday while visiting Mahama refugee camp hosting over 49,000 Burundian refugees.
Her regional tour started at Dadaab Somalis refugee camp in Kenya, on Tuesday.
It is in part to advocate for refugees in Africa under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
While in Kigali, Malala met Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and other
government officials on Wednesday, before visiting Mahama camp, in
In the camp, the 19-year-old girl freely interacted with refugee
children and women listening to their stories, challenges and future
All the refugee children need, according to Malala, is quality education.
"Education is the only tool that can empower them but unfortunately
in this refugee camp there are many students who cannot have access to
education," she said.
Malala said the refugee girls especially in camps face many
challenges such as sexual violence, poverty-but their voices need to be
heard and their rights respected.
"Raising the voice for the young girls whether they are refugees or
not is very important, the international community, media, leaders need
to give importance to the voice of young girls, their voice matters,
they are also individuals and human beings," she said.
There are over 15,000 refugee children in Mahama camp studying in
nearby primary and secondary school but more than 2,700 do not have
chance to go to school.
Accompanied by her father and government officials, Malala said she
was impressed by the courage and ambitions after listening to the
But she noted it was unfortunate that some refugee children are not able to acquire quality education due to limited funding.
There are over 60 million refugees of whom 22 million are not able to go to school, according to the UNHCR.
activist for female education rose to international fame in 2012, when
she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for her criticism of the
Taliban and advocacy of girls' education.
She celebrated her birthday last year by opening a girls' school for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
The 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time magazine featured Malala as one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World."
Aged 17 at the time, she became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.
July 12 was declared "Malala Day" by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2013 to coincide with her birthday.
Refugee girls expressed hope that Malala's advocacy would make their voices heard.
Rwanda Government officials and UNHCR also believe Malala's visit
could bring more funders on board to support education for refugees.