Elisabeth is Action Against Hunger's senior communications officer, reporting on our impact and current events around the world.
#2030NOW: Imagining a Socially Good Future
Melinda Gates. Al Gore. Sir Richard Branson. These are just a few of the A-list thought leaders who convened at this week's Social Good Summit, a three-day conference where big ideas met new media (generating a tidal wave of tweets under the hashtag #2030NOW) to create innovative solutions. But it was one petite, pink-outfitted teenage girl whose voice was perhaps heard loudest of all: Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating for girls' education. Malala lived to tell about it, and to advocate even harder for girls.
Malala came to the Summit to launch her Malala Fund, her official organization focused on helping girls go to school and raise their voices for the right to education. "When I see the love and support of people," Malala told the crowd, "I forget about the incident. My dream is to see every girl educated, especially in countries like Syria. That's why we organized The Malala Fund."
“It seems a dream now. But one day it will be reality.”
—Malala Yousefzai, on getting every girl an education
It's a message that struck a chord, as I sat thinking about the work we do at Action Against Hunger to save children from acute malnutrition. I was reminded of some beautiful letters we recently received from children at Serewo Primary School in Kapenguria, Kenya. A little girl named June, who boards at the school, recounted just how hard it was to learn while she was hungry. "We do not have enough food," she said. "We only eat once a day. Only lunch. We don't even drink anything at breakfast, and there's no supper. We sleep hungry."
It's little girls like June, and bigger girls like Malala, who remind us how important the fuel of food is in promoting education. Without access to good nutrition, kids can't focus on what they're learning. And that's a big reason why we work with schools and communities in more than 40 countries around the world to ensure kids don't suffer and die from preventable, treatable malnutrition.
In summing up her remarks at the Social Good Summit, Malala spoke of giving every girl the chance to learn. "It seems a dream now," she said. "But one day it will be reality." I hope she's right, and I hope the same can be said for giving every girl (and boy!) the chance to be healthy. With your support, we can do it!