By Hannah Alper, Canadian activist, youth blogger, speaker, and ONE member
On April 12, 2017, I was proud to attend Malala Yousafzai’s official ceremony where she received her Honourary Canadian Citizenship from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She is the youngest person to receive this honor and has been my role model for many years now.
Malala recently joined in ONE’s #GirlsCount initiative and is “number one” in the organization’s effort to count all 130 million girls who are out of school. She reminds me that I am never too young to change the world, and inspires me to be brave and be a change maker just like her.
After receiving her distinction, I had the opportunity to sit down with Malala and have a conversation about youth empowerment, equality, education and more. Here are some of the highlights of our interview:
On the potential of girls:
“I soon realized that a girl’s voice is powerful and it can bring change in the community.”
“I think people often say that youth is [are] the future, and that their education and their well-being will affect each and every one of us. I think considering youth as the future is one side, but also accepting them as the present.”
“There are many children across the world – more than 130 million girls who can’t go to school – and if we do not speak out for them, they will be a generation lost. They will never get this opportunity and this is something we should consider an emergency. We should not ignore it. This is the time that we speak out for it now. We tell our leaders – we tell our local politicians – that we want you to focus on education.”
Watch the full video below and stay tuned until the end where Malala and I have a fun surprise!