Real Life Superhero Malala Yousafzai Donates $50,000 Prize Money To Rebuilding Gaza Schools

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Malala Yousafzai at the White House (via Wikipedia)

Much of the news is depressing and cynical,but this is not. Malala Yousafzai just won a ton of money for her human rights advocacy, and she’s giving it all away to help children in Gaza rebuild their schools. Of course, anyone who has been following her story knows that this sort of display of compassion is no surprise.

On top of recently being given a Nobel Peace Price, Malala has just been named the winner of the World’s Children’s Prize and with it a check for $50,000. She’s donating all of it to rebuild schools in the war-torn Gaza Strip.

Speaking at a press conference in Sweden, Malala made an inspired plea for the rebuilding process to begin in Gaza.

“This money will totally go to the rebuilding of schools for children in Gaza, so I think it will definitely help those children to continue their education, to get quality education,” she said. “We already know how children have suffered in Gaza from conflicts and war, so those children need our support right now, because they are going through many difficult situations.”

Her donation couldn’t come soon enough. According to estimates made by the Palestinian Authority, the destruction in Gaza from the Israeli assault is close to $8 billion.

Rebuilding Gaza will cost $7.8 billion, the Palestinian Authority said on Thursday, in the most comprehensive assessment yet of damage from a seven-week war with Israel during which whole neighborhoods and vital infrastructure were flattened.

The cost of rebuilding 17,000 Gazan homes razed by Israeli bombings would be $2.5 billion, the Authority said, and the energy sector needed $250 million after the Strip’s only power plant was destroyed by two Israeli missiles. [source]

Schools were at times specifically targeted by Israeli forces, who accused Hamas of storing caches of weapons and supplies within them in the hopes of avoiding Israeli airstrikes. Hamas, and humanitarian organizations on the ground, denied that this was the case, but many schools were leveled. Gaza, being destitute even before the invasion, are now left with almost nothing, not even the money to begin to rebuild.

Malala at just 17 years old has been exceptionally busy. At 14, she put herself at great peril when she began to publicly speak out against the Taliban and their bans on the education of women. She continued to speak out even after learning that she was being threatened with death. Since surviving a Taliban ordered assassination attempt in 2012, she used her international platform to rail against discrimination towards women in all countries in a speech at the U.N. and told President Obama – himself a Nobel Peace Prize winner – to start sending books and not bombs into Pakistan. She’s unwavering in her advocacy of education for girls, especially in regions of the world where there is little opportunity for women to learn.

Winning the “World’s Children’s Prize” is a bit misleading. It is not an award typically given to children, but rather adults who have helped children. Malala is the rare person who qualifies as both advocate and child. As such, she is only the second actual child who has had such a profound impact on the lives of other children that the organization saw fit to give her the award. The first child winner? Anne Frank, who won posthumously.

If you want to see humanity at its best, look no further than Malala’s interview with Jon Stewart. In 2013, she went on The Daily Show to speak about her life and the issues she fights for. Stewart, normally unshakable, is left speechless and teary eyed during several moments. Defiance in the face of ignorance and cruelty, it’s a beautiful thing to behold.

 Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info