An average teenage girl might wish for shoes, clothes, or a new iPhone on her 17th birthday, but Malala Yousafzai is anything but average.
Malala, who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for standing up for girls’ education, said that her birthday wish is to “bring back our girls now and alive."
A Quick Recap
It has been three months since 276 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from the town of Chibok by members of the terrorist group Boko Haram. The kidnappings illustrate Boko Haram’s beliefs against girls’ education and the westernization of Nigeria.
Some of the girls have been freed, or were able to escape, but more than 200 girls still remain captive. Efforts to bring back the girls have been launched worldwide, with support from celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Michelle Obama. Malala has also voiced her support for the girls.
Malala celebrated her 17th Transcorp Hilton hotel. She pledged to bring the girls, who she sees as her “sisters,” home. "I'm going to participate actively in the 'bring back our girls' campaign to make sure that they return safely and they continue their education," Malala promised.
Malala told the parents that she understood the grief and worry they must be feeling, and that her birthday wish was to bring their daughters home.
Malala’s three-day trip will no doubt bring much hope and strength to the parents of the girls. Malala’s trip will include meetings with top officials, such as President Goodluck Jonathan. She also promised to listen to ideas about how to ensure the safety of all Nigerian girls.
In addition to her birthday, Malala will also celebrate Malala Day in Abuja, Nigeria at a dinner held in her honour.