Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim. In the name of the God,
the most merciful, most beneficial, who is the God of all
I would like to say hello, Asalaam Alaykum, and welcome to
all of you.
Dear sisters and brothers, on this Malala Day, I am
honoured. I am honoured to be here with brave children,
students, teachers, social activists, and Nigerian people.
Last Malala Day, I was in New York, in the big hall of the
United Nations General Assembly. This year, I chose
instead to turn 17 on the soil of Nigeria. (Applause)
And I chose this for a purpose which is to honor and
celebrate the strength of the children in Nigeria, and children
across the world who are deprived of their basic right of
I thank the Nigerian people for their warm welcome. You
are an incredible, strong nation. You work every day to fight
against your challenges through your unity, resilience and
Dear brothers and sisters, last Malala Day, I told my story.
I spoke about my life in the beautiful valley of Swat in
Pakistan. I spoke about the rise of terrorism and the ban on
girls’ education there, in my hometown. I spoke about the
Taliban’s attack on my life, an attempt to silence me forever.
And now I will repeat, I will repeat what I said last year, that
nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and
hopelessness died, strength, power and courage was born.
When I was shot by the Taliban, the world stood up. “I
am Malala” was the cry that I heard all around the world.
I received thousands of good wish cards and letters from
people. And I believe that God saved my life because of
Today, this Malala Day, I am not here to tell my story.
Because I am not the only one who has been a target of
extremism, there are hundreds and thousands of children
who are suffering and suffering from terrorism and violence
and do not have any access to education.
I speak for those children whose right to safety, health and
quality education has been snatched from them. I speak for
the 66 million girls who are out of school.
This Malala Day is the day for education of every child and
is dedicated to my dear, dear, and dear Nigerian sisters
who are going through the same brutal situation which I
suffered through in my past. I dedicate this day to my sisters
in Nigeria. (Applause).
I will begin with a story. I am here to tell you about a story
about a girl whom I met yesterday. I am really sorry that I
cannot mention her name, but I will call her, my sister.
My sister comes from the Nigerian village of Chibok. She is
16 years old.
One day, when my sister was in school, some armed
terrorists, known as Boko Haram came and tried to steal
her dreams. They kidnapped her. But she was one of those
luckiest ones who escaped from the abduction.
Before that her father got killed and her mother and sister
got injured in the unstable situation in the North of Nigeria.
Since this attack, because of insecurity and poverty, she
can no more go to school. And her favourite subject is
biology and she wants to become a doctor.
Everyday, Boko Haram raids nearby villages to terrorise
the local people. Over 200 girls were kidnapped and still
have not returned. Next week, it will be 100 days. 100 days
since they were taken. 100 days in captivity. 100 days out of
school. 100 days without parents. 100 days under fear.
Dear sisters and brothers, not only in Nigeria, but in the
situation all around the world especially in the Middle East
countries, African countries and Pakistan is getting worse
every day and children do not have access to education.
And their studies are badly effected.
Around 57 million children are out of school.
10.5 million children in Nigeria do not have access to
education. Around 400 girls in total are abducted by Boko
Haram in Nigeria.
7 million children in Pakistan are deprived of education.
And about 900,000 people are homeless in Pakistan. In
Pakistan, they had to leave their homes for their safety as
there is a military operation is going on against terrorists
because of which many children now do not have any
access to education and they are out of school.
Girls from Syria who were once in school and learning, now
live in a camp, and struggle to understand a new life as a
refugee. While the world is standing silent, doing nothing
and the children in Syria are becoming a generation lost.
Because of conflict between Gaza and Israel, people are
badly affected and children on both sides are suffering
and recently many children died because of air strikes in
Yes, sisters and brothers, issues are countless.
But I am here to tell you my birthday wish on this prestigious
occasion and to ask the responsible people to listen to the
voice of the Nigerian girls and their parents for whom I am
This birthday is not a kind of celebration where I will be
having an enjoyment and eating cake and those things. This
birthday I want to celebrate it, standing up with my Nigerian
sisters and their parents, who are right here behind me.
Thank you so much for coming here. (Applause).
Thank you so much for coming here, both my sisters and
their parents, because I know there will be many, many
people who will be coming towards you and asking you
questions and doing interviews. I know that your life is
badly affected and these girls they have escaped from the
kidnapping and they need some time to just sit quiet and
just enjoy their life, just to relax for a little while, but they
have sacrificed their time for this purpose that they want to
tell the government to listen to their voices, listen to their
voices and see to their wishes. Thank you so much. Thank
you. You are standing for those girls who are still under the
abduction. Thank you for supporting me.
And Malala Day. Malala Day is a day where we all stand
together for those that are voiceless. For those that are
voiceless and must be heard. But for things to change it
must be a day of action.
Through our own organisation, the Malala Fund, we have
raised about 200,000 dollars that will be given to two
Nigerian-led organisations, Girl Child Concern and the
Center for Girls Education.
The heads of these two organisations are here with us
today, (I don’t know where they are, somewhere around
here) and I am really thankful to them for the work that they
are doing and for becoming partners with us, which will help
us to empower and to educate Nigerian girls. Thank you so
I know that my small contribution is not enough. We still
need a lot to do. But it is a start. I am just one girl. And this
is what I could do in such a short time.
But the question here is what will the adults do? What will
the responsible people do? What will the leaders do?
Dear brothers and sisters, one thing about today which
was very important was my meeting with the honourable
President Mr. Goodluck Jonathan. I met him today and I told
him that I raise my voice of my sisters. I am representing
my sisters and their parents to you today. And as you
have been elected president, you need to fulfill your
responsibilities. (Applause). Thank you. And I told him that
you need to fulfill your responsibility and your responsibility
is to listen to your people who are saying bring back our
And luckily the President did make two promises. He made
two promises to me and to you, to the people of his country.
He promised that the government will choose the best
option to bring back girls alive and safe. And the second
promise he made, the second promise he made, is very
important, is that he will meet the parents of those girls
who are abducted and I am hopeful that he will fulfill it.
(Applause). I am hopeful that the President will meet you
soon, because he made this promise to me and to you and
to all Nigerian people.
But today I am not only asking the president and the
government of Nigeria to take action, but I am also asking
Boko Haram. I ask Boko Haram to stop misusing the name
of Islam. (Applause).
I ask Boko Haram to stop misusing the name of Islam.
Islam is a religion of peace. Islam allows every girl and
every boy to get education, to go to school. And education
is compulsory in Islam. (Applause). The word Islam means
peace. And the first word that was revealed on Prophet
was Iqra, read, read, read. Islam gives the message of
tolerance, patience, harmony and humanity.
I want to tell Boko Haram. Think about your own sisters, just
think for awhile, think about your own sisters. If they suffer
through the same brutal and harsh situation how would
you feel, feel if your sisters are homeless, if they are under
the captivity of someone that are so violent and cruel, how
would you feel. Those who are under your imprisonment are
like your sisters. Islam gives a message of brotherhood. We
are all sisters and brothers (applause). You are misusing
the name of Islam. You are misusing the name of Islam,
but you haven’t read the Quran yet. You haven’t read about
Islam yet. You should know that Islam gives a message of
brotherhood. Islam says that we are all sisters and brothers,
and that we should respect each other’s cultures, religions,
and languages that we speak, which is to respect each
So I would request you lay down your weapons, release
your sisters. Lay down your weapons, release your sisters,
release my sisters, and release the daughters of this nation.
(Applause). Release the daughters of this nation. Let them
be free; they have committed no crime.
And to Nigerian people, I would like to say that Nigeria is a
rich country not because it has oil resources but because
it has people with the wealth of tolerance, bravery and
Because people with the wealth of humanity, this is the
wealth of people, this is the wealth of this country. People
are the ones who build nations. So make your country
stronger by your unity and togetherness. Make it stronger.
Make it stronger. And do not judge each other on the basis
of your religion, cast, colour, creed or the language that you
speak. Because these are just for our identity. These are not
for how we should treat each other. We should treat each
other as human beings. We are all human beings and we
should treat each other as human beings. We should not
be screaming at each other on the basis of religion and the
language that we speak.
And today I call upon the world community. I call upon
the world communty to protect girls across the world.
Protect girls from inhuman acts and violence that girls in
India are suffering, as they were hung after the rape in
May. Protect girls from the cruelty which girls in my home
country Pakistan are suffering through, where they are
forced to marry, leaving the schools to become brides,
when they should be girls. Giving birth to children when they
themselves are children.
No child, anywhere, no child anywhere, ever, should be
target of conflict or violence. (Applause).
To the girls of Nigeria, you all are sitting here. To the girls
of Nigeria and across Africa, and all over the world, I want
to say don’t let anyone tell you that you are weaker than or
less than anything. You are not less than a boy. You are
not less than a child from a richer family or a richer country.
You are the future of your country. You are going to build
up your nation. You are going to build up your country. And
YOU are stronger than anything and YOU can lead the
Toady I ask all countries to say no to wars. Let us say no to
wars. Let us talk. Let us bring peace. Why not use dialogue?
Why not talk to each other? We are treating each other like
animals. We are no more human beings.
And I request that the war between Israel and Gaza should
be ended. (Applause).
The conflict in Ukraine should be resolved.
The bloodshed in Iraq and Syria should be stopped.
The terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan should be
And violence in Nigeria and other Middle Eastern African
countries should be ended. Violence anywhere, in any
country, war anywhere, in any countries, should be ended.
Let’s say no to wars.
And instead of spending money on wars, and guns and
weapons, why not spend this money on education? Why
not spend this money on education? A country becomes
powerful, when its people are educated, when its future
generation is educated. So to make a country powerful,
don’t make weapons, don’t spend money on weapons, but
rather spend the money on education and the people of that
Let us all stand together. Stand together for peace and
education because together we are more powerful.
Stronger than any challenge. You are stronger than any
We are stronger than fear.
Stronger than hatred. Stronger than cruelty.
Stronger than any kind of violence and stronger than
We are stronger than any challenge.
Education is the best weapon through which we can fight
poverty, ignorance and terrorism.
The road to education, peace and equality is very long. It is
a very long journey. But if we go together, we will achieve
our goals and we will complete our journey. We have to
History is neither sent from the sky nor does it get made up
by itself, it is we who make the history, it is we who become
Let us make history and bring change by becoming a
Let us not forget that one book, one pen, one child and one
teacher can change the world. (Applause).
(Applause).There may be small errors in this transcript.