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Malala Yousafzai Speaks at United Nations

From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

Malala Yousafzai spoke to hundreds of young people at the United Nations on July 12. It was her first public speech since last October, when the schoolgirl was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in Pakistan. The UN speech continued her campaign to education children. On the day she spoke, two groups announced that 57 million children around the world are not going to school.

The two are Save the Children and UNESCO, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. A little more than half of those who are not going to school are girls. In September of 2012, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced a program to get every boy and girl into school by 2015. Malala Yousafzai believes the goal is possible. In her words, "One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world."Sheza Shahid is the executive director of a new program called the Malala Fund. She says the 16-year-old is a true spokesperson and warrior for girls' rights.

The Malala Fund was created to support the voices calling for girls' education. The actress Angelina Jolie has donated $250,000 to the fund. A group called Women in the World donated $150,000. The first children served by the Fund are 40 girls in Malala's hometown in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. These girls, aged five to 12, had been working. Shiza Shahid says the girls have now stopped working and are going to school. Malala Yousafzai is now going to school in England. But she talks to the girls in the Swat Valley through the computer software program Skype. Girls are also urged to tell their own stories online at

For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.