Malala Yousafzai Announces First Grant From Malala Fund

$45,000 Grant Will Fund Program to Incentivize Community in Pakistan's Swat Valley to Send 40 Girls Aged 5-12 to School and Engage Community About the Importance of Girls' Education

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| Source: Vital Voices

NEW YORK, April 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tonight, Malala Yousafzai announced at the Women in the World Summit in New York City the first grant from the Malala Fund. It was raised with the support of Vital Voices, Angelina Jolie and the Women in the World Foundation. The grant will support the education of 40 girls aged 5-12 in Pakistan. For security reasons the name of the organization or the specific community will not be publicly released. The Malala Fund supports the right to education for girls in Pakistan and across the world. Malala announced the grant via a video shown at the Women in the World conference in New York.

"Announcing the first grant of the Malala Fund is the happiest moment in my life," said Malala Yousafzai in a video shown to thousands Thursday night attending the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center. "I invite all of you to support the Malala Fund and let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls."

The grant will fund a program in the Swat Valley ensuring that 40 girls ranging in age from 5-12 who would otherwise be engaged in domestic labor or be at high risk of entering the workforce will be able to attend school.  Working with the girls and their families, the organization will enroll the girls in school, offer a safe space for convening and provide them with resources and support to adapt to an educational environment, such as school uniforms, shoes, and learning materials. Each family will receive a monthly stipend. The organization and the school will continue to work with the families and the community to highlight the importance of girls' education.

"Today's announcement marks the first step in realizing Malala's bold vision for the future," said Alyse Nelson, president and chief executive officer of Vital Voices, a global non-governmental organization advancing girls' and women's leadership through training and mentoring, which hosts the Malala Fund. "Malala is a leader who hastens progress, and we are proud to stand with her as she turns her vision into reality by providing education and opportunity to a community of girls."

The Malala Fund supports the education and empowerment of girls in Pakistan and around the world and provides grants to civil society organizations and individuals focused on education. It is advised by a core committee comprising international development experts, education experts and entrepreneurs, as well as the Yousafzai family.

Before she was attacked in October 2012 by the Taliban, Malala was in the process of setting up an organization with her friends to get girls into school and out of domestic labor. The first grant of the Malala Fund will continue her efforts to educate girls.

Many individuals came together to support Malala's vision, including Angelina's Education Partnership for the Children of Conflict and the Women in the World Foundation.

To learn more about the Malala Fund and to donate, visit MalalaFund.org.

Notes to Editors

About The Malala Fund

The Malala Fund supports the education and empowerment of girls in Pakistan and around the world and provides grants to civil society organizations and individuals focused on education access and innovation.  The Malala Fund was created by a small group of committed individuals and organizations on behalf of Malala and her family – education entrepreneurs, lawyers, teachers, business and tech leaders, engineers, innovators and non-governmental organization representatives who all came together in late October 2012 to support Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old activist who was shot by the Taliban because of her outspoken support for girls' education. The Fund is hosted by Vital Voices Global Partnership and advised by a committee comprising education experts, international development experts, entrepreneurs, and Malala with her family.  Visit http://www.vitalvoices.org/global-initiatives/support-malala-fund to learn more.
 
About Vital Voices Global Partnership

Vital Voices Global Partnership is a leading non-governmental organization that identifies, invests in and brings visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. Founded by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 1997, the organization trains and mentors women leaders as agents of transformative change in economic development, human rights and political participation. The Vital Voices Global Leadership Network includes more than 14,000 leaders representing144 countries who have trained and mentored 500,000 additional women and girls in their communities.  Visit http://www.vitalvoices.org to learn more.

About Women in the World

Women in the World is a movement dedicated to advancing women and girls through stories and solutions.  The Women in the World Foundation is a powerful initiative dedicated to driving solutions that advance women and girls. The Foundation was born out of Newsweek & The Daily Beast's annual Women in the World Summit, launched by the publications' editor-in-chief, Tina Brown, in March 2010. An intimate and impactful gathering centered on vivid storytelling and live journalism, the Summit brings together women from all over the world. From CEOs and world leaders to grassroots activists and firebrand dissidents - each year the Summit brings to light the incredible stories of women and girls, looking at both their challenges and triumphs, and inspiring solutions to women's issues. This year the Summit was held at Lincoln Center and was attended by over 2,500 women from all over the world.

For media enquiries relating specifically to the Malala Fund, please contact Weber Shandwick at malalafund@webershandwick.com or +1 (202) 585-2036

For media enquiries relating to Malala Yousafzai, please contact Edelman at: malalapressenquiries@edelman.com; +44 (0)203 047 2585