Malala Yousafzai

Christophe Petit Tesson/AFP/etty Images)
  • Title
  • Affiliation
    Malala Fund

Malala Yousafzai has been an activist for girls’ and kids’ access to education since she was a young teenager. Now 23, her fight for the right to an education around the globe gained new resonance when millions of children lost access to learning as schools closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Her organization, Malala Fund, found that because of the COVID crisis, 20 million girls worldwide may be unable to ever return to the classroom. The pandemic arrived as the Pakistani activist was in her final year at Oxford, and she, like so many, finished up her education via videoconference. During an uncertain time for students, teachers, and parents, Yousafzai became a voice for the struggles of remote learning—and an advocate for girls around the world who can’t continue their education while schools remain closed. Malala Fund’s network of activists found creative solutions, like broadcasting lessons via radio in Nigeria for girls without access to the Internet and digitizing Pakistan’s national curriculum through an app for students unable to attend school.