Welcome To Canada, Malala!
It was a day four years in the making. Malala Yousafzai has become an honorary Canadian citizen.
It happened this morning, on Parliment Hill. Our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented her with a certificate documenting her as an honorary Canadian – only the sixth person to receive the honour and the youngest ever. She was also presented with the flag from the tower.
She has led an incredible life. At just 19 years old, she became an education activist after she survived a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012 as she was leaving school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. She was targeted for her campaign against the Taliban’s efforts to deny women education. She now lives in London, and is finishing secondary school with plans to go on to university.
Earlier this week, she was appointed a United Nations Messenger of Peace, making her the youngest person to ever hold the UN’s highest honour. She was also the youngest person to win the Nobel peace prize in 2014, at the age of 17.
In her speech today Malala asked Canada to make girls’ education a central theme of its G7 presidency in 2018, to use its influence to help fill the global education funding gap and to prioritize 12 years of schooling for refugees:
“I stand with girls, as someone who knows how it feels to have your right of education taken away and your dreams threatened. I know where I stand. If you stand with me, I ask you to seize every opportunity for girls’ education over the next year.”
But it wasn’t without a few laughs too. She said she had encountered some friends who were pretty thrilled and excited at the fact she was going to meet Justin Trudeau.
‘Welcome to Canada’ is more than a headline or a hashtag. It is the spirit of humanity that every single one of us would yearn for, if our family was in crisis. I pray that you continue to open your homes and your hearts to the world’s most defenseless children and families – and I hope your neighbours will follow your example.”
Read more HERE.