Disclosure: This post was written as part of a collaboration with Hallmark; however, all opinions shared here are those of the contributor who wrote them.
Born in 1997, Malala Yousafzai grew up in northern Pakistan with her parents and two brothers. From the young age of 10, Malala has passionately campaigned for the rights of girls around the world to receive an education.
Girls in Pakistan. Girls in Kansas City.
I was a girl in a land where rifles are fired in celebration of a son, while daughters are hidden away behind a curtain, their role in life simply to prepare food and give birth to children.
When she was just 15 years old, Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban while traveling home on the school bus with her friends.
Now living in Birmingham, UK where she received treatment following the attack, Malala continues to serve as an outspoken advocate for the right of every child to go to school. She has become internationally known for her bravery, courage and unwavering dedication to her cause, earning her one of the world’s highest honors (and making her its youngest recipient ever): the Nobel Peace Prize. Following an outpouring of support that Malala received throughout her ordeal, she set up an international fund – the Malala Fund – which is dedicated to promoting education for girls throughout the world.
Kansas City-based Hallmark is a sponsor of CHAT 2.0 which is bringing Malala Yousafzai and her father Ziauddin to Kansas City tonight to talk about continuing the world-wide fight for education for all. Their message is one of empowerment, highlighting the numerous ways that education can enable girls to be change-makers in their communities.
As parents, shouldn’t we all want to raise our children to be change-makers?
Locally, Hallmark Cards has a mission to help create communities where all children have the chance to grow up as healthy, productive and caring persons and where vibrant arts and cultural experiences enrich the lives of all citizens. Hallmark’s philanthropic efforts through Children’s Mercy Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Harvesters’ BackSnack program, the Salvation Army and Kaleidoscope are just a few examples of projects focused on Kansas City-area children and families. Hallmark also supports performing and cultural arts organizations like the KC Repertory Theatre, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and more.
Gender diversity, especially in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is important to Hallmark. Diversity (in gender as well as cultures) drives engagement, and engagement drives business results. Due to their efforts to recruit and retain women in technical careers, Hallmark nears gender parity in several key business areas (including engineering and IT). Malala’s message of empowerment is critical to that end; enabling girls to complete their education helps them to achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their homes and communities.
For more from tonight’s CHAT 2.0 event with Malala Yousafzai, follow #CHATSERIES on social media.