Malala Fund is working for a world where every girl can learn and lead. Through our Education Champion Network, the organization breaks down barriers preventing more than 130 million girls around the world from going to school.
Malala Fund was co-founded in 2013 by Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai. Through its Education Champion Network, the organization supports 58 education advocates in countries where girls face the biggest challenges to learning — Afghanistan, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. Learn more about our team and board.
We identify, innovate and advocate for policy and programmatic solutions, and are key in improving access to and quality of girls’ education within their communities.
key milestones and achievements
To date, Malala Fund has supported 62 local education advocates (part of its Education Champion Network) across 8 countries (Afghanistan, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Lebanon and Turkey). Malala Fund’s Education Champions are best placed to identify, innovate and advocate for policy and programmatic solutions, and are the key to improving access to and quality of girls’ education within their communities. Examples of major achievements of the ECN include:
In 2018, after a two-year campaign led by Champions in Nigeria, the Governor of Kaduna State signed the Child Rights Act into law, guaranteeing all children in Kaduna the right to free, quality basic education and preventing marriage under the age of 18.
During the 2019-20 budget cycle, the Pakistan chapter scored a major win by successfully advocating for a significant increase in girls’ education budget in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly.
When 16-year-old Pataxó Hã Hã Hãe student Clarisse Alves Rezende graduates from high school next year, she won’t be thinking about how much she learned, but about how hard she had to fight to get there. In a speech to members of the National Congress of Brazil in November, she described the challenges she faces as an Indigenous student.
“[My degree] will represent all the days that the school bus broke down and I couldn't make it to school. Or every time we went months without teachers because in my state, in Bahia, the selection of Indigenous teachers is far from ideal.
I will remember the times we had no classrooms to study, when there were no school meals or even water for us to drink,” Clarisse shared. There are over one million girls out of school in Brazil today. Indigenous or quilombola (descendants of escaped slaves) girls are the most likely to experience barriers to their education. Yet, the National Congress of Brazil has not renewed The Fund for Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and Valuing Education Professionals (FUNDEB), which is how the government makes sure marginalised schools get the resources they need to support their students. Unless Congress takes action, FUNDEB will end in December 2020.
Malala Fund’s Champion Network provides local leaders with the training and resources they need to break down barriers to girls’ education in their communities. With Indigenous and quilombola students in need of more support from the government, the Malala Fund Champions in Brazil joined forces to advocate for these communities at Congress.
Malala Fund Champions in Brazil, including Rogério Barata, Denise Carreira and Ana Paula Ferreira de Lima, organized a public hearing so that girls like Clarisse could urge Brazilian leaders to support their right to learn. At the hearing, Denise also presented a new report written by Malala Fund Champions, which explains why FUNDEB needs to be strengthened, not discontinued. It details the structural racism that prevents students in Brazil from learning and recommends how leaders can address these inequalities with changes and increases in education funding. The report also includes testimonials from girls like Clarisse about the challenges facing their schools, including poor bathrooms, unreliable transportation, underpaid teachers and insufficient access to technology.
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