Born on July 12, 1997, in Pakistan, Malala became an advocate for girls’ education at a very young age. She was barely 11-years-old when she began championing girls’ education and publicly speaking out in TV and radio interviews. The Taliban had overrun her hometown of Mingora, terrorizing residents, threatening to blow up girls’ schools and ordering teachers and students into burqas. Her advocacy for equal education resulted in death threats against her and her family, but Malala would not be deterred by the intimidation and continued to speak out in favor of education for girls and women in the region.
On October 9, 2012 a gunman shot Malala as she travelled home from school. She survived by a matter of inches as the bullet entered just above her left eye “grazing” her brain. She fought to stay alive and after initial treatment in Pakistan, was flown to the UK to be treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Malala underwent two surgeries in the weeks following her attack, a cranial reconstruction and the Cochlear implantation procedure which has allowed her to recover some auditory function in her left ear. She made a speedy recovery after the dual procedures, and was able to continue both advocacy efforts as well as her own education.
Today she continues to fight for education rights for all. Malala was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 and 2014 and after winning her second nomination, became the youngest person in history to receive the coveted Nobel Peace Prize. Watch Malala’s moving Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech here.
Malala will be coming to Denver this summer to share her story and will be speaking at the Bellco Theater on Wednesday, June 24th.
Learn more about how Cochlear implantable hearing solutions are helping children around the world reconnect with the people and things that matter most.