Malala Yousafzai is a name that we cannot easily forget! Pakistani by birth, Malala fought against the Talban forces in her country. Her father was a committed teacher; he founded a series of schools with the goal of making education accessible to all. Malala soon became a powerful advocate of the cause of “education for all”, particularly for girls.
She boldly asked Taliban: “How dare you take away my basic right to education?” The Taliban retaliated: In August 2012, she was shot in the head, as she was returning home from school. Though fatally wounded she recovered, and continued her mission from England where she was hospitalised.
The world recognised her contributions in the field of education of girls, by conferring on her, in 2014, the Nobel Prize for Peace, which earned her the distinction of being the youngest Nobel Laureate. The Teenager Today honoured her by featuring her on the cover and with a full-length story in our July 2017 issue.
We bring you this month the inspiring story of a teenager with a difference, from Sweden — Greta Thunberg — the “Climate Change Activist” who has within just few months captured the attention of world leaders including Pope Francis.
Greta was a little-known girl like any other, till she became aware of the fact that the earth’s climate is being negatively impacted by the activities of human beings particularly of the rich nations of the world. This deeply affected her mind that she became ill, leading to depression. She spoke very little, ate hardly anything for few months, even stopped going to school.
However, there came a turning point in her life when she realised that being silent and depressed didn’t help; she needed to speak out and act, and that’s what she did. One day, in August 2018, she skipped school and went instead to the Swedish Parliament with a placard which read: “School Strike for Climate.” She did this for three weeks, also posting her campaign on Twitter and Instagram, as well. Finally the world took note of her and paid attention to the cause she has been campaigning for.
Malala and Greta, both young people, are beautiful examples of how we can be catalysts for change in the world, starting with our own small towns and villages. Start today, be a catalyst for change; be a change maker!