Nigeria welcomed a special guest on Monday as Malala Yousafzai continued her international tour to meet girls – and their political leaders – in a campaign promoting the right to an education.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, leading the nation as President Muhammadu Buhari remains on medical leave in London, welcomed Malala to the Presidential Villa for discussions on how to better ensure that educational opportunities for Nigerian girls advance. While there, the Nobel Peace Prize winner met with a few Chibok students for whom she has been a passionate and outspoken advocate.
Malala, now 20, was shot in the head, neck and shoulder in October 2012 when she was riding her own school bus. She was targeted by the Taliban in her native Pakistan for her advocacy work, which had become increasingly high-profile after Western media outlets published her blog and stories about her.
Malala, accompanied by her father, made this second visit to Nigeria – she first came on her 17th birthday – on behalf of the Malala Fund. The foundation works with local partners in Nigeria to offer girls an education, or to establish alternative pathways for girls who are no longer returning to school.
Among them are the Boko Haram victims, who are eligible for counseling and full secondary-school scholarships through the fund so they can complete their studies. It also supports the Centre for Girls’ Education in northern Nigeria, with “learning club” programs to provide lessons and other life skills.
In Kenya, the fund also supports digital skills training for Nairobi girls from low-income families, and an all-girls secondary school serving rural communities.
Image: Government of Nigeria