On the day that the European Union was awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, campaigners today delivered a 256,000-strong petition calling for young education campaigner Malala Yousafzai to be nominated for the prize next year.
Malala, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, was shot in the head by Taliban gunman in response to her campaign against the destruction of girls schools in Pakistan. Malala is now recovering in hospital in Birmingham, but her actions have sparked a global movement of support.
Shahida Choudry, from Birmingham, started the online petition on the Change.org website, calling on MPs to nominate Malala for the prestigious international prize. She said: “The support for the campaign has been overwhelming. All over the world people have been touched by the actions of this courageous young girl and they are calling her to be nominated for this award. We hope David Cameron responds.”
Young campaigners from the Send My Friend to School campaign joined with Shahida to deliver the petition to the Prime Minister.
Ayiasha Islam, Rebecca Nisha Mumith and Nazrin Siri Khanom, all 12 years old, from Central Foundation School in East London, represented the thousands of school pupils around the UK who passionately believe that every child has the right to a quality education.
“Being a part of this campaign has made me realise how lucky I am and that there are many others in this world that want to learn.” Ayiasha Islam
Ayiasha Islam said: “It’s a great honour to be a part of a campaign that shows young people like us how important education really is. People like Malala Yousafzai are very brave; she put her life in danger simply because she wanted to go to school, a right that sometimes we take for granted. Being a part of this campaign has made me realise how lucky I am and that there are many others in this world that want to learn.”
The ‘Nobel for Malala’ petition will remain open until the Nobel Committee announces the next winner in 2013.