Malala (16), became widely known when, aged 11, she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC highlighting her passion for school and the oppression of the Taliban in Pakistan. Following a targeted attempt on her life by the Taliban, Malala was severely wounded and fled to England, where she now lives and goes to school.
“We share the opinion of KidsRights that every child should have the opportunity to develop his or her talents,” said AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner. “We are therefore delighted to be supporting this fantastic initiative, which demonstrates our commitment to making a positive difference to communities around the world.
“The bravery and determination shown by Malala in highlighting her passion for education is truly inspirational and she is thoroughly deserving of the 2013 award.”
The AkzoNobel Children’s Peace Fund prize (which was first sponsored by the company in 2012) will be made available for projects that aim to improve access to education for girls in Pakistan.
Last year, former street child Kesz was presented the prize by Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu, patron of KidsRights and the Children’s Peace Prize. The 2012 prize fund is being invested in a range of projects designed to improve the welfare of street children in the Philippines.