US First Lady says she made education ‘personal’ issue after Malala attack

WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (APP): The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, says she made education a personal issue after the attack on Malala Yousafzai in a Pakistani town five years ago.

In an op ed written for CNN, the First Lady said that terrorists who nearly killed her were trying to silence her voice, snuff out her ambitions, and take her power.

She said the when she met Malala a few years ago, “this issue got really personal for me”.

The First Lady said that neither of her parents and hardly anyone in the neighborhood where she lived and grew up went to college. But thanks to a lot of hard work and plenty of financial aid, I had the opportunity to attend some of the finest universities in this country.

She said that education opened many doors for her and gave her the confidence to pursue her ambitions and dreams.

The First Lady said that it was after the attack on Malala, when she was shot in the head while going to school, that she decided to work on global girls’ education as first lady.

She said there were tens of millions of girls like Malala in every corner of the globe who are not in school—girls who are so bright, hardworking and hungry to learn. And that’s really the mission of the “Let Girls Learn” initiative she launched last year.

“It’s a global effort to give these girls the education they need to fulfill their potential and lift up their families, communities and countries,” she wrote.

As the initiative had no official budget for her own programs as first lady, Mrs. Obama said that many doubted if this program would made any real impact on this global issue.

But, she added, over the past year and a half, the initiative has established partnerships with some of the world’s largest companies and organizations that are committing money, resources and expertise.

“We’re collaborating with countries like Canada, Mexico and the Nordic countries on girls’ education efforts. Countries like Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom have collectively pledged nearly $600 million.”

The US is investing over a billion dollars in ongoing efforts and running Let Girls Learn programs in more than 50 countries. The World Bank will be investing $2.5 billion over the next five years.