Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has become the youngest “Messenger of Peace.” She is 19-years-old.
Her fellow United Nations messengers of peace include Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron. Each has been the youngest to win the award before her.
Hailing the Pakistani teenager as ‘the most famous student in the world’ and the symbol of the cause of education for all, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed her on Monday as the “Messenger of Peace for girls’ education.”
In 2012, the Taliban attacked Malala in the Swat Valley of Pakistan because of her campaigning to promote education for women.
“People drawn from the arts, entertainment, sports, science and public service are appointed Messengers of Peace, each with special missions,” the Khaleej Times said.
She defied the edict that had banned the education of girls in addition to the restriction of their right to go to school.
“’You have been going to the most difficult places, where education has more problems in becoming a reality,” said Guterres, who was the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005-2015, as he recalled her work in refugee camps and the two schools her foundation has set up in Lebanon’s Beka’a Valley.
Malala, now living in the UK, had her injuries treated in Birmingham.
Other awards for Yousafzai include the Nobel Peace Prize with “Kailash Satyarti, the Indian children’s rights activist,” in 2014.
Yousafzai said, “I have a second life for the purpose of education and I’ll continue working,” as well as, “It wasn’t that I was very intelligent or very clever or I had some special kind of training or something. All I had was a father and a family who said, ‘Yes, you can speak out, it’s your choice’.”
Other awardees include: “Actor Michael Douglas, naturalist Jane Goodall, and Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairperson of the International Humanitarian City (IHC).”