Dear Friends of Hoshyar,
2014 has been a remarkable year. Thanks to you, Hoshyar now supports eight middle and secondary schools for girls in rural Pakistan! We have 550 girls in grades six through twelve. Hoshyar built two of these schools in honor of Malala Yousafzai.
This year the world saw exactly what kind of difference it makes to educate girls. We learned this from Malala’s case, as she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, along with children’s advocate Kailash Satyarthi of India.
Imagine what if. What if Malala’s father had not been so dedicated to promoting education that he ran a school and provided an alternative to girls? What if, simply because this opportunity existed, Malala’s extraordinary intelligence and character had not had a chance to develop and grow? What if, because there was no community in which her talents could thrive, she had not become a leader convinced of the right of all children to obtain an education, to form dreams and pursue them?
If none of these things had happened, the world would not know about Malala Yousafzai; it would not have heard the voice of a child raised against the brutality and ignorance of fanatics; would not have seen the human face of a power struggle that victimized the weak and was willing to destroy everything in its path.
Speaking of the girls she grew up with, Malala said: “They have never dreamed of any iPad, any PlayStation, any Xbox. The only thing that they dream of is a school, a book, and a pen.”
So let us together resolve simply to present the first opportunity—the chance to go to school—to keep the door open for the next Malala to step through. Even if she doesn’t win the Nobel Prize, she will certainly do something remarkable, whether it is through teaching, bringing health care into villages where no woman has access to it, or through activism on behalf of children’s rights.
We have already seen the changes in the localities where we work, where mothers have active input into their daughters’ schooling, where women participate on village councils, where communities set an example for the government to follow.
This is how the world opens up and we begin to recognize, and celebrate, the humanity in others. We at Hoshyar know that one schoolgirl can change the world. We have already seen one do it.
Won’t you help us find the next one?