Malala Fund becomes independent organization
Today, Vital Voices Global Partnership is proud to announce that the Malala Fund, hosted by Vital Voices since November 2012, will become its own independent organization to further Malala's mission to educate and empower girls around the world.
In November 2012, Malala Yousafzai, her father, Ziauddin, and a group of supporters, engaged Vital Voices to support the early formation of and initially manage the Fund. Supported by key partners, including the UN Foundation and Girl Up, the Malala Fund was advised by a core committee comprising education experts, international development experts, entrepreneurs, and Malala with her family.
“I am so thankful for the support from Vital Voices and its supporters and am thrilled to see this effort become independent and grow. I believe we can make a really big impact for girls’ education,” Malala said.
Many individuals came together to support Malala’s vision, including Angelina Jolie’s Education Partnership for Children of Conflict and Tina Brown’s Women in the World Foundation. Continuing support for the Fund will be provided by Beespace, a new non-profit incubator which will provide the Fund a workspace, creative and operational support to help it achieve significant scale. Shiza Shahid will serve as the Fund’s Executive Director and Megan Smith will continue to serve as a lead advisor. Both are founders of the Fund.
The Malala Fund dispersed its first grant in April to a Pakistan-based non-governmental organization with extensive experience working on education issues. The grant allows 40 girls ranging in age from five to 12 years old to attend school — girls who were engaged in domestic labor or at high risk of entering the workforce. The program takes a holistic approach to education and will provide the girls with formal support at school and access to technology. It will also foster a network of girls and families that value girls’ education.
“We were honored that Malala, a young global leader, asked us to partner with her to make her dream of education for all a reality,” said Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson. “On her 16th birthday on July 12, as Malala gives her very first public address before the United Nations, we are so proud that her Malala Fund will become its own independent organization. Vital Voices and our network of leaders around the world will continue to stand with her and support her mission to turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls."
Across the world the launch of the Malala Fund mobilized a community of friends, funders and supporters to the cause — from school bake sale organizers, campus and sports activists, to entertainment icons and media personalities. Messages of solidarity reached vast, global audiences through social media and financial contributions flooded the donation portal and text-to-give platform.