Angelina Jolie has made a $50,000 donation towards girls’ education in Pakistan in the name of a teenager shot by Taliban extremists.
Angelina Jolie saw devastation, poverty and social inequality in war-torn countries—and she’s making sure that her and Brad Pitt’s children don’t grow up with blinders on to the world’s evils.
Yousafzai campaigned for girls’ rights to education and wrote a diary about life under the Taliban for Britain’s BBC, and now Jolie has thrown her support behind the issue by handing $50,000 to the Women in the World Foundation.
In a post for the Daily Beast, Jolie discusses how she explained what happened to Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot by Taliban soldiers as revenge for her advocacy of equal-opportunity education, to her own children.
“It was difficult for them to comprehend a world where men would try to kill a child whose only ‘crime’ was the desire that she and others like her be allowed to go to school,” Jolie wrote.
“Malala’s story stayed with them throughout the day, and that night they were full of questions,” Jolie continued. “We learned about Malala together, watching her interviews and reading her diaries.”
Malala, who had surgery to remove a bullet from her neck in Pakistan and has since been transported to London for further treatment, started blogging for the BBC about education in 2011.
A joint statement from Jolie and Women in the World Foundation founder Tina Brown reads, “We are sure you have been shaken by the news that last week, 14-year old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban as she left school in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Her crime was promoting girls’ education in Pakistan… As a response to Malala’s bravery, girls across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the world are standing up and saying, ‘I am Malala’ – and this is our opportunity to show the same solidarity.”
“Our 8-year-old suggested that the world build a statue for Malala, and fittingly create a reading nook near it. Our 6-year-old asked the practical question of whether Malala had any pets, and if so, who would take care of them? She also asked about Malala’s parents and if they were crying,” Jolie wrote.
“My son worried that girls were going to be shot for standing up for Malala,” the Oscar winner continued. “I told him that they were aware of the danger, but publicly supporting her reflects how much Malala means to them.”
“Still trying to understand, my children asked, ‘Why did those men think they needed to kill Malala?’ I answered, ‘because an education is a powerful thing.'”
And, in the Jolie-Pitt family, it starts at home.