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Pakistani teen inspires others to fight for education

By Julie Hays, CNN
updated 1:34 PM EDT, Mon October 15, 2012
Pakistani Christians attend a prayer service for the recovery of teen activist Malala Yousufzai in Lahore on Sunday, November 11, 2012. Pakistan celebrated Malala Day on Saturday as part of a global day of support for the teenager shot by the Taliban. Pakistani Christians attend a prayer service for the recovery of teen activist Malala Yousufzai in Lahore on Sunday, November 11, 2012. Pakistan celebrated Malala Day on Saturday as part of a global day of support for the teenager shot by the Taliban.
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Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
=Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Malala Yousufzai is a 14-year-old Pakistani activist fighting for the right of girls to go to school
  • Yousufzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for blogging against them
  • Nonproft organizations are working in Pakistan to help girls gain access to education
  • Sign the "I Am Malala" petition or submit an iReport to show your support for Yousufzai

(CNN) -- "I have rights. I have the right of education," Malala Yousufzai boldly asserted during an interview with CNN last year.

Now the 14-year-old girl from Pakistan is slowly recovering after being shot in the head by the Taliban for blogging against them and defending the right of girls to go to school.

Her plight has inspired people far beyond her home in the Taliban-heavy Swat Valley. Large crowds are rallying around the world to show support for Yousufzai and her cause.

Before the attack, Yousufzai was in the process of starting a charity, the Malala Education Development Organization, to promote female education in northern Pakistan. Other organizations are also working in the region to turn her dream into a reality for all girls in Pakistan.

UNICEF condemned the assault, calling Yousufzai a "courageous voice" who speaks for millions of girls "desperate to receive and education." To make a donation to UNICEF's Stand with Malala campaign and support education programs in Pakistan, visit the organization's website.

The Citizens Foundation has worked to improve education in Pakistan since 1995 and started 830 schools, according to the organization's website. The group says it encourages girls to enroll in its schools and works to ensure that approximately half of its students are female. Go online to make a donation.

Developments in Literacy also operates schools and provides teacher training in Pakistan. The organization says that more than 17,000 students are enrolled in its schools, approximately 68% of them girls, according to its website. To make a donation in honor of Yousufzai, visit the group's website. Be sure to write "Malala" in the notes.

"I Am Malala" is an online petition honoring Yousufzai and calling for Pakistan and countries worldwide to ensure all children have access to the education. The initiative was launched by the Office of the U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education. To sign the petition, visit the website.

You can also share your story and promote girls' education on CNN iReport. Girls + Education = #BasicMath is spreading the message that educating girls in developing nations can change the world.

Learn more about how you can help at CNN Impact Your World

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