You can't keep a smart kid down--or at least you shouldn't. The 18-year old Nobel Laureate, Malala Yousafzai, is drawing attention to the heart-breaking conditions of the approximately 700,000 Syrian children who are refugees and so can't get to school. Five years ago, Syria boasted a 90% literacy rate and a dozen years of free schooling. Now girls as young as 12 and 13 years old are being married off to older men. Education is a distant dream.
Yousafzai and 17-year-old Syrian refugee, Muzoon Almellehan, contributed this piece to London's Guardian newspaper. On Thursday, they will ask world leaders to commit $1.4 billion to prevent Syria's children from becoming a "lost generation." (The BCC reports that Yousafzai calculates that donors have so far provided only 37% of the money needed to supply resources such as school places and teachers for the refugee children.) They write: "Five years into the conflict, young refugees stand ready to rebuild and reclaim the future for themselves and for Syria. Education is the most important investment we can make in Syria’s children."