Kit Steinkellner
July 12, 2015 10:57 am

Happy 18th birthday Malala! You’ve done so much for women and education in your just-under-two-decades on Planet Earth, we are constantly inspired by and in awe of you (and that Nobel Peace Prize you nabbed last year isn’t too shabby, neither).

So what is the youngest-ever Nobel-prize winner doing on her birthday? Exactly what you’d expect this girl with a heart of gold to do- use her special day to draw attention to an important issue, in this case, the plight of the Syrian refugees.

As Time reports, today Malala oversees the opening of the the Malala Yousafzai All-Girls School, located in Lebanon on the Syrian border, an institution that pledges to provide an education to more than 200 Syrian refugee girls.

“I am honored to mark my 18th birthday with the brave and inspiring girls of Syria,” Malala said in a statement. “On this day, I have a message for the leaders of this country, this region and the world–you are failing the Syrian people, especially Syria’s children. This is a heartbreaking tragedy–the world’s worst refugee crisis in decades.”

Time also reports that the Malala Fund recently gave $250,000 to the UNICEF/UNHCR efforts to support funding for girls’ schools in a Jordanian refugee camp.

We salute Malala for taking a day that’s usually about cake and presents (which are all fine and good), and making it about helping women and the world.

Related:

The trailer for Malala’s new documentary is here, and it’s giving us chills

Here’s why Mazoun Almellehan is being called the ‘Malala of Syria’

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