October 25, 2013

Malala in Scotland: an account from the audience

Everyone who meets her - be they journalists, politicians or members of the public - is quick to praise the courage, eloquence and determination of Malala Yousafzai, and rightly so.

 

But this week we spotted one of our favourite accounts yet of meeting the teenage campaigner, written by two schoolgirls from Fife, in Scotland, where Malala was reunited with her friends Shazia and Kainat.
 
The girls wrote about their experience for our friends at Makewaves, the online community of thousands of school children from up and down the UK. And they made a great little video slideshow of the photos they took on the day.
 
sweetheart1 and ape30 were clearly hugely inspired by Malala and are now eager to support her campaigning. Have a look for yourself...

 

We read recently that Gordon Brown MP and UN envoy for global education was bringing Malala to visit a school in Fife. We contacted Mr Brown at his consistency in Kirkcaldy to ask if we could come along to her school visit. We kindly got an email back saying that he was impressed with our previous story we did on here and would be back in contact shortly with details. We got an email to officially invite us to the site of the new primary school in Burntisland on Saturday 19th October. We were both really excited as we have found Malala inspirational and have backed her campaign.

In the morning Malala was guest of honour at the University of Edinburgh where she was awarded an honorary masters degree and the Carnegie award for Wellbeing which was for her work promoting education and woman's rights. Malala was reunited with her two friends Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan who were also injured during the attack. Both now live and study in the U.K and want to become doctors.

We arrived at the site of Burntisland's new primary school which was a building site , we had to get our names marked off the guest list before we were shown to our seats. Martin Cooper the Construction director for BAM the company that is building the school came over to speak to us and gave us pencil cases and showed us where the snacks and drinks were. The media also arrived and started setting up their equipment. There was lots of representatives from Fife Council especially the education department. Some of the children who will be going to the school also arrived along with other people from the local community. Sarah Brown (Gordon Brown's wife) was also there with their two sons Fraser and John.

A bagpiper piped in Malala, Gordon Brown MP, Ziauddin Yousafzai (Malala's father), Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan. Everyone stood up and applauded. Ken Greer the Executive director education & Lead officer for Fife Council made a speech first welcoming Malala . Alex Rowley a Council leader for the Labour party in Fife also gave a speech about other new schools to be built in Fife. Gordon Brown MP then gave a speech about how education was so important in Fife, Britain and the whole world.

Malala then was invited to sign her name in a concrete plinth which will be put up in the library. All the media quickly gathered around. Malala then gave a speech about wanting to build schools, wanting to see every boy and girls in schools, the importance of education and how its a great opportunity. Work hard and if we work together every child can have an education and a good future. It is my dream to see every child go to school, not washing dishes but going to school. At the end of her speech she got a standing ovation.

Gordon Brown MP then spoke Malala's Desk Programme in Fife.This will see every school in Fife provided with a desk inscribed Malala's Desk on it. It is inspired by Malala's school friend who wrote the same words on her desk at school as a symbol that no-one else should sit there because Malala would recover and return. The desks will be a symbol of her own bravery and will remind our children and young people that for many of their peers throughout the world, education is either denied or unaffordable. Kirkcaldy-based education furniture supplier ESA McIntosh, is providing each desk. Gordon Brown MP presented a desk to Malala and he said he would give her two other desks so her brothers would not fight over it. The media once again quickly gathered around. After this everyone stood up to applaud. There was then an opportunity to get photos with Malala but she was taken away quickly but we managed to get our photo taken with Kainat Riaz. After they left we got our photo taken with the plaque which will be going up in the library which is dedicated to Malala and her desk. Ken Greer then asked if we would get our photo taken with him, some councillors, the school's head teacher and some pupils. A reporter from Kingdom FM also asked us some questions about Malala.

We were both inspired by the day and can't wait to hear more from Malala and hope we to can help with her campaign.

sweetheart1 and ape30 over and out.

 

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