Curiosity is a powerful feeling. It is why we know the Earth is round and weighs 5 974 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 kilograms. Or why a group of wizzkids invented a Google algorithm that gave that answer in less than a second. It is also what makes ADC go around, driving students and teacher from all over Europe to enroll with the Internship and Teacher Development Programmes. So let's celebrate curiosity in all its quizzical glory! Over the next few months we will introduce seven curious people who changed the world.  

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

You've probably heard the name Malala Yousafzai. She is the Pakistani teenager whose human rights advocacy and fight for girls' education almost had her assassinated by the Taliban back in 2012. But Yousafzai survived and has since become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history, aged only 17 at the time. She is listed as one of the most influential people in the world. 

I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taliban. I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. My mother made me breakfast and I went off to school. I was afraid going to school because the Taliban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools.
— 3 January 2009, BBC blog entry. 

Yousafzai was born in the Swat Valley in northwestern Pakistan in 1997 and was given the name Malala after the famous Malalai of Maiwaind, also known as the Afghan Jean D'Arc, a Pashtun poet and warrior. During early childhood, she was largely educated by her father, a poet and education activist who runs a chain of private schools in the region. His defiance against the Taliban and refusal to shut down his schools despite their threats rubbed off on the young Malala. Aged only 11, Yousafzai held her first speech broadcasted throughout the region called "How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?", refusing to cower under the Taliban's demands that all girls should be banned from school. 

When BBC Urdu was looking for a young schoolgirl to write an anonymous blog about daily life under Taliban rule, Yousafzai was the only one who complied.  Yousafzai used her growing public platform to speak about the human right to education and was in 2011 nominated for the Children's Peace Price and Pakistan's National Youth Peace Prize. However, with fame the threat against her grew. On the 9th of October 2012, when she was 14 years old, a Taliban gunman boarded her bus home from school and shot her, badly injuring her head and shoulder. She was airlifted to hospital and later flown to the UK for treatment. Eight days later she awoke from a medically induced coma, suffering no major brain damage. The Taliban had once again failed to silence her. 

The shocking truth is that world leaders have the money to fully fund primary AND secondary education around the world - but they are choosing to spend it on other things, like their military budgets. In fact, if the whole world stopped spending money on the military for just 8 days, we could have the $39 billion still needed to provide 12 years of free, quality education to every child on the planet.
— Malala Yousafzai in connection with her #booksnotbullets action. 

Since then, Yousafzai has become one of the most important teenagers in the world, continuing to fearlessly fight for girls' and children's right to education, earning her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. On her 18th birthday, Yousafzai opened a school in Lebanon for Syrian refugee girls and called on world leaders to invest "in books instead of bullets".  She will turn 20 this summer.

ADC College organises Internship and Teacher Development Programmes in London, eligible for funding from Erasmus+. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or send a message to info@adccollege.eu. 

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