OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 13, 2017) - Today, following the acceptance of her honorary Canadian citizenship in Ottawa, Nobel Peace Prize winner and education activist, Malala Yousafzai sat down with blogger, youth activist and WE Ambassador, Hannah Alper for an exclusive interview. In one of Malala's first interviews as a Canadian citizen, the two young activists discussed Canada, their beginnings as bloggers, youth empowerment and ultimately, how to change the world.
Hannah and Malala, who have known each other from afar through their mutual connection to WE, met in person for the first time today after Hannah was personally invited by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Malala to join the celebratory activities throughout the day.
Please see below for the full Malala and Hannah interview, as well as additional photos and video broll.
VIDEO: The full interview can be downloaded here
For online or social use, the video can be accessed here.
- Press kit is available here
- Broll of Malala Yousafzai at WE Day is available here
- Broll of Hannah Alper speaking about Malala at WE Day is available here
TESTIMONIALS FROM MALALA
"I'll always remember this as a very incredible moment in my life, and the thing I was pushing today was investment in education and I think if Canada leads in that, then the world will follow the footsteps of Canada. The world will learn from Canada and I think investment in girls' education is the best way to which we can solve many of the issues that we are facing."
"…I think that people often say that youth [are] the future and that their education and their wellbeing will affect each and every one of us. But I think considering youth as the future is one side, but also accept them as the present. If the youth does not have the right of education, if the youth does not get the facilities of good health… If they don't have equal opportunities… Then it means it is impacting each and every one of us so I would say that the youth, we often call them future leaders, but in my opinion they are present leaders as well and should step forward and believe in themselves…" (sic).
"Your voice is the most important thing. If you have the voice, then nothing can stop you. If you believe yourself, nothing can stop you."
"...In order to go forward you need to believe in yourself… You need to be your biggest supporter and your best friend. If you don't' believe in yourself, you can't go forward… I always considered myself as a mature person right from the beginning and that was also because my father believed in me and he allowed me to talk, he would listen to me carefully and I think parents and your community can play a big role in that - that they listen to you, that they give importance to your voice and then you start realizing that yes your voice really matters, even if you're young it doesn't matter."
"I would really want all Canadian brothers and sisters that they should come together and join this mission of education for all children. If it is about your children, you would not want your children to be out of school even if that's for a week or a month to be deprived... So there are many children across the world, more than 130 million girls who can't go to school, and if we do not speak out for them, they will be a generation lost. They will never get this opportunity ... And this is something that we should consider as emergency. We should not ignore it. This is a time that we speak out for it now. We tell our leaders, we tell our local politicians, that we want you to focus on education especially in our foreign policies, that it should become one of our top priorities." (sic).
Malala, Hannah and WE
Both Malala and Hannah have shared their inspiring personal messages of empowerment with thousands of young change makers at WE Day, an international series of inspiring stadium-sized events. Malala spoke at the first-ever WE Day event in the UK in March 2014, where she shared a powerful message with thousands of students in London about the importance of leading life with love and kindness and living as a united community. Hannah has joined over 27 WE Day events across Canada and the US, helping to host and motivate youth with inspiring speeches around the importance of the environmental issues and how everyday actions no matter how small can lead to big change. Appearing on the WE Day stage for the first time in 2013, Hannah shared Malala's story with the thousands of youth in attendance at WE Day Minnesota.
Malala and Hannah have also both travelled to Kenya to experience WE Charity's international development work. For her first ever trip to Africa, Malala traveled to Kenya with ME to WE, WE social enterprise, in 2010 with WE co-founder, Craig Kielburger, where she visited and spoke to girls in rural communities about their passion for education. While in Kenya's Maasai Mara Region, Malala contributed to the construction of WE's Kisaruni All-Girls' Secondary School Oleleshwa Campus, which opened in January 2014, and now provides empowering curriculum, equipping girls from around the region with the skills and opportunities to excel.
Hannah more recently embarked on a ME to WE trip to Kenya this past December 2016. During the trip Hannah and her family experienced special WE milestones - celebrating the first group of graduates from WE's Kisaruni All-Girls Secondary School's Oleleshwa Campus, as well as the grand opening of WE's first boy school, Ngulot All Boys Secondary School, which Hannah helped to build during her earlier trip to Kenya in June 2016.
WE is an organization that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world. A unique family of organizations, WE is made up of WE Charity, empowering change with resources that create sustainable impact, and ME to WE, a social enterprise that creates socially conscious products and experiences that allow people to do good through their everyday choices. The celebration of that change happens at WE Day - inspiring stadium-sized life-changing events that take place around the world.
WE are Canada is a national campaign marking Canada 150 that will bring Canadians together with the goal of inspiring them to take action towards building a more caring and compassionate future nation. The national program will empower Canadians to gain a deeper understanding of Canadian issues, and inspire them to make a difference in their communities and across the country, helping to build the nation's next 150 years. Canadians can show their commitment to building a more caring and compassionate Canada by taking the WE are Canada Pledge at WE.ca.
Follow @WEmovement on Instagram for a behind the scenes look at Hannah Alper's social takeover from Ottawa
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