London: Angellina Jollie has donated $200,000 (£131,000) to the charity set up by Malala Yousafzai as the teenager, who was shot in the head by the Taliban, announced her first grant for educating girls in Pakistan.
The actress paid tribute to the 15-year-old campaigner at a star-studded gala for the Women in the World summit in New York last night before a video of Malala was shown in which she revealed her charity was giving $45,000 (£29,500) to an organisation in Pakistan’s Swat Valley to help educate 40 girls aged four to 12.
Introducing Malala’s video, Jolie said: “All that mattered to Malala was going to school. Here’s what they [her attackers] accomplished: they shot her point-blank range in the head — and made her stronger. The brutal attempt to silence her voice made it stronger.”
Event organiser Tina Brown later said that Jolie had recently made a personal donation of $200,000 to the Malala Fund, adding to the $50,000 (£33,000) she gave last October after the teenager was shot by the Taliban while on a bus home from school. Malala had been a vocal campaigner for the right of girls to go to school and was deliberately targeted by extremists.
The organisation which will receive the grant has not been named for security reasons. It will provide a safe place to study as well as financial support for families so that the girls are not forced to work rather than go to school. “Announcing the first grant of the Malala Fund is the happiest moment in my life,” the schoolgirl told the audience, which included Hillary Clinton. “I invite all of you to support the Malala Fund and let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls.”
Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been donated to the fund in the wake of the attack, which caused worldwide outrage. Malala underwent months of treatment and operations at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and last month started school as a pupil at the private Edgbaston High School for Girls, where her fees are being paid by the Pakistan government.