One day, while doing my standard workshop, I decided to change the flow and read a few paragraphs from this book. While reading, I noticed some of the girls were in shock, some had tears in their eyes, but I had their full attention. They were in awe that a 16 year-old girl would stand up to the Taliban because she believed in education for all.
When I was done there was a silence. The girls were inspired that someone their own age could be so brave. Words cannot describe their faces in that moment.
I then asked, “Is there anything they would like to see changed in their communities?” Before I could finish, one girl shouted "Gun violence!" "More support for teen moms raising a child," said another. Then one tiny 12 year-old girl said, "…bullying against children who live in homeless shelters." My heart literally broke.
Next I asked them, "Do you think you have the power to change these things?” I could see the frustration in their faces as they thought about the question.
We discussed ways each girl could inspire friends and their families to help create ideas to make a change. We discussed the power of organizing within the shelter to create a stronger, unified voice.
In the end I gave each girl a copy of the book. They were ecstatic!
So far I have done two workshops using this book to inspire girls at two
different shelters. I hope to get more copies and spread her message to even more
Want to know more about Malala? Here's a video of Malala’s interview on John Stewart’s, The Daily Show. It’s pretty incredible.
Labels: homeless girls, Homeless shelters in NYC, I am Malala, Malala Yousafzai, volunteer work