Malala Yousafzai, Nobel laureate, celebrated her 19th birthday on Tuesday by visiting the world’s largest refugee camp. While there, she said that she is worried that Kenya’s plans to close the refugee camp could result into “a generation lost.”
It was reported that the Kenyan government declared in May its plans to put an end to the camp east of the country. The camp is located near the Somali border, and the government announced they would be closing it at the end of the year, labeling it as a security liability.
According to the Associated Press, the young Nobel laureate said that if any of the 300,000 refugees return to Somalia, it must be voluntary. She also said that Somalia is plagued by extremist violence.
“They should not be forced to move,” said Yousafzai, the voice for girls’ education.
“As we all know, the camp is going to be closed down soon, so I want to make sure that these girls don’t become a generation lost, and there are alternative facilities for them to continue with their education.”
Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2014. The young activist celebrated her birthday last year by starting a girls’ school for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
July 12 was made “Malala Day” by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in 2013 to celebrate her 16th birthday. At that time, Yousafzai delivered a speech at the UN that advocates worldwide access to education.
In the same speech, she also said that “Malala Day” is her day, but it should be celebrated as a day for “every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised a voice for their rights,” said NBC News.
Yousafzai insisted Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to take more time to decide on the fate of the camp. She also asked Kenyatta to consider the need to provide education.
Have good news to share? Email the editor.