Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai will urge world leaders to set aside $1.4 billion this year toward educating Syrian refugee children, she said Sunday.
The 18-year-old Pakistani education activist told Reuters that she will make the call to heads of state and government and ministers from countries around the world at a conference in London on Thursday. The goal of the “Supporting Syria and the region” conference is to raise funds for humanitarian crises caused by the Syrian war, according to its website.
“I have met so many Syrian refugee children, they are still in my mind. I can’t forget them,” Yousafzai said. “The thought that they won’t be able to go to school in their whole life is completely shocking and I cannot accept it.”
“We can still help them, we can still protect them. They are not lost yet,” she added. “They need schools. They need books. They need teachers. This is the way we can protect the future of Syria.”
Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman on her school bus in 2012 and later became an advocate for education. She became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2014.