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Malala Yousafzai Spends Her 19th Birthday in World’s Largest Refugee Camp

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Correction appended

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai spent her 19th birthday on Tuesday in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps, the world’s largest, aiming to draw attention to the global migrant crisis and the plight of those living in the Kenyan camp.

“I am here to speak for my unheard sisters of Somalia striving for education every day,” Yousafzai told the Associated Press. The laureate, who was shot by militants in 2012, has been an outspoken advocate for girls’ education. She has since spent her birthdays in regions where girls’ educations are neglected: in 2015, she opened a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon, and she campaigned for the release of the Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria the year before.

According to her spokesman Taylor Royle, Yousafzai has been in contact with a group of girls living in Dadaab refugee camp since last year and planned to meet them during her visit, reports the AP.

The planned 2017 closure of Dadaab refugee camp, which was announced in May by the Kenyan government, risks uprooting more than 300,000 refugees, who are mostly Somali and face the prospect of returning to a country still overwhelmed by conflict.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the number of refugees at the Dadaab refugee camps. It is more than 300,000.

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