In her first public address after a harrowing October 2012 attempt on her life by Taliban gunmen, Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai reaffirmed her mission to fight for education rights for girls.
“God has given me this new life, and this is a second life, a new life. I want to serve, serve the people, I want every girl, every child to be educated,” the 15-year-old girl said in a statement recorded prior to a scheduled surgery this weekend. She introduced The Malala Fund, created by the international organization Vital Voices to promote girls’ education worldwide. Yousafzai will be involved in directing the funds.
Yousafzai began her recorded message with a simple declaration: “Today you can see that I am alive.” Her remarkable recovery after being shot in the head while riding home on a school bus in her native Swat Valley inspired people around the world.
“I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone and…I am getting better day by day,” she said in the video. Yousafzai recorded messages in English, Urdu and Pashto before undergoing two surgical procedures last weekend.
Both procedures, one a cranial reconstruction to repair the part of her skull damaged from a bullet, and the other a cochlear implant to aid hearing, were carried out successfully at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham last weekend.
“It does not feel like I had a very big operation,” Yousafzai said in a short video statement recorded Sunday. Doctors reported she was recovering “very well.” In a news conference Monday, doctors said they did not expect Yousafzai to undergo further operations.