Dream Team? Malala Yousafzai And Apple’s Tim Cook Just Partnered Up.

"My dream is for every girl to choose her own future."

Nobel Peace Prize winner (and Oxford University student) Malala Yousafzai has been a staunch supporter for girls' education for the better part of her two decades on this planet, and she now has a huge ally in one of the most powerful businessmen in the world — Apple CEO Tim Cook.

According to a Jan. 21 press release, Apple is slated to become the first Laureate partner for The Malala Fund — Yousafzai's philanthropic organization dedicated to educating girls around the world. By working together, the tech giant and The Malala Fund hope to ensure "every girl's right to 12 years of free, safe, quality education." 

With Apple's support, The Malala Fund expects to double the number of grants awarded by its Gulmakai Network, and extend funding programs to India and Latin America. The overall goal of this partnership is to extend secondary education opportunities to more than 100,000 girls.



"We are committing resources, and we are committing money and technology," Cook explained to ABC News. "130 million girls is a lot of folks around the world and so this is a bold ambition. This is exactly what Apple loves to work on and is something that everybody is saying is impossible."

While this partnership, which comes about three months after Yousafzai and Cook first met in England, marks the first time Apple and The Malala Fund have worked together, Yousafzai herself is no stranger to the fight to educate girls across the globe. As a young girl living in Pakistan, Yousafzai established herself as an advocate for female education, which instantaneously made her a high-profile target of the Taliban. In 2009, then-14-year-old Yousafzai was nearly killed when she was shot in the head and neck on the way home from school by the Taliban, but was never deterred. 

Since the attack, Yousafzai has continued to advocate for female education worldwide, also broadening her fight to include refugee children. In addition, she has become a check of sorts for various world leaders — encouraging them to step up or change course when people's lives are at risk.


"She has a rare trait of courage with a big C," Cook added to ABC News. "My heroes in life were people with enormous courage, who were willing to do everything, including risk their lives, for their cause and purpose. She has done this at a very young age and it's just amazing."

Still, while Yousafzai's courage and determination have earned her praise from millions worldwide, she just sees herself as someone who is working diligently to make the world a better place. "My dream is for every girl to choose her own future," she said in the press release. "Through both their innovations and philanthropy, Apple has helped educate and empower people around the world. I am grateful that Apple knows the value of investing in girls and is joining Malala Fund in the fight to ensure all girls can learn and lead without fear."

Added Cook, "We believe that education is a great equalizing force, and we share Malala Fund's commitment to give every girl an opportunity to go to school."

Though ensuring girls' education might not seem as crucial as ending wars or protecting the planet, The Malala Fund reports educating girls has a positive impact on a myriad of issues around the world. For example, when a country gives all its children secondary education, they cut their risk of war in half. The Brookings Institution also notes secondary schooling for girls is the most cost-effective and best investment against climate change, and research suggests girls' education reduces a country's vulnerability to natural disasters.

While Apple and The Malala Fund have set an ambitious goal, we have every hope they can achieve it and improve the quality of life for thousands around the world.


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