Malala became known across the world after her speech to the UN in New York, when she was only 16. The Pakistani schoolgirl began campaigning for girls’ education at the age of 11 and in 2012 she survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. BBC Radio 3 announced it commissioned the composer Kate Whitley to set the speech to music. The piece, called Speak Out, will be performed for the first time at the BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, UK, by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales and broadcast on Radio 3.
Raleigh Tanzania shares Malala’s mission of ensuring girls have access to education by working with communities in rural Tanzania to build latrine blocks so girls have access to good hygiene and sanitation. Many girls will drop out of school when they begin menstruating just due to the lack of facilities. A toilet, something a lot of people take for granted, can put a girl back in school and improve levels of concentration. Also, some girls may go to school but the hygiene facilities are so limited that they avoid drinking water, and using the toilet, so dehydration is also a risk.
Alongside the construction of facilities, health and hygiene awareness raising lessons are run in local primary schools. Schools are often the centre of change in a community so by working with young people, together we can have the biggest impact on improving behaviours around hygiene within the community. We believe in the positive changes that children can bring to the world, as a result of young people encouraging child to child learning.
The beginning of the piece ‘Speak Out’ is sung by a children’s choir alone: “Let us pick up our books and pens / Let us wage a glorious struggle / We can never all succeed when half of us are held back / One child, one pen, one teacher, one book can change our world.”
The piece ends with the repeated phrases: “Today is the day of every woman, every man, every boy and every girl”, and “Today is the day we speak out”.
Be Bold for Change this International Women’s Day. #BEBOLDFORCHANGE