I recently attended the screening of the 2015 documentary, “He Named Me Malala,” presented by the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the PG-13 film tells the poignant and true story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban on October 9, 2012, for promoting education for girls. Malala was returning from school on a bus when a militant boarded the bus and shot Malala. Two of her classmates, Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz, were also shot and injured.
After being nearly killed, Malala moved to England with her family and began a slow recovery. As she continued her schoolwork in England, her story made international headlines and captured the hearts of individuals around the globe.
For her activism on behalf of girls’ rights, Malala shared a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian activist who works for children’s rights.
At times, “He Named Me Malala,” was difficult to watch as the film recounted the horrors and violence Malala experienced as the Taliban became a dominant socio-political force in her hometown of Mingora in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. Her family members, including her parents and her two younger brothers, are featured in the film.
The film was shown in the Old Main Chapel Theatre at CU. When I entered the theater, I noticed there was a flat package on every seat. After taking my seat, I unfolded a large (24-inch by 24-inch) plastic bag with Malala’s portrait. The bag was free and meant to be used to send in clothes for the Malala Fund to help empower adolescent girls through secondary education. There were clear instructions on the outside to stuff the bag with high quality, freshly laundered clothing for toddlers, kids and women. The concept appealed to me and I took my bag home and filled it with clothes before sending it off at my local post office. This fundraising effort is in partnership with Schoola and postage for the bag is prepaid if mailed in the U.S.