Breaking Barriers

 By Jocey Ostrowski, 10th Grade, Riverview Jr/Sr High School 


As I sit through the first day of the One Young World Summit 2012, I notice that the issue of education has been the focus throughout numerous speeches regardless of what the primary topic is.  And when the right for every child to go to school is mentioned, there is one name that has been on the mind of everyone in the room: Malala.  Malala Yousafzai is a fourteen year old Pakistani girl, who was recently shot in the head by the Taliban, because she defended the right for all girls to be educated.  Her passion and bravery have inspired people all over the world, especially other young girls who are not given the right to receive an education.  Malala’s name has already been mentioned in many different sessions during the One Young World 2012 Summit, and the entire room of delegates all breathed a sigh of relief together, as we were updated that Malala was no longer in a coma.

One speaker in particular who has had a lot to say about every child’s right to an education is Fatima Bhutto, a Pakistani writer, and one of the counselors of the One Young World 2012 Summit .  During the special session: Women Up, Bhutto was asked the question, “Can words save the world?”.  She answered the question by telling the audience, “Please don’t write to save the world.  Write to break barriers, destroy boundaries, push for peace, and spread compassion.”  I think that this is exactly what Malala and her writing have accomplished.

As a fifteen year old girl, I have been very blessed to have the opportunity to write as a youth reporter for the One Young World 2012 Summit.  When I hear the chilling stories of Malala, and all of the other young girls who go to school everyday with the fear of being harmed or even killed, it’s hard to believe that the only difference between us is where we were born.  It is amazing to see delegates from all over the world here at the One Young World Summit trying to make a difference and end the devastation that is happening around us. But it is also important to remember that we are not saving the world.  We are breaking barriers, and spreading compassion, one issue at a time.

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