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Apple partners with Malala Fund to provide educational opportunities to more girls in developing countries

By Malcolm Owen

Apple has pledged support to the Malala Fund, the organization led by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, with the assistance expected to increase the Fund's impact in providing education to girls living in developing countries, including new programs in India and Latin America.

Founded by Malala Yousafzai and Ziauddin, her father, the Malala Fund aims to champion every girl's right to an education for 12 years, one that is both safe and free to attend. The Malala Fund has been in operation since 2013, working with other organizations, private companies, and governments to help provide educational opportunities, with the Fund's own Gulmakai Network supporting programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Nigeria.

By supporting the fund, Apple's assistance is expected to help double the number of grants provided by the Gulmakai Network, as well as extending the funding programs to India and Latin America. The initial goal is to extend secondary education opportunities to more than 100,000 girls.

Apple will also help the organization to scale up, assisting with technology, curriculum, and research into policy changes needed to help girls attend school and complete their education, wherever they are located. Apple CEO Tim Cook will also take a seat on the Malala Fund leadership council.

"My dream is for every girl to choose her own future," said Malala Yousafzai. "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."

In a statement, Cook advised "We believe that education is a great equalizing force, and we share Malala Fund's commitment to give every girl and opportunity to go to school." On Malala herself, Cook called her a "courageous advocate for equality and one of the most inspiring figures of our time."

Malala became known around the world following an attempted assassination by the Taliban in 2012, in response to her advocacy of increased access to education for girls in Pakistan. Aged 15 at the time, a gunman's attack on Malala was condemned by world leaders, with the outpouring of support also helping raise awareness and support for her educational work.

Current global estimates suggest there are approximately 130 million girls not enrolled in any educational program.

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