Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot by the Pakistani Taliban in 2012, said it is her birthday wish to help bring back Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls.
The 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist turns 17 on Monday. She told families in Nigeria that she hopes to take an active role to bring the girls home safely.
“I can see those girls as my sisters … and I’m going to speak up for them until they are released,” Yousafzai said, speaking with family members of the kidnapped girls and activists who make up the “Bring Back Our Girls” movement in Abuja.
Yousafzai said she would take the families’ messages to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who she will meet with on Monday.
Yousafzai was shot in the head in October of 2012 on her way home from school in Swat Valley in Pakistan.
Prior to the shooting, Yousafzai had received international attention for writing a blog for the British Broadcasting System about life under Taliban rule.
Yousafzai was flown to the U.K. for treatment following the attack.
She has since become a leading voice in the international fight for girls to receive an education.
She told NewsHour’s Margaret Warner in an interview last year that the Pakistani Taliban “are misusing the name of Islam for their own personal benefits.”