21st Century Fox has announced a contribution of more than $125,000 to Malala Fund, an organization advocating for secondary girls’ education around the world. The gift consists of funds raised through a company-wide employee matching program, as well as a social media campaign led by 21CF and the National Geographic Channel, and will help provide education for Syrian refugee children. The donation is the culmination of the company’s year-long global campaign to support “He Named Me Malala,” Fox Searchlight and National Geographic Channel’s documentary about 18-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai, and raise awareness of the more than 60 million young women who are out of school around the globe.
“Malala’s incredible journey is both heartbreaking and inspiring,” said Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley, co-presidents of Fox Searchlight. “Her bravery in the face of adversity brought us to tears. The chance to bring her story to a global audience [is] an honor for all of us here at Searchlight.”
21CF launched the employee matching program shortly after the theatrical release of “He Named Me Malala” in October 2015, and by the end of the year, the initiative generated nearly $70,000. In February, ahead of National Geographic Channel’s global commercial-free broadcast premiere of the film, 21CF and Nat Geo hosted a social media campaign to raise additional funds. 21CF donated $1 for every tweet with the hashtag #withMalala and every Facebook user who changed his/her profile picture to a special campaign video.
“This incredible and critically acclaimed film left movie audiences applauding this young woman’s journey and left them wanting to make a difference,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks. “We are extremely proud and honored to have dedicated National Geographic’s collective resources to bring awareness of Malala’s advocacy for girls’ education to our global audience.”
Malala Fund will use these gifts to support the educational needs of Syrian refugee girls currently living in Lebanon and Jordan. According to a report from the UN High Commission on Refugees, more than 1.1 million Syrian children are refugees, and over 75% of them are under the age of 12. More than half of all school-age Syrian children in Jordan and Lebanon are not in school. Those who are face overcrowding, inadequate funding, and discrimination. Malala Fund is working to provide quality education for these children.
“This is a heartbreaking tragedy–the world’s worst refugee crisis in decades,” Malala said when she opened the Malala Yousafzai All-Girls School in Lebanon in July 2015. “[The girls’] courage and dedication to continue their schooling in difficult conditions inspires people around the world, and it is our duty to stand by them.”
Learn more about Malala Fund, and view National Geographic photographer Karen Kasmauski’s photos documenting girls in refugee camps supported by the Malala Fund in Jordan, Lebanon, and Kenya. “He Named Me Malala” is now available on DVD and Digital Download.