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State Senator Melisa Franzen Kicks off Malala Event in Minnesota

Zineb Alfath is a junior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where she served as the President of the UNICEF Campus Club and now serves on the UNICEF Campus Initiative National Council.

On Sunday, October 25th, I volunteered at a private screening of “He Named Me Malala” hosted by U.S. Fund for UNICEF Midwest Board Member Tamrah Schaller O’Neil. Close to 150 Minnesotans gathered at the Landmark Theatre in Edina including families, friends and UNICEF supporters of all ages. State Senator Melisa Franzen kicked off the event by speaking about the importance of children’s rights, whether in the Twin Cities or abroad. She acknowledged the important role UNICEF plays saying that because of UNICEF’s work around the world, “Many children’s shoulders are no longer weighed down by obstacles and worries that many adults would crumble under.” 

Nelly Ingraham from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Midwest Region then gave updates about UNICEF’s work in promoting education for girls in developing countries and how education is closely linked to other issues like malnutrition and access to clean water.

The documentary gave an inspiring overview of the work of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who now leads a global campaign for girls’ education after being targeted by the Taliban. The event couldn’t have happened at a better time—the Malala Fund recently partnered with UNICEF to support girls’ education in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. Of the thousands of Syrian children living in the camp, only a small proportion of them attend school regularly. The event concluded with a distribution of Trick or Treat boxes for children and families to take home.

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