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'This is not the end, it is merely the beginning'

By Trish Olson, Interim Associate Dean — Extension Center for Family Development

I recently read an insightful commentary about the two 2014 Nobel Prize winners working for the welfare of children: Malala Yousafzai, 17, of Pakistan, and Kailash Satyarthi, 60, of India. I was naturally drawn to the piece because it's about inspiring people making tremendous sacrifices for the sake of children. But I was also intrigued because the authors are two U of M graduate students* who are also from Pakistan and India. I encourage you to read the entire commentary, in which the authors offer their perspective on the importance of the Nobel Prize going to leaders from their home countries.

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Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India.

Here is an excerpt from their piece, which appeared in the Oct. 17, 2014 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
India's and Pakistan's collaboration for child rights will tremendously boost the global struggle for child development. Today, millions of children are falling into child labor, trafficking, early marriage, violence and sexual abuse throughout the world. The subcontinent is rife with street children who work as street vendors and in other hazardous occupations, and most will never step inside a classroom. The struggle to globally prioritize the welfare of children is the collective responsibility of India and Pakistan — each having more than 50 percent of its population below age 30.

In the age of globalization, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural learning is an integral component to address chronic underdevelopment challenges. The free flow of knowledge, practices and technologies is an essential tool to help millions of people rise out of poverty.... Even with the current blame game between India and Pakistan over the crossfire in Kashmir, we remain optimistic. As Malala has said: "This is not the end, it is merely the beginning."
May the work highlighted by Malala and Kailash encourage and inspire us to also prioritize the welfare of children in our work in Minnesota.

*Faris Kasim and Amrita Vijay Jain, from Pakistan and India, respectively, are graduate students at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
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