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Malala Yousafzai Donates $50,000 to Rebuild Schools in Gaza; 'Lift the Spirits of a Million Students,' Says U.N.

( [email protected] ) Oct 31, 2014 03:18 PM EDT

Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai, pictured in 2013, announced she will donate $50,000 in prize winnings to help rebuild U.N. schools damaged by recent conflict in Gaza. (United Nation)

The U.N Relief Commissioner has issued a heartfelt thanks to 17 year old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who donated $50,000 to rebuild United Nations schools in Gaza that were recently damaged by ongoing conflict.

"Malala's recognition... will lift the spirits of a million UNRWA students in Gaza and boost the morale of our more than 9,000 teaching staff there," said U.N. Relief and Works Agency Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, noting that "Their suffering during the fighting was devastating."

Her act of generosity "will do much to ease the pain of recent months," he added.

According to the Daily Mail, Dozens of Gaza's schools were damaged or destroyed during the 50-day war, in which Israel accused Hamas of hiding weapons near the buildings to maximize civilian casualties for political ends.

Malala, who works as a Pakistani youth education activist, said that "Innocent Palestinian children have suffered terribly and for too long" while accepting the World Children's Prize in Stockholm.

She said all of the prize money will go to rebuilding schools in the Middle Eastern region.

"This funding will help rebuild the 65 schools damaged during the recent conflict. Innocent Palestinian children have suffered terribly and for too long. The needs are overwhelming - more than half of Gaza's population is under 18 years of age. They want and deserve quality education, hope and real opportunities to build a future," Malala continued.

'We must all work to ensure Palestinian boys and girls, and all children everywhere, receive a quality education in a safe environment.

'Because without education, there will never be peace. Let us stand together for peace and education because together we are more powerful.'

Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this month for her advocacy on behalf of equal education rights for girls "under the most dangerous circumstances." When the young woman was 15, she was shot by the Taliban on her return home from school in the northwestern Swat District.

'You have become a symbol of the boundless potential that lies within each and every child on earth," concluded Krähenbühl.

'You are an inspirational figure to the next generation in Palestine and beyond. You are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you.'