WONDER WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Muzoon Almellehan, 19, is the youngest-ever UNICEF goodwill ambassador and the first in history to have refugee status

Who is she? Muzoon is described as Syria’s answer to Malala. An education activist, she is raising her voice for children worldwide who are denied an education due to conflict.

Why we love her At 14, Muzoon fled Syria with only her schoolbooks. It was the start of three years living in refugee camps, where she saw girls forced into marriage. She began to take action. ‘I went from tent to tent trying to persuade parents and daughters to choose education over marriage,’ she says. ‘Most thought that early marriage was more effective protection for their girls than school.

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It was a challenge to get them to understand.’ What’s next? Muzoon, who now lives in the UK, campaigns alongside Malala and continues her activism with UNICEF. At this year’s G20 Summit, she called on world leaders to prioritise education for the 27 million children in conflict zones. ‘Without education, children grow up lacking the knowledge and skills they need to contribute to the peace and development of their countries. I will fight for education forever.’

To help protect Syrian children this winter, visit unicef.uk/syriadonate

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