Malala Yousafzai, the teenage education activist who was shot by the Taliban last month, is recovering well and is "inspired and humbled" by the support that has poured in since she was attacked on a schoolbus in Pakistan a month ago, her father says.
New pictures of the teenager reading cards from well-wishers were made public this week, ahead of a Global Day of Action in Malala's name set for Saturday. The day is aimed at raising awareness about Malala's story, and the plight of millions of children who are unable to access education worldwide.
Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, expressed thanks to all "peace-loving well-wishers" who have shown support for his daughter, who is being treated at a hospital in the U.K.
"Malala is recovering well and wants me to tell you she has been inspired and humbled by the thousands of cards, messages and gifts that she has received," he said.
"To have 32 million girls without education not able to go to school — sometimes prevented from going to school — you can see that every girl you meet thinks it's completely unacceptable now," said former U.K. prime minister Gordon Brown, who is currently serving as the UN special envoy for global education. "I think it's transformed the campaign for girl's education."
Brown delivered a petition bearing more than one million signatures in support of Malala and her goals to the president of Pakistan on Friday.
In a piece posted online, Brown said that a civil society group in Pakistan gathered another million signatures in support of free and compulsory education, and another 100,000 signatures came from Pakistani children who aren't in school.
On Friday, President Asif Ali Zardari announced initiatives aimed at increasing enrolment in the country, saying more needs to be done to fight against ignorance as part of a battle against poverty and militancy.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon added his voice to the message, saying education is a "fundamental human right."
"It is a pathway to development, tolerance and global citizenship," he said.
A second petition in support of Malala — this one calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — has also seen a surge in support, with nearly 100,000 signatures.
Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae signed the petition in October. Several prominent Canadian politicians, including Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar, Bloc Québécois Leader Daniel Paille and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford have also signed the petition started by Toronto's Tarek Fatah.