SAN FRANCISCO: Apple on Sunday announced it would make a significant investment in the Malala Fund, a charity that helps girls worldwide gain access to education.
The fund was created by Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban when she was 15 for advocating education for girls in her native Pakistan.
The ideology behind the fund is to provide every girl the right to have access to 12 years of free, safe and quality education.
Apple will be the fund’s first Laureate partner and Apple said that its support would allow the fund to double the number of grants it awards and to extend funding to programs in India and Latin America.
However, Apple did not reveal how much money it pledged to the organisation.
The fund’s Gulmakai Network currently supports programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey and Nigeria.
The initial goal is to extend secondary educational opportunities to more than 100,000 girls.
Yousafzai met with Apple CEO Tim Cook in Beirut on Saturday where they talked with students and visited the home of three girls.
Apple will support the Fund with money, but more importantly its expertise in technology and education and its ability to scale small projects up, the company said.
Cook will also join the Malala Fund leadership council.
“I am grateful that Apple knows the value of investing in girls and is joining Malala Fund in the fight to ensure all girls can learn and lead without fear,” Yousafzai said in a statement.
“We believe that education is a great equalizing force, and we share Malala Fund’s commitment to giving every girl an opportunity to go to school,” Cook said in a statement.
Apple and other Silicon Valley firms have been criticised for being male dominant. A 2016 government filing showed that 81% of Apple’s senior officials are men.
However, Apple estimated that a third, 33 percent of its global workforce and 23 percent of its technical staffers are women.