Celebrity Cruises, the premium market unit in Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. (RCCL) group said it has signed a two-year partnership with Malala Fund, with head of the charity chosen as godmother of Celebrity Edge.
“With the shared commitment to diversity, inclusion and gender equality, the brand is partnering with Malala Fund whose mission is to secure 12 years of safe, free quality education for every girl,” the company said in a statement.
Inspired by Malala's mission and advances in furthering girl's education, Celebrity is honored to name 19-year old Nobel Laureate and U.N. Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai as the Godmother of their newest ship, Celebrity Edge, debuting late in 2018.
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, the President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said that Malala's dedication to girls' education sets an example worth following. "Partnering with Malala Fund was a natural fit as we share the same passion and commitment to an incredible cause. We believe in opportunities for all, especially as our crew onboard represent more than 50 different cultures - and amazing stories of achievement, education and economic advancement."
"Malala is an inspiration and a voice of hope," said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "This young woman is on a powerful mission, and we support it 100 percent. We are deeply honored to name Malala the Godmother of Celebrity Edge, and we're excited to team up with her and the Malala Fund to champion the global right to education."
Fain added: "Malala Fund also advances one of our company's key philosophies: that education is a great equalizer, providing opportunities to people who need it most."
"We cannot get 130 million out-of-school girls into classrooms on our own. We are grateful to generous partners like Celebrity Cruises who support our work to help every girl learn and lead without fear," said Philippa Lei, Malala Fund interim CEO.
A centuries-old maritime tradition, the role of Godmother is a lifetime title and honor. During the launch of a ship, the Godmother is responsible for bestowing good luck over a seagoing vessel and inspiring all that sail aboard by breaking a bottle over the bow as the ship is named, officiating the ceremony.
Malala began her life as an activist at 11 years old, writing a secret blog about life under the Taliban, who would not permit girls to go to school. She was targeted for her advocacy and, at 15, was shot on her school bus. Malala survived the attack and continued her campaign for girls' education around the world. In 2014, Malala became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient, donating her entire prize earnings to finance a secondary school for girls in Pakistan. With Malala Fund, she continues to fight for every girl's right to education.