A fund set up by Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai plans to send 40 girls to school in her home region with the support of U.S. actress Angelina Jolie.
Malala, 15, was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban in October in Pakistan's restive Swat Valley for campaigning for girls' education.
Malala announced the initiative in a video message from London on April 4 to the Women in the World Conference in New York.
"Thank you so much, Angelina," Malala said. "And I would like to thank Tina Brown and the Women in the World Foundation. Today, they give me an opportunity to speak. And today I'm going to announce the happiest moment of my life. And that is the first grant of the Malala Fund.
"In Swat Valley, in my motherland, we are going to educate 40 girls. And I invite all of you to support the Malala Fund and let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls."
Speaking to the conference in New York, Jolie explained Malala's vision for the initiative.
"In a brutal attempt to silence her voice, it grew louder and she more resolute, calling on the entire world, not just Pakistan to ensure the right for every girl and boy for an education," Jolie said. "'It is my right,' she said. 'It is our right.' She is powerful. But she is also a sweet, creative, loving little girl who wants to help others, to work for others. She doesn't want to be the center of attention. Her goal is progress, not notoriety."
Malala has been receiving long-term rehabilitation treatments in Britain. She said that Jolie and two women's charities had helped raise $45,000 for the Malala Fund -- an amount which would send 40 girls aged between 5 and 12 to school in Swat Valley.
Jolie pledged to give the fund a further $200,000.
Malala, nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, has become a global symbol of the campaign to ensure girls' rights to education.
With reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP