First Lady Promotes Girls’ Education in Liberia, Morocco, Spain

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

The White House has announced plans for first lady Michelle Obama to promote her global girls’ education initiative while she travels abroad to Liberia, Morocco, and Spain with her daughters.  Actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto are expected to join them on some of the stops.

Obama is expected to visit a Peace Corps training facility in Kakata, Liberia in order to meet with girls and young women who are enrolled in an empowerment camp.  She hopes the role of the Peace Corps in the Let Girls Learn initiative will be brought to light through her visit, in addition to support from the US Agency for International Development.

In a separate stop, the first lady will visit a school in Unification Town, Liberia.  There, she will speak with teenage girls about the obstacles they face while trying to obtain an education.  As an advocate for girls’ education, Pinto is expected to moderate the discussion.  Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will also be in attendance during the visit, writes Katherine Skiba for The Chicago Tribune.

“The conversation will highlight both the educational barriers girls face as Liberia moves beyond the Ebola epidemic” and the U.S. government’s efforts to help give adolescent girls equitable access to safe, quality education, the White House announcement said.

Meanwhile, Streep, who is also a girls’ education advocate, is expected to meet Obama in Marrakech, Morocco for a conversation with adolescent girls that will be moderated by CNN’s Isha Sesay.  In addition to the conversation, the trip will focus on US commitments through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an independent US foreign aid agency, and USAID in their efforts to help girls in the country enroll and stay in school.

The first lady is expected to give a speech on the Let Girls Learn initiative, which recently gained $20 million in new commitments, while in Madrid.  Launched in March 2015, the initiative is meant to push developing nations to offer an education to the 62 million girls throughout the world who currently do not have access to one.

Obama previously promoted her year-old initiative during visits to Japan, Cambodia, the United Kingdom, and Qatar.

The trip is expected to be the last for the first lady to take overseas without her husband during her time in the White House.  The first family usually takes a vacation in August, and she is expected to make a number of campaign appearances in the fall on behalf of Hillary Clinton, expected to be the Democratic nominee.  She will also be making appearances for other Democratic political candidates.

The first lady did offer a glimpse into her future plans during the first-ever United State of Women summit dinner earlier in the week, when she said she was “just getting started” on her work on ensuring all girls around the world have access to an education, writes Louis Nelson for Politico.

“I am so excited to continue working on this issue not just for the next seven months as First Lady, but for the rest of my life,” she said at the White House-hosted event.  “And it’s going to be good work, because there are a lot of good partners in this room.  And I am so looking forward to really diving in.”