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First Lady Michelle Obama Travels to Africa with Her Daugthers

Updated on June 27, 2016

Let the Girls Learn

Not everyone in the world has a fair chance at a good education. Let the Girls Learn is an United States Government initiative that's primary focus is helping young women receive the education they deserve. There are many reasons why girls across the world are unable to find a proper education. Those reasons include cultural and financial barriers among other reasons. Can you imagine your parents marrying you off to another family? Having a dangerous walk to school to the point of where it's no longer worth it to go? What if your family is no longer willing to pay your school fees?

That's where Let Girls Learn steps in. Let Girls learn is a community based, community led effort. The effort now runs in 36 countries.

The program enables women to gain skills, confidence and the education to live healthier, more productive lives. With education the cycle of poverty can end by educating more than 62 million girls.

First Lady Michelle, her mother Marian Robinson and her daughters Malia and Sasha (now 17 and 15) plan on stopping in Liberia and Morocco. The trip is for a week with Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto joining along. The trip will be filmed by CNN Films to create a documentary. The documentary will air in the fall according to, Tina Tchen the first lady's chief of staff since 2011.

"We’ve announced initiatives in the Congo, we’ve announced initiatives in Pakistan, in Malawi, Tanzania. We’ve also announced cooperative efforts with donor countries, developed countries, and we’ve done that so far with Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Korea and in the most recent trip with the Nordic -- state visit by the Nordic countries that Ben referenced, we collectively made commitments to work together on girls’ education," Tina Tchen explain during a press call Friday, June 24th.

The Agenda

The trip will consist of three regions sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Europe. The first lady's chief of staff further confirmed the itinerary by stating "I think we’ll be in Liberia on Monday and Morocco Tuesday and Wednesday, and Spain Thursday and Friday."

The first leg of the trip will consist of meeting with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Sirleaf has been president of Liberia since 2006. A noble peace prize winner Sirleaf is an advocate and activist for women's rights. Sirleaf is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders an organization Margaret Thatcher was once a member of. The Council of Women World Leaders is an organization of current and former women leaders, presidents and prime ministers who take on issues and actions for women and equality.

President Sirleaf is someone who knows the struggles of accomplishing their goals among disadvantages and calls to others to follow their goals. She calls for young women to break through any circumstances "Be what you want to be; stay the course and don’t be distracted by challenges,” - “Dare to venture out,” President Sirleaf said in a previous interview earlier this month.

CNN's Isha Sesay will moderate discussions between First Lady Michelle and girls of Morocco. The ladies will also have and iftar dinner with Morocco's king's wife, Princess Lalla Salma. The final days of the trip will be to Madrid, Spain where Queen Letizia will speak regarding girls and education.

There will be trip highlights on the first lady's twitter, instagram and she's recently joined snapchat: MichelleObama.

Michelle's Passion

"I'm passionate about this because I truly see myself in these girls -- in their hunger, in their burning determination to rise above their circumstances and reach for something more. And I know that many of you do, too," said Michelle Obama during a speech in Washington marking the first anniversary of Let Girls Learn.


Let Girls Learn Facts

USAID Fast Facts

  • We invest approximately $1 billion annually in education programs.

  • We’ve helped train over 300,000 teachers worldwide.

  • We provided over 35 million textbooks and teaching materials in a single year.

  • We helped Ethiopia achieve 95% enrollment in primary school over the past 15 years.

  • Since 2006, we helped educated over 375,000 school aged children in Somalia.

  • We’re supporting education programs in 18 African countries.

    Find more facts at Let Girls Learn Fact Sheet

    Let Girls Learn Website

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