First lady Michelle Obama kicked off her latest international trip on Monday with a stop in Kakata, Liberia, in order to visit a local leadership camp for girls and to encourage the young women there to stay in school.
Along with stops in Morocco and Spain, the trip is meant to be a part of the first lady’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative, and hopes to bring attention to the millions of young girls around the world who are denied an education or encouraged not to go to school.
“I’m here to shine a big bright light on you,” she continued.
In connection with the first lady’s visit, USAID announced up to $27 million in funding in Liberia for “Let Girls Learn,” including expansion of the Peace Corps program there. Students’ mid-term exams were also suspended in order “to allow the students to give Mrs. Obama a rousing welcome to appreciate what the United States has done for us,” principal Harris Tarnue said.
“She will be a real inspiration to the young girls around here,” he continued.
While this is not the Obamas’ first official visit to Africa, the first lady has never been so focused on the importance of getting adolescent girls a quality education, and this trip signifies her dedication to the cause worldwide.
“This trip will allow the first lady to reach directly to publics of three important U.S. partners and talk about an issue that is important to all of us: The education of girls, and the empowerment of women and girls more broadly,” deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told CNN on Friday.