First lady Michelle Obama arrived in Liberia Monday accompanied by her mother and daughters Malia, 17, and Sasha, 15.
“I’m here to shine a big bright light on you,” she told her daughters, according to The Associated Press. And she shined something even brighter on Liberia.
She arrived bearing gifts — up to $27 million in USAID for that country’s Let Girls Learn initiative, a program launched in March of last year by President and Mrs. Obama, according to a White House announcement.
Let Girls Learn uses the combined resources of multiple agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps and the Millennium Challenge Corporation to address educational challenges facing girls across the globe.
The White House reported:
Building on U.S. Government investments and expertise, Let Girls Learn develops new programs, elevates existing programs, leverages public-private partnerships, and engages non-governmental organizations, governments, and private sector partners to commit to improving the lives of adolescent girls worldwide.
“I am thrilled that we are making these new investments in adolescent girls’ education and deepening our partnership with the Government of Liberia,” the first lady said, according to the White House. “These girls are so bright and so eager to learn, and these investments will help them build the knowledge and skills they need to provide for themselves and their families and contribute fully to their communities and their country.”
Monday’s mid-term exams at Liberia’s oldest vocational high school, named for African-American civil rights activist Booker T. Washington, were suspended “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, according to the AP.
“She will be a real inspiration to the young girls around here,” he added.
And no doubt the Yankee dollars will be an even bigger inspiration.
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