The US First Lady was accompanied by her two daughters, Malia and Sasha and her mother Marian Robinson.
Mrs. Obama was in Liberia in furtherance of her legacy program, “Girls Leading Our World” (GLOW) that seeks to promote girls’ education.
In March 2015, President Obama and the First Lady launched “Let Girls Learn”, a U. S. Government initiative aimed at ensuring that adolescent girls across the world attain quality education that empowers them to reach their full potential.
The initiative brings together the U.S. Department of State, U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Peace Corps, Millennium Challenge Corporation and other agencies to address a range of challenges – both in and out of the classroom - that make it difficult for over 62 million girls to get the education they deserve.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf held a closed door meeting with Mrs. Obama at the Roberts International Airport where she was formally welcomed to Liberia by the Liberian leader.
Mrs. Obama also briefed the Liberian leader about the purpose of her visit to Liberia before her departure for Kakata, Margibi County and later joined the US First Lady at the R. S. Caulfield School in Unification Town for an interaction with adolescent girls who are faced with obstacles in school for over two hours.
They shared their personal experiences in pursuit of an education with both President Sirleaf and Mrs. Obama who encouraged the girls and provided inspiration and motivation to the girls.
As new commitments to the Let Girls Learn Program in Liberia, USAID is dedicating up to $27 million in funding to directly support a new program that focuses on increasing enrollment and safe access to
These interventions will include New Accelerated Quality Education (AQE) activity aimed at training teachers, administrators and policymakers to prevent gender-based violence; Launching the ‘Let Girls Learn Challenge for Liberia; Increasing Support for Out-of-School Girls and Youth; and Providing Support for the Education of Girls with Disabilities.
Mrs. Obama indicated that she was thrilled that new investments are being made towards adolescent girls’ education and deepening the partnership with the Government of Liberia.
“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 country.
Speaking in Kakata during an interactive session with participants of the GLOW Program, Mrs. Obama pointed out that her visit to Liberia is aimed at having an insight into work being done by Peace Corps Volunteers in the country and also to see how Liberian girls are progressing with their educational sojourn.
“We need to change the idea that says girls are not good enough and this is why the GLOW Program is important. Girls are worthy of an education because they are going to be mothers and will be able to educate their own children,” she noted.
President Sirleaf was joined by at the Roberts International Airport by key Liberian officials including Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara, Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Julia Duncan Cassel, Education Minister George K. Werner, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, among others.