Thursday 12 December 2019

Michelle Obama and daughters promote education for girls in Liberia

Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia and Sasha are in Africa
Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia and Sasha are in Africa

US First Lady Michelle Obama, her mother and her daughters are set to arrive in Liberia to begin an overseas trip promoting education for girls.

Mrs Obama is scheduled to meet with Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state on the continent.

The Obamas will then visit a Peace Corps-sponsored leadership camp for girls in the town of Kakata.

"People are going to consider her to be a sister to them," Mayor Eddie Murphy said. "We are overwhelmed."

A main topic of their trip will be how to address the barriers facing girls trying to get an education after the recent Ebola epidemic. More than 4,800 people died and children missed many months of school.

The Obamas' last stop in Liberia will be at a school in Unification Town, where they will speak with adolescent girls.

Founded as part of an effort to resettle freed American slaves, Liberia has deep ties to the United States. The country's oldest technical and vocational high school, located in Kakata, is named after the African-American educator and civil rights activist Booker T Washington.

The school suspended mid-term exams scheduled to start on Monday "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 said.

The Obamas are scheduled to leave Liberia on Monday evening for Morocco.


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