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Why the First Lady is in Africa Today

June 28, 2016

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a roundtable discussion with Freida Pinto and students, in support of the Let Girls Learn initiative, at R.S. Caulfield Senior High School in Unification Town, Liberia, June 27, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a roundtable discussion with Freida Pinto and students, in support of the Let Girls Learn initiative, at R.S. Caulfield Senior High School in Unification Town, Liberia, June 27, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

I see myself in these girls, I see my daughters in these girls, and I simply cannot walk away from them.” — First Lady Michelle Obama

Imagine being told that you are not allowed to go to school. Imagine being told that an education — one of the most fundamental building blocks for a healthy, long, and fulfilling life — is simply not an option for you.

It’s hard, right? But, for millions of girls around the world, it’s a reality. In fact, more than 62 million girls — half of them adolescents — are not in school. Millions more are fighting just to stay there.

These girls deserve a chance to fulfill their potential. All girls deserve that chance.

That’s why, as part of the Let Girls Learn initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama is traveling this week to Liberia, Morocco, and Spain to meet with young women and girls — and to talk about why getting an education is something that every girl deserves.

Want to follow along? Check out the First Lady’s travel diary -– and don’t forget to follow her on Snapchat (Michelle Obama) for real-time updates.

Around the world, a girl can face complex physical, cultural, and financial barriers to education. She may have a long, unsafe walk to school from a remote village. Sometimes, even when a school is nearby, it may not have adequate bathroom facilities for girls — meaning that female students have to stay home when they have their period. And, even after overcoming all of these obstacles, she may face school fees that her family is unwilling or cannot afford to pay.

Yet, we know that educating young girls has a tremendously positive impact on the world. Girls who are educated earn higher salaries, raise healthier families, and can even boost their countries’ economies with their contributions to the workforce. That’s why, when girls receive equal educational opportunities, it can transform lives, families, communities — entire countries. That’s why the stories of the girls the First Lady is meeting with this week are so important to share.

Join the First Lady along the way: See and hear the stories of these girls’ challenges, their successes, and their hopes for a future of their own making.

You can also find out what you can do to help them get the education they need and deserve:

• Go to 62MillionGirls.com to see how you can take action in your community

• Read the First Lady’s daily travel diary on HelloGiggles

• Follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (MichelleObama)


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