United States first lady, Michelle Obama landed in Monrovia, Liberia on Monday with her daughters and her mother for a trip gear towards promoting education for girls, starting with Liberia, a country recovering from the recent Ebola epidemic.
Michelle Obama visited a leadership camp for girls in Kakata, Liberia on Monday, urging the teens to keep fighting to stay in school.
With her own teenage daughters joining her, Obama told the girls she was “just so thrilled to be here with you.”
“I’m here to shine a big bright light on you,” she said.
Education for girls is the central theme of the first lady’s trip, which also includes stops in Morocco and Spain.
The Obamas were welcomed in Liberia’s capital with a red carpet and traditional dancers wearing the red, white and blue colors of both the American and Liberian flags. They also will visit Morocco and Spain.
While in Liberia, the first lady will meet with the president of the West African country, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the continent’s first elected female head of state.
While in the town of Kakata, Mayor Eddie Murphy said. “We are overwhelmed.” “People are going to consider her to be a sister to them,”
A main topic of the trip is how to address the barriers facing girls trying to get an education after the Ebola outbreak. More than 4,800 people died in Liberia, and children missed several months of school.
The Obamas’ last stop in Liberia is at a school in Unification Town to speak with adolescent girls, according to Tina Tchen, the first lady’s chief of staff.
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 for the African-American educator and civil rights activist Booker T. Washington.
The school suspended mid-term exams scheduled to start 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.