Today I’m celebrating the great work of the Obamas in their Let Girls Learn initiative, a project that readers of A Girl Called Problem will appreciate. As Shida would tell us, if you invest in a girl, you invest in all the people she will help over the course of her life. Some of you will remember the Liberian proverb at the beginning of chapter 21: “If you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”
Michelle Obama explains her interest in working to ensure access to education for the tens of millions of girls around the globe who are not in school:
“For me, education has never been simply a policy issue — it’s personal.
Neither of my parents and hardly anyone in the neighborhood where I grew up went to college. But thanks to a lot of hard work and plenty of financial aid, I had the opportunity to attend some of the finest universities in this country. That education opened so many doors and gave me the confidence to pursue my ambitions and have a voice in the world.”
Readers of A Girl Called Problem who are inspired to take action can learn more about Let Girls Learn here and also about how to contribute. Watch the video We Will Rise about Michelle’s visit to Liberia and Morocco, where she learned more about girls’ struggles to access education. In the meantime, one of the best things young people can do to help promote access to education for all girls and boys around the world is to spread awareness. Did any of you march at one of the Women’s Marches around the world last Saturday? I did up in the cloud forest of Costa Rica with this sign:
I made a mistake and attributed the proverb to Nigeria, but folks seemed to understand.