You might have seen in the news early this month that First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, visited Morocco, and my city, Marrakesh, to promote the Let Girls Learn initiative.
The Let Girls Learn initiative was launched in March 2015 “to address the range of challenges preventing adolescent girls from attaining a quality education that empowers them to reach their full potential.” Its slogan is “Worldwide, more than 63 million girls, half of them adolescents, are not in school. Millions more are fighting to stay there.” Let Girls Learn brings together the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) as well as other US agencies and programs.
Michelle Obama, along with actresses and education advocates, Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto, met with about 20 adolescent Moroccan girls and had a discussion about education. There were a couple of girls that Peace Corps volunteers have worked with involved in the event. They filmed a video about their courage in facing obstacles to continuing their education. The video will hopefully come out in September. Read the First Lady’s account of the meeting here. There were many inspiring stories and I recognize one girl’s!
As part of Michelle Obama’s trip to Morocco, the MCC will be investing $100 million in a new model for secondary education in Morocco and USAID $400,000 in a local NGO to establish five new girls dorms. Morocco will also become the newest Peace Corps Let Girls Learn country.
I am so excited that more attention will be given to investing in girls’ education in Morocco, and supported by Michelle Obama’s visit and funding. She has made me reflect deeply upon girls in my community and my work with them. I will write another blog post about this subject.