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The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, paid a visit to Liberia to advocate for girl’s education. She is making the visit with her teenage daughters.
Ravaged by a war which ended in 2013 and then the battle with Ebola, which saw schools closed for several months, there has been a strong need to advocate for education, particularly the education of girls. In her visit to a leadership camp for girls, she urged the teenagers to keep fighting to stay in school. “I’m here to shine a big bright light on you,” she said.
A little about Liberia
When most people think about Liberia, what comes to mind is the hardship the country has experienced in recent times. Sadly, these seems to eclipse the fact that Liberia is a very beautiful country with warm and welcoming people. With 43 percent of the remaining rainforest in West Africa, Liberia is a country that is green and vibrant.
The resilience of the people is also the resilience of the land. No matter what has been done on and to the country, it refuses to stay down. Steven B. Labalah puts it beautifully in his article on the Liberian Daily Observer:
“In spite of the bitter pill Liberia has swallowed, like many other countries, we are richly endowed with mineral resources, abundant water, tropical rainforest and a climatic condition that is favorable for agricultural activities. Liberia is home to some of the finest, natural and most beautiful landscapes and animals the world has ever known; many of whom are yet to be discovered. The stunning beaches, amazing creatures, fascinating inland waterways, admirable marshlands with mangroves, charming plateaus and mountains full of all sorts of minerals, attract people from all walks of life. Yet, the reality of life in Liberia for Liberians presents a drastic contrast to the beautiful aforementioned images.”
Liberia was established about 200 years ago in an effort to resettle freed American slaves and has deep ties to the Unite States. USAID also announced up to $27 million in funding in Liberia programming for Let Girls Learn, an initiative launched by Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama last year.
Liberia is the first stop in Michelle Obama’s three-nation visit.