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Home / US / With a new initiative, Michelle Obama has the task to improve the education of girls worldwide

With a new initiative, Michelle Obama has the task to improve the education of girls worldwide



Former First Lady Michelle Obama has launched an international program to support groups and community members educating girls around the world, as she announced Thursday morning.

The Global Girls Alliance is a collective of smaller groups of organizations working to bring girls to school and train them, officials said. In her role, Obama will work through the Obama Foundation to highlight these groups, promote their work and direct donors in their own way.

"We want to raise the grassroots leaders in communities around the world who are eliminating the hurdles of too many girls," Obama said in a statement. "Because the evidence is clear, teaching girls is not only good for the girls, it's good for us all."

In their announcement, the Obama Foundation officials were unable to say how many organizations are part of the Alliance and did not disclose specific fundraising goals. Nor would the Foundation reveal how much it invests in the program or how many of its resources support it.

But while the Foundation's officials raved about the details, the announcement signals how Obama will use their influence as a former woman The first woman to leave the White House for over a year now

It's the first one Program that Obama created through the Foundation, which works in the South Side Community, where she worked and lived. In addition to its programming, the foundation is responsible for the construction of the Obama Presidential Center.

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During their visits to Chicago, Obama talked about their vision for the center and said that it would bring art to the public in a community with difficult neighborhoods that need it. But apart from her visits, where she often has time to sit and talk with high school students, Obama has mostly been quiet since the family left the White House.

Obama grew up in the South Shore neighborhood of the South Side and tickled her Chicago education in almost every public speech. She was once the main breadwinner for her family. However, her law career was interrupted when her husband became president and she instead focused on programs to promote girls and healthy children. As a First Lady she thrilled and delighted the public in speeches, interviews and performances.

After the family left the White House, she said she was looking forward to returning to a normal life.

But last month, Obama announced that she had finished her memoirs and that she would start her major book tour here in Chicago at the United Center.

Shortly after the announcement of the book trip, Obama jumped into a nationwide effort to bring residents to the polls.

On Thursday, she said she is turning her attention to increasing programs that train girls because there are 98 million young girls who do not go to school. In many countries, younger girls are distracted from their education due to work, motherhood and family responsibilities. In other regions, education is prohibited and opportunities are limited.

Studies show, however, that educated girls earn more, better support their families, and are more likely to be healthier and more engaged. Although Obama's initiative is new, the programs that put her in the limelight are not like the Campaign for Female Education or CAMFED, which has offices in the United Kingdom and in the United States and throughout Africa; Rise Up, which is based in California; and the Study Hall Educational Foundation in India.

In addition to these groups, Obama's program will have a GoFundMe page that directs the donors to the programs and charities they support in their efforts. Obama's program will also encourage young people to engage with these groups and turn their passions into action.

Obama kicked off Thursday morning with a television conversation and performances by Kelly Clarkson, Meghan Trainor and Chicago's Jennifer Hudson announcing their new program

lbowean@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @lollybowean

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