Michelle Obama, Sasha, Malia head to Africa

Michelle Obama is packing for a trip to Africa with daughters Sasha and Malia.

The trio leave Sunday, with planned stops in Liberia and Morocco as part of the Let Girls Learn initiative, a program launched last year by President Obama and the first lady to encourage developing nations to educate the more than 62 million girls worldwide who don’t attend school.

The trip abroad will have additional star power – Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto will join along the way. In Liberia, the first lady will meet with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa, and have a discussion with local teenage girls, moderated by Pinto.

In Marrakech, Streep will join in for a conversation with adolescent girls. Costs for the actresses’ trip are being picked up by CNN Films, which will air a documentary this fall featuring the stories of girls in Liberia and Morocco who have overcome barriers to going to and staying in school.

In Liberia, nearly two-thirds of Liberia’s school-age children do not attend class, and girls dropping out of school have sharply risen since the Ebola crisis, U.S. officials told reporters Friday.

In Morocco, officials added, 85% of girls are enrolled in primary school, but that number drops to as low as 14% for high schools.

Obama and her daughters will continue onto Spain on Wednesday, where the first lady will meet with Queen Letizia and give a speech about the Let Girls Learn initiative.

 

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