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First Lady, Sasha and Malia – 'Special Girl-Power Unit of Obama Household' – Visit Liberia to Push for Girls' Education

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Cheriss May/NurPhoto/AP

Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia touched down in Africa on Monday afternoon, kicking off their tour of Liberia and Morocco to promote the Let Girls Learn initiative, aimed at helping young girls get a quality education.

“I’m traveling with my mother and my two daughters,” Mrs. Obama said, adding with a laugh: “This is the special girl-power unit of the Obama household. We left the president behind because he’s a boy.”

The Obama women were greeted by members of the Liberian traditional council and senior members of the Liberian government, before the first lady headed off to meet with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a vocal education advocate and the first elected female head of state in Africa.

Obama then traveled to Kakata, Liberia, to visit Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World), a girls’ leadership camp sponsored by the Peace Corps.

First Lady Michelle Obama (left) with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Abbas Dulleh/AP

Obama spoke with young girls at the camp about the importance of pursuing an education, telling them, “I want you to keep fighting and stay in school. I’m here to shine a big, bright light on you.”

Abbas Dulleh/AP
Abbas Dulleh/AP

The first lady documented her trip on her Instagram and Snapchat accounts, the latter of which she launched last week to encourage young Americans to follow her latest Africa tour.

Abbas Dulleh/AP

One video posted on the first lady’s Instagram and Twitter accounts featured young African women sharing about how they have learned to read and write through the Let Girls Learn program.

Other photos on Snapchat highlighted her visit to Camp GLOW.

Source: Michelle Obama/Snapchat
Source: Michelle Obama/Snapchat
Source: Michelle Obama/Snapchat

The first lady also shared a photo from her visit to a local high school, where she said she listened to girls’ stories. Obama was accompanied on this official-business trip to Liberia by her own two girls, but it appears Sasha and Malia have so far kept away from news photographers.

Their mother told the girls in Kakata that it’s a “privilege to travel with my mom and my daughters, because I want them to see the world. I want them to get to know your stories and understand what you do through and just how hard you’re working to get your education.”

The first lady will also be joined on her tour by actresses and education advocates Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto, who on Tuesday will participate in a panel discussion with the first lady, moderated by CNN’s Isha Sesay, in Marrakesh.

Pinto is also set to moderate a discussion Monday between Obama and young girls who have struggled to obtain an education in Liberia.