Updates

Michelle Obama Visits Vietnam as Part of the Girls Opportunity Alliance to Discuss Girls Education with Students

Mrs. Obama Was Joined by Academy Award-Winning Actress Julia Roberts, YouTube’s Liza Koshy, TODAY show’s Jenna Bush Hager, and Actresses Lana Condor and Ngô Thanh Vân (Veronica Ngo)

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM – Today, Michelle Obama visited Cần Giuộc High School in Long An Province, Vietnam, on behalf of the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance to meet with local girls’ education organizations and beneficiaries of programs to help adolescent girls reach their full potential through education.

Mrs. Obama was joined by actresses Julia Roberts, Lana Condor, and Ngô Thanh Vân (Veronica Ngo), as well as YouTube’s Liza Koshy and the TODAY show’s Jenna Bush Hager, who interviewed Mrs. Obama about the importance of supporting adolescent girls education globally. Long An is located just outside of Ho Chi Minh City.

The Girls Opportunity Alliance is an initiative of the Obama Foundation that seeks to empower adolescent girls around the world through education, so that they can, in turn, support their families, communities, and countries. The Alliance engages people around the world to take action to help the local organizations that best understand the unique challenges girls face in their local communities and the strategies needed to overcome them.

In Vietnam, the Girls Opportunity Alliance is working with Room to Read, a nonprofit that advances gender equality through education. Its girls education program ensures girls build the skills to succeed in school and make key life decisions by providing life skills curriculum, opportunities for mentorship and peer support, and family and community engagement. The program includes trainings on life skills topics such as perseverance, critical thinking, and negotiation, important leadership skills that enable girls to advocate for themselves and succeed inside and outside the classroom.

Today, Mrs. Obama and the delegation visited with alumni of this programming, as well as girls currently engaged in the program, and got an opportunity to see the range of life skills trainings.

“Please know that I am so proud of you,” Mrs. Obama told the girls in the program. “You inspire me to keep working… for the rest of my life I’m going to keep traveling the world, as well as throughout the U.S., to highlight girls like you—and to show the world what happens when we give a girl an education.”

In advance of Mrs. Obama’s visit, Room to Read partnered with two Vietnamese nonprofit organizations to expand their ability to provide life skills trainings and support their communities in the Mekong Delta, where families often face financial pressures that could lead to girls dropping out of secondary school. The Girls Opportunity Alliance is showcasing these new projects on its Girls Opportunity Alliance GoFundMe page, where people around the world who care about girls education can take direct action to support these projects. The Alliance also added two other girls education projects in Vietnam to its fund on December 3, Giving Tuesday. All of the projects around the world available for funding are up on the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund website.

YouTube’s Liza Koshy, along with Creators for Change ambassadors, will travel to various regions around the world to highlight Girls Opportunity Alliance projects supporting adolescent girls education, including these efforts in Vietnam, as part of a YouTube Originals special premiering in 2020.

After the visit in Vietnam, Mrs. Obama and President Obama will travel to Malaysia to speak at the Foundation’s inaugural Leaders: Asia-Pacific gathering. The gathering, which will take place December 10-14 in Kuala Lumpur, will bring together 200 emerging leaders from 33 countries and territories across the Asia Pacific as part of a year-long program focused on values-based, ethical leadership. Mrs. Obama’s mainstage event at Leaders: Asia-Pacific will reflect on the trip to Vietnam and the importance of girls education and of girls and women’s empowerment across the globe. Both President and Mrs. Obama’s sessions will be streamed live at obama.org.

For more information on the Girls Opportunity Alliance and its projects in Vietnam and around the world, please visit girlsopportunityalliance.org.

Photo/Video

Photos of today’s events may be found on Flickr, and a video of the event may be found here.

Additionally, here is a string-out of video clips for editorial and repackaging purposes. Please credit “The Obama Foundation.” Video may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement by the Foundation, President Obama, or Mrs. Obama without the Foundation’s prior written consent.

Video of the event may be found here.

Please credit the Obama Foundation.

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Contact: Laura Lucas Magnuson, Obama Foundation, [email protected]

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