On March 3, 2015, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let Girls Learn, a global initiative to increase girls’ access to education. Let Girls Learn reports that worldwide, more than 62 million girls are not in school. Meanwhile, millions more are fighting just to stay in school.
“As I’ve traveled the world, I have met so many of these girls, and they are so bright, so determined, and so eager to learn,” Michelle Obama wrote in an email. “I see myself in these girls. I see my daughters in these girls. These girls are our girls, and I simply cannot walk away from them.”
Over two-dozen celebrities have harnessed their support for the organization, including: Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Meryl Steep, Denise Richards, Kelly Osbourne, Nick Cannon, DeAndre Jordan, and Rita Wilson. Michelle Obama even launched a song titled “This is for My Girls” written by Diane Warren, featuring Lea Michele, Kelly Clarkson, Missy Elliott, Zendaya, Janelle Monáe, Kelly Rowland, Jadagrace, and Chloe x Halle. All of the songs proceeds were donated towards the Let Girls Learn fund.
Let Girls Learn is partnered with the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Peace Corps, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and the U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Just recently, the USAID donated $25 million in support of the teacher apprenticeship program for adolescent girls in Afghanistan. The donation kicked off a new partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) Girls Education Challenge.
Other major financial contributors include CARE, American Airlines, AOL, and World Bank Group.
Let Girls Learn is active in over 35 countries. The organization strives to tackle gender inequality on an individual, community, and global scale. Studies show that empowering women through education decreases poverty as well as maternal mortality rates, child marriages, and AIDS infections.