US President Barack Obama has announced that his government will extend the â€œLet Girls Learnâ€ programme in Nepal and Laos.
The announcement was made on Tuesday by the US President Obama in Laos where he was attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
â€œIâ€™m proud to announce that an initiative thatâ€™s very important to me and to my wife Michelle, an initiative called Let Girls Learn, is coming to Laos and Nepal,â€ read a release of President Obamaâ€™s speech issued by The White House. â€œNone of our countries anywhere in the world can truly succeed unless our girls and our women have every opportunity to succeed, the same opportunities as boys and men do,â€ the release added.
â€” The First Lady (@FLOTUS) September 7, 2016
Let Girls Learn is a US government initiative launched by the White House in March 2015 to address the range of challenges preventing adolescent girls from attending and completing school and realising their full potential.
Thus far, the programme has been run in two countriesâ€”Malawi and Tanzania. President Obamaâ€™s announcement makes Nepal and Laos the first two Asian countries to benefit from the support.
According to the Embassy of the United States, the announcement means that the US Government, under the umbrella of the Let Girls Learn Initiative, will seek to engage and collaborate with partners to concentrate their collective efforts on addressing the unique barriers to adolescent girlsâ€™ education, health, and safety in each country, helping to raise the value of adolescent girlsâ€™ education, and piloting â€œwhole-ofgirlâ€ programming that addresses the needs of girls.
â€œWhile our efforts will focus on women and girls, we will also engage men and boys as partners with equal voices in the future of their communities. Parameters of the programâ€”including funding levelsâ€”have yet to be determined,â€ said Ineke Stoneham, Spokesperson, Press and Information Officer of the US Embassy, adding that through Let Girls Learn, US government agenciesâ€”including the Department of State, USAID, the Peace Corps, Department of Defence, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)â€”employ a â€œwhole-of-girlâ€ approach to ensure all girls have the opportunity to learn and thrive.