Left Menu
Development News Edition

Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts urge Vietnam girls to stay in school

PTI | Canajoharie | Updated: 09-12-2019 17:35 IST | Created: 09-12-2019 17:35 IST
Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts urge Vietnam girls to stay in school

Can Giuoc (Vietnam), Dec 9 (AFP) Former US first lady Michelle Obama and Hollywood A-lister Julia Roberts toured a high school in rural Vietnam on Monday, urging a classroom of teenage girls to stay focused on their education to transform their lives. The promotion of girls' schooling has been the cornerstone of Obama's charitable work since her husband Barack Obama left office in 2017 after two terms as US president.

"When you educate a girl you give them power and a voice and an opportunity to improve their lives and the lives of their family and the lives of their community," Obama said at Can Giuoc high school in southern Long An province in the Mekong Delta. Accompanied by Roberts and Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former US president George W. Bush, Obama encouraged the girls to stay the course of schooling.

"I want you all to stay committed and focused, it will get tough at times -- it already has for some of you -- but it is well worth it," she said, before the women sat and chatted with students. "Even if your families don't understand that today, trust me they will, when you go off to college or start your businesses," she added.

With its booming youth population and fast-growing economy, Vietnam routinely outperforms its neighbours in education rankings, especially in math and sciences. School enrolment rates are also high at 91.7 per cent, but the quality of schooling often drops off in rural areas, and in the poorest pockets of the country economic pressures can force girls out of school early.

Student Truong Thi Hai Yen said Obama's visit -- and life story -- was a major motivation. "She kept trying every day to be better and now we can see that she is very successful," the 16-year-old told AFP.

In her best-selling book "Becoming", Harvard-educated Obama details how her own education and good teachers shaped her life and paved her path to becoming a successful lawyer, university administrator and advocate. The Obamas have dedicated much of their time post-presidency to the non-profit Obama Foundation, which includes the Girls Opportunity Alliance initiative that Michelle promoted in Vietnam on Monday.

The former first lady announced last week a USD 500,000 donation to the Alliance's work world-wide, money earned from merchandise sales related to her book. She will travel next to Malaysia with Barack and Roberts to speak at an Obama Foundation Leaders event on Tuesday. (AFP) MRJ


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Campaigning in JK ends for first phase of DDC polls

Campaigning for the first phase of the district development council DDC polls and by-elections to local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir ended on Thursday evening, officials said. Voting to decide the fate of 1,475 candidates in this phase would...

Shami, Bumrah might be rotated during white-ball series, hints Kohli

The workload of premier fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami is of paramount importance to India captain Virat Kohli and he said it will be closely monitored and managed during the white-ball series against Australia to keep them ...

AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine faces questions after error: Report

AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford are facing questions about their COVID-19 vaccine and whether regulators would quickly authorise its emergency use after the pharma company acknowledged an error in the vaccine dosage received by...

COVID-19: No plan of day-time curfew, lockdown in Guj, says CM

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday said there are no plans to impose any day- time curfew or lockdown in Gujarat or some of its cities as claimed by some social media users. At present, night curfew between 9 pm and 6 am is goi...

Give Feedback