FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2015
CONTACT: Press Office, 202.692.2230
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 3, 2015 – President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama today will announce a powerful collaboration with the Peace Corps to expand access to education for girls around the world. Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet will join the President and First Lady for the announcement of the Let Girls Learn initiative at the White House.
Educating girls is essential to healthy and thriving communities, but globally, 62 million girls are not in school. Let Girls Learn will address that challenge by empowering local leaders to put lasting solutions in place that confront the barriers to girls’ education.
“Every girl matters, and when she is given the opportunity to get an education, everyone in her life benefits,” Hessler-Radelet said. “Peace Corps volunteers live and work at the grassroots level and develop strong relationships with local change-makers, which uniquely positions them to serve as catalysts for this community-led change.”
As part of Let Girls Learn, the Peace Corps and First Lady are making three specific commitments across 11 initial countries, including Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo and Uganda:
• To build local capacity through targeted training, with a goal of training thousands of Peace Corps volunteers and tens of thousands of community leaders over the next six years to be champions of girls’ education.
• To raise awareness among the American people and garner support for community-based solutions through the Peace Corps Partnership Program, which supports Peace Corps volunteer community projects worldwide, and the newly established Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund.
• To increase Peace Corps volunteers’ impact as they work to break down barriers to girls’ education by aiming to recruit, train and place at least 650 additional volunteers in targeted countries to promote girls’ education and empowerment.
Last year, more than 82,000 girls and young women around the world participated in camps and youth clubs led by Peace Corps volunteers, and more than 2,000 Peace Corps volunteers led girls’ education and empowerment activities across 60 countries. From helping to start a school library to organizing a technology camp for girls, this collaboration will bring increased focus, resources and impact to the critical global issue of girls’ education.
Learn more and support Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn efforts by visiting letgirlslearn.peacecorps.gov.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.