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Michelle Obama urges girls everywhere to be “hungry” for education

Cindy Leive (L), Editor in Chief of Glamour magazine, US First Lady Michelle Obama (C), and actress Yara Shahid (R) participate in a real-time, digital conversation using Skype with adolescent girls around the world titled 'A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls' Education' at the Newseum in Washington, DC USA, 11 October 2016. Glamour magazine hosted the event in celebration of International Day of the Girl and the Let Girls Learn initiative. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

Cindy Leive (L), Editor in Chief of Glamour magazine, US First Lady Michelle Obama (C), and actress Yara Shahid (R) participate in a real-time, digital conversation using Skype with adolescent girls around the world titled ‘A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls’ Education’ at the Newseum in Washington, DC USA, 11 October 2016. Glamour magazine hosted the event in celebration of International Day of the Girl and the Let Girls Learn initiative. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

Washington, Oct 11 (EFE).- The first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, urged all girls everywhere this Tuesday to be “hungry” for education, not to fear failure and to do what they can to help each other, as she announced new private funding for her program “Let Girls Learn” on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl.

“We have all this technology, all these tools. Use them to educate yourselves and reach out to girls around the world. Don’t just Snapchat what you’re eating; use that tool to impart knowledge, to share wisdom, to share your story and spread the word,” Obama said during an interactive chat with teenage girls in countries as far from each other as Jordan, Peru and Tanzania, that was held at the Washington Newseum in coordination with Glamour magazine.

Obama warned against underestimating the value of education for girls in rich countries like the United States, because in many parts of the world girls are “willing to give their life, they are literally dying trying to get the education that many of us take for granted.”

The result in so many places is that life is never as easy for women as it is for men – but the hope for the future lies exactly with the girls she was talking to: “You all are the ones that are going to change that culture, because you’re going to raise your girls with a different understanding of why education is important,” Obama said.

US First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a real-time, digital conversation using Skype with adolescent girls around the world titled 'A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls' Education' at the Newseum in Washington, DC USA, 11 October 2016. Glamour magazine hosted the event in celebration of International Day of the Girl and the Let Girls Learn initiative. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

US First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a real-time, digital conversation using Skype with adolescent girls around the world titled ‘A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls’ Education’ at the Newseum in Washington, DC USA, 11 October 2016. Glamour magazine hosted the event in celebration of International Day of the Girl and the Let Girls Learn initiative. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

This was how the wife of President Barack Obama chose to celebrate the International Day of the Girl, and the White House used the occasion to announce that “Let Girls Learn” has collected the equivalent of $5 million (4.4 million euros) from the private sector.

“Let Girls Learn” was launched in early 2015 with the goal of breaking down the barriers that keep female children and teens from getting an education, which go from the cost of studies to the fear of being kidnapped or abused at school.

According to the White House, around 62 million girls worldwide don’t attend school, and that makes them more vulnerable to diseases like AIDS, or to being forced into marriage and suffering other forms of violence.

“More than 62 million girls around the world are counting on us to be their voice, and I intend to continue speaking out on their behalf – not just for the rest of my time as first lady but for the rest of my life,” Michelle Obama said.

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