We are the world! The United States – not so much these days.
Joe Biden helped kick off the Global Citizen Festival this past Saturday with these words, “We have to move beyond, reach beyond ourselves. We have to be a light to the world, not just in the world. I look out and I see lots of global citizens, optimistic, determined, absolutely determined, rejecting the false premise that our challenges are mere fate, with no solutions, and that protecting universal rights is equally universal, because it is.”
Michelle Obama is moving the U.S. beyond with taxpayer funds.
During the Festival, she relaunched her global education campaign to educate the world’s 62 million uneducated girls. Funding by the U.S. will be paramount and will increase over time.
It was a star-studded Festival in New York’s Central Park meant to raise awareness of our alleged global obligations.
The Michelle education campaign will focus efforts in 11 countries: Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo and Uganda and more countries will be added.
She has already announced the initiative several times in London, Japan, Cambodia and elsewhere.
Congress will get to vote on some of it and the rest will come from reallocated funds. Once it’s in place, they won’t have to reallocate.
Mrs. Obama’s first major initiative, the Let’s Move! campaign, was largely considered unsuccessful because of poor lunch choices by the government though it plods on.
“I see myself in these girls. I see my daughters in these girls. These girls are our girls, and I simply can’t walk away from them. So for me, this is truly a moral issue,” she said in a videotaped message played during the event.
I wonder if she sees the youth of Baltimore in her daughters. They could use some help.
It’s also an economic issue and a health issue, she added.
The campaign #62million girls or Girls Rising which is part of LetGirlsLearn “…will build upon the public engagement campaign the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched last summer,” according to the White House website. The program “is a government-wide effort that will leverage the investments we have made and success we have achieved in global primary school, and expand them to help adolescent girls complete their education.”
U.S. children are falling behind the world in education and we are losing poor youth to gangs but we apparently now have to fund the education of 62 million girls with money that will be handled by the statist leaders of the foreign countries involved. Who knows what the accountability mechanism will be.
This comes at a time when the U.S. has to borrow or print 40 cents on every dollar we spend. We are operating in the red. We can’t afford to educate the world when we have children in ghettos and in Appalachia and in areas of Texas or even New York City, who are not learning and when we don’t have the money.
“Right now 62 million girls are not in school … they deserve the same chances to get an education as my daughters and your daughters,” Michelle Obama said. No one can argue with that on the face of it.
The big question is how far will we go in funding it and how much are the other nations in the world contributing? So far, the U.S. will spend an estimated $250 million in new and reallocated funding through the Department of State, USAID and the Peace Corps, along with donations from the private sector. This is in addition to the funds we already expend. As with all U.N. programs, the U.S. will provide most of the funds.
Here are some of the programs the U.S. government is currently supporting for girls as listed on the White House website.
- The Empowering Adolescent Girls to Lead through Education (EAGLE) project focuses on promoting girls’ education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This five-year, $15.9 million initiative funded by PEPFAR and USAID, seeks to equip adolescent girls in the DRC with educational, life, and leadership skills, including sessions on health, HIV/AIDS awareness, and self-esteem.
- In Liberia, USAID works to support over 7,000 young and adolescent-aged girls through primary school enrollment, attendance, and retention in 60 primary schools through Girls Opportunities to Access Learning (GOAL) Plus.
- USAID’s Girls Empowerment through Education and Health Activity (ASPIRE) works in Malawi to improve both education and health outcomes for over 125,000 adolescent girls.
- USAID/Jordan provides training and materials to supervisors and teachers who are coping with large numbers of Syrian refugee students in their classes.
- In El Salvador, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is investing $100.7 million to improve the quality of education and skills development for Salvadoran students.
- In Georgia, MCC is investing $122.5 million to improve the quality of education in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and increase earning potential of girls and minorities
- USAID, in collaboration with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Burkle Center, launched a global communications campaign to highlight opportunities for individuals to take action to support girls’ education. Nearly 30 of America’s top celebrities lent their voices to the effort, which included more than $230 million in new funding for programs to support education around the world.
- The U.S. Department of State is funding a program in the Middle East & North Africa region to enable teenage Arab girls to explore social issues in their communities and provide a space for reflection through video production.
- In Rwanda, the U.S. Department of State is helping to implement a Girls STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design, and Math) camp to empower young women with the knowledge and skillsets required to be competitive during a time of rapid technological development.
- Launched in 2014, USAID’s Promoting Gender Equity in National Priority Programs Project (Promote) will provide young educated Afghan women opportunities to improve their skills, experience, knowledge, and expand their networks to become future government, business and civil society leaders.
- In September 2012, we announced the Equal Futures Partnership which brings together partner countries and organizations from around the world to break down barriers to women’s political and economic empowerment through legal, regulatory and policy reforms.
- The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) recently launched DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, Safe). This $210 million public-private partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation seeks to reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women in up to 10 countries with high HIV prevalence.
- USAID/Afghanistan is supporting UNICEF to integrate weekly iron folic acid supplementation and biannual deworming into the formal and non-formal education system to reach 10- to 19-year-old girls to prevent adolescent anemia.
- The U.S. Department of State and USAID have committed more than $22 million since 2013 to the Safe from the Start initiative to strengthen prevention and response to GBV at the onset of humanitarian emergencies.
- The U.S. Government funds the Gender-based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative to provide global, short-term, emergency assistance to GBV survivors – including adolescent girls – of extreme forms of GBV and harmful traditional practices. The Initiative also supports integrated training for governments, the judiciary, and key elements of civil society in implementing laws that address GBV. These training sessions are funded by a partnership with the Avon Foundation.
- In Tanzania, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo the U.S. Government is investing over $50 million in GBV prevention and response programming through the PEPFAR Gender-based Violence Initiative.
- USAID/Jordan supports the “I Have a Story” campaign, which encourages Jordanian communities to broaden their understanding of GBV, to strengthen support systems for survivors, and reduce the acceptance of GBV in communities. The campaign uses youth and film clubs to build trust among audience members as well as media partnerships to promote attitude change and education.
- In Guinea, the U.S. Department of State is helping to protect vulnerable girls from the practices of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) through a $1.5 million project from the Secretary’s Full Participation Fund.
- USAID/Bangladesh supports the Promoting Human Rights project, which engages with local NGOs and local government and schools to address issues of domestic violence; child, early and forced marriage; and sexual harassment through dialogue, advocacy, role playing and interactive games.
- In Ethiopia, where one in seven girls is married by her 15th birthday, USAID is facilitating “community conversations” with girls, their families, and their community members to discuss the effects of child, early and forced marriage and encourage them to build adolescent girls’ social, health, and economic assets.
- USAID will continue supporting the Global Partnership for Education – a partnership of developing countries, donor governments, international organizations, the private sector, teachers, and civil society/NGO groups – that is focused on getting all children into school and ensuring they receive a quality education.
- In Pakistan, USAID supports the Safe Schools Initiative with $4.6 million.
- n Nigeria, a Safe Schools Initiative trust fund was set up in response to the growing number of attacks on school children, including the kidnapping of more than 200 girls in northern Nigeria. The U.S. Government donated $2 million to support the program.
- The U.S. Government’s $1.2 million contribution to the UN Literacy Decade Fund – in partnership with UNESCO – supports specialized literacy centers across South Sudan and the training of 230 teachers to improve literacy learning among out-of-school adolescent women and girls.
- As one of 16 champion countries for the UN Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), the United States seeks to raise education to the top of the global policy agenda to put every child in school, improve the quality of learning, and foster global citizenship.