Shortly after CNN reported that the Trump administration planned to end Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” program, White House spokesperson Heather Nauert said, “There have been no changes to the program.”
“The Administration supports policies and programs to empower adolescent girls, including efforts to educate them through the completion of secondary school. We are committed to empowering women and girls around the world and are continuing to examine the best ways to do so.”
CNN made the report after obtaining an internal memo from the Trump administration that indicated an end to the program.
“Moving forward, we will not continue to use the ‘Let Girls Learn’ brand or maintain a stand-alone program,” The email sent by Peace Corps director Sheila Crowley to Peace Corps employees this week read. “Let Girls Learn’ provided a platform to showcase the Peace Corps’ strength in community development, shining a bright light on the work of our Volunteers all over the world. We are so proud of what ‘Let Girls Learn’ accomplished and we have all of you to thank for this success.”
In their response to CNN’s report, the White house did not clarify whether “Let Girls Learn” would be maintained independently of the Peace Corps, or why the memo was sent at all.
The former first lady has launched this program back in 2015 to facilitate educational opportunities for adolescent girls in developing countries.
“You have told me that whatever obstacles these girls face – whether it’s school fees, or violence or cultural beliefs that girls simply aren’t worthy of an education – you’ve said that these problems will not be fixed from on high,” Former first lady Michelle Obama told activists in 2015. “That these are community challenges that call for community solutions.”
While the question whether this program will end remain open, the Trump administration and newly minted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue have announced a rollback of school lunch standards also developed by the former first lady.