First Lady Melania Trump sets out for Africa on Monday in her first solo foreign trip since her husband Donald Trump took office. According to ABC, Melania’s week-long trip will take her to Egypt, Ghana, Malawi, and Kenya. The purpose of the trip is to support her “Be Best” initiative, which is focused on the overall well-being of children and addressing the issues that affect them. According to The First Lady’s office, Melania will visit “schools and hospitals focusing on mothers and newborn care, to learn more about the role of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)” in their support of “development initiatives.”
Melania spoke about her trip last week while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. She said that her Be Best initiative has engaged with children across the nation and across the world since many of the issues the initiative explores are global issues.
“There are many programs across the country that are doing great things for children, and I believe we can replicate many of these programs overseas. This is why I am pleased to be working closely with USAID as I prepare for my first major International trip to Africa.”
The trip was planned in coordination with USAID, and will, in part, highlight the progress of the organization and of government aid in Africa. While in Ghana, she will focus on the success stories of the USAID helping to support women and children’s healthcare. In Kenya and in Malawi, Melania will focus on stories involving anti-poverty and education.
“By working with developing countries around the world to help them with their journey to self-reliance, USAID’s work embodies much of what ‘Be Best’ stands for,” Melania added. She also said that her time in Egypt will focus on the work USAID has done to help Egyptian citizens of all genders and religions lead healthy and productive lives.
Despite the First Lady’s goal to highlight the work the United States is doing in foreign countries, her husband has attempted to curb the amount of funding and aid America offers to other countries.
“The United States is the world’s largest giver in the world, by far, of foreign aid. But few give anything to us. That is why we are taking a hard look at U.S. foreign assistance,” Trump said. He added that in the future, the United States will only help countries that are allies, and more specifically, countries that “respect us.”
Melania’s visit to Africa comes before her husband’s visit as president. Thus far, there have been no plans announced for Trump to visit the continent.