Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us here today to celebrate International Day of the Girl Child. The United States Government is committed to promote and encourage girls’ empowerment in all the development work we do.
The United Nations’ theme for 2015 is “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030”. This event is very timely for us as an Embassy community as it reinforces our commitment to invest and empower girls.
In March 2015, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Let Girls Learn initiative. Let Girls Learn is a United States government-wide effort that leverages the investments we have made and highlights the successes we have achieved in elementary schools, and expands our efforts to help adolescent girls complete their education.
While this initiative mainly focuses on education, the Unites States Government is also investing in the creation and promotion of social and public spaces for civic and political leadership, as this is also critical to defend girls’ rights around the world.
Moreover, the Government of the United States through Peace Corps and their volunteers are creating spaces for girl’s education by developing their entrepreneurship skills and ability to innovate, which will create greater economic self-sufficiency.
While there are many opportunities and challenges ahead, we are promoting the Youth and Adolescent Municipal Committees, in which children as young as 12 years old draft municipal ordinances. They are learning how to incorporate their needs and priorities into their local government agendas. With our programs on the Atlantic Coast, we are benefiting and promoting the enrollment, retention and education of more than 3,000 girls in primary and secondary school and more than 500 girls in technical and vocational studies.
As we embark on this journey to fulfill and promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals over the next fifteen years, I would like to reiterate our continuing commitment to support programs that promote girls’ empowerment and growth.
For you, girls, visiting us this morning, I encourage you to continue with your education and set high goals in your lives. Sometimes you feel sad and unmotivated but you should continue moving forward. It is easy to say this but hard to do, but I think that with education, leadership and perseverance, you will be successful in improving your future, your families and communities.
I would like to express my gratitude to the National Democratic Institute, Global Communities, FADCANIC, DevTech and Fabretto for developing basic, technical and vocational education; citizen security, youth leadership and entrepreneurship in Nicaragua.
I think it is a wonderful idea to have all of you here presenting on the efforts you have undertaken to invest in girls in Nicaragua. I hope these presentations help us to better understand the importance of engaging in girls’ empowerment and leadership, and overcome those obstacles that impede girls all over the world to reach their potential and improve their lives.