PACK YOUR BAGS: First Lady Melania Trump rounded up fellow first spouses and other dignitaries Wednesday morning at the United States Mission to the United Nations.
FLOTUS used the occasion to reveal details of her upcoming trip to Africa which will include stops in Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. “Whether it is education, drug addiction, hunger, online safety or bullying, poverty or disease, it is too often children who are hit first, and hardest, across the globe,” she said, according to a press pool report. “Each of us hails from a country with its own unique challenges, but I know in my heart we are united by our commitment to raising the next generation to be happy, healthy and morally responsible adults.”
Next week’s trip will mark the first official solo one for Trump, who has been exercising more independence in relation to her job title as of late. While many Americans and President Donald Trump are consumed with the upcoming Senate Judiciary hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the first lady presented a more outward outlook. As for her itinerary, she said the countries were selected because they “have worked alongside USAID and our partners to make great progress in overcoming some of their biggest challenges,” according to a press pool report. “In Ghana, USAID’s programs have focused on health care by supporting efforts to expand the coverage and quality of health care for mothers and newborns, and educating women and young children about the importance of proper nutrition.”
Spouses of the visiting Heads of State, Heads of Foreign Delegations, Cabinet Members and representatives from United States Agency for International Development were invited to this morning’s reception. Wearing a pale-pink, cap-sleeve dress, the first lady trumpeted her “Be Best” initiative, which was started in May to address issues facing children. She also ran through some recent efforts including speaking at the Students Against Destructive Decisions National Conference, visiting children in the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London and meeting students in Microsoft’s Council for Digital Good.
Trump will be reuniting with three of Wednesday’s attendees next week — Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Gertrude Maseko and Margraet Kenyatta who are respectively the first ladies of Ghana, Malawi and Kenya. Plans were said to be put in place this summer, and FLOTUS has been planning her wardrobe accordingly.
Trump noted how in Malawi “USAID has demonstrated that education is one of the keys to combatting poverty and promoting prosperity” and how in Kenya “USAID works on a variety of programs, including early-childhood education, wildlife conservation and HIV prevention.”
The final stop in Kenya will focus on the country’s tourism and conservation projects. She said, “I know that through USAID, we have worked with the people of Egypt to promote an environment in which all groups of society — including women and religious minorities — can lead productive and healthy lives,” she said. “In fact, their programs have directly supported a reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates, improved early-grade reading and restored and preserved historical sites vital to Egypt’s tourism.”
At Fashion 4 Development’s First Ladies Luncheon Tuesday, Luxembourg’s first gentleman Gauthier Destenay spoke of how Trump’s presence is changing. He said, “She’s getting more and more involved and conscious about the impact she can have. It takes time of course when you become first lady from one day to another. It’s not always easy from the beginning. I think month after month you can feel that she’s taking that very seriously and she’s very involved in what she has to do now.”
Trump helped to raise the profile of the Australian label Scanlan Theodore by choosing a $600 wool crepe dress by its designer Gary Theodore. In business for more than 30 years, the company has been making headway in the U.S. A Soho store bowed about a year ago and an East 19th Street store opened four months ago. A Tribeca location will be unveiled next month at 42 Hudson Street, a company spokeswoman said. FLOTUS wore a Dior ensemble for a trip to the United Nations with her husband Tuesday. Trump’s stylist buzzed by the Flatiron district store a few weeks ago. For Monday night’s reception with world leaders, FLOTUS wore one of the dresses that Pierre designed for his Atelier Caito for Herve label, the stylist said.