CBS/AP October 11, 2018, 1:33 PM Michelle Obama launches Global Girls Alliance for education

Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama waves after discussing her forthcoming memoir titled, 'Becoming', during the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference on June 22, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

CHICAGO — Former first lady Michelle Obama has launched a program to help empower girls worldwide through education. The Global Girls Alliance aims to support more than 1,500 grassroots organizations combating the challenges girls encounter in their communities. The alliance will feature social fundraising to help them.

Mrs. Obama made the announcement on NBC's "Today" show Thursday, International Day of the Girl. "When you educate a girl, you educate a family, a community, a country," she said.

Mrs. Obama spoke about her two daughters and said they're "some of the reasons why this issue means so much" to her. She said she's "so proud" of Sasha and Malia Obama.

The program is an initiative of the Chicago-based Obama Foundation, which says more than 98 million adolescent girls worldwide don't go to school. The alliance's website highlights programs around the world and offers ways for the public to support those programs.

The website also features a video showing girls singing Aretha Franklin's "Think." It starts with a girl in a headscarf singing a cappella and crescendos as it incorporates more girls and instrumental accompaniment.

The video says that when girls are in school, poverty goes down, GDPs go up, families become stronger, babies are born healthier "and the world gets better."

Today on International #DayoftheGirl, the @ObamaFoundation is proud to launch the #GlobalGirlsAlliance—a program to empower adolescent girls around the world through education.

Head over to to join us.

— @girlsalliance (@girlsalliance) October 11, 2018

The Obama Foundation was started in 2014 with the aim of continuing "the great, unfinished project of renewal and global progress."