While Donald and Melania Trump have traveled the globe together as president and first lady, Melania is scheduled to go on her first solo international journey in that role. According to The Associated Press, the itinerary for Melania's trip to Africa includes visits to mainly Kenya, Egypt, Malawi, and Ghana. The first lady is expected to discuss children welfare programs and development during her visit in October.
In her speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the first lady said her visit to "four beautiful and very different" African countries would begin on Oct. 1. Per The Associated Press, Melania's trip will focus on her youth safety and wellness "Be Best" campaign.
"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. "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."
The first lady also placed emphasis on being open to intellectual exchanges between countries as she spoke on Wednesday. "We are a global society," Melania said, "and I believe it is through open dialogue and the exchanging of ideas that we have a real opportunity to learn from one another."
In August, The Associated Press reported that Melania gave a statement about going to Africa without the president. "This will be my first time traveling to Africa," she said at the time, "and I am excited to educate myself on the issues facing children throughout the continent, while also learning about its rich culture and history."
The idea is to take welfare programs beyond just the United States, according to Melania. In her speech on Wednesday, the first lady said, "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."
In her address, Melania also mentioned USAID and said, "This is why I am pleased to be working closely with USAID as I prepare for my first major International trip to Africa. 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."
For Melania, traveling by herself sans Trump is nothing new. Last year, the first lady went to Canada sans the president — her first solo trip — and attended the Invictus Games. For most part, though, Melania travels with her husband; countries the first couple have visited include Japan, Poland, South Korea, France, Saudi Arabia, and others. In one instance from June, Melania did not visit Singapore with Trump claiming health-based reasons.
For October, it seems evident that the focal point of her trip to the four mentioned African countries will be about children wellness programs. Mainly Melania's own "Be Best" campaign. In comments on Wednesday, the first lady claimed success, saying, "Since the launch, I have had the opportunity to meet children all over the world, with the goal of talking to them about the importance of healthy living and responsible habits." It remains to be seen whether the first lady's campaign will successfully take off in Africa.