In Africa, the African Education Initiative [. . .] gives scholarships to girls, because we know if girls are educated, they're more likely to be able to avoid AIDS, they're more likely to maker better and wiser decisions that protect their children [. . .]. And since that's what I'm particularly interested in, education, and have always been, that's been the focus of most of my international travel.
- Mrs. Laura Bush, May 12, 2006
As First Lady, Laura Bush traveled domestically to all 50 states and internationally to more than 75 countries. A leading advocate for literacy, Mrs. Bush championed the power of education to foster healthy families and communities, advance opportunities for young people, and promote human rights worldwide, particularly for women and children.
West Africa - January 14, 2006 to January 18, 2006
FOIA 2014-0528-F consists of material for Laura Bush's official four day trip to West Africa, including stops in Sal Island, Cape Verde; Accra, Ghana; Monrovia, Liberia; and Abuja, Nigeria, from January 14, 2006 through January 18, 2006.
On January 14, 2006, Mrs. Bush departed the White House. After a stop in Sal Island, Cape Verde for refueling, on January 15, she traveled to Accra, Ghana to begin her official visit.
On January 16, 2006, Mrs. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveled to Monrovia, Liberia to attend President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's inauguration. President Sirleaf was Africa's first female elected head of state.
On January 17, 2006, Mrs. Bush visited the Accra Teacher Training College in Accra, Ghana to launch the Africa Education Initiative Textbooks and Learning Materials Program alongside Ghana President John Agyekum Kufuor. She also visited patients and staff at the Korle-Bu Treatment Center for AIDS.
On January 18, 2006, after being greeted by traditional dancers and festivities, Mrs. Bush announced a $163 million commitment by the United States to Nigeria to battle AIDS when she visited the Saint-Mary's Catholic Hospital in Gwagwalada, Nigeria. While visiting Abuja, she participated in a roundtable with students at the Model Secondary School and addressed attendees at the National Center for Women's Development about women's empowerment. Lastly, she met with Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo. Mrs. Bush traveled to the United States Embassy and greeted employees. That evening, she departed for her return to the United States.
India - March 1, 2006 to March 4, 2006
FOIA 2014-0532-F contains materials related to Mrs. Laura Bush's trip to India in March 2006 where she visited Mother Teresa's Home for Disabled Children (Jeevan Jyoti) and the set of Galli Galli Sim Sim (the Indian version of Sesame Street).
On February 28, 2006, President and Mrs. Bush departed the White House. After a stop in Shannon, Ireland for refueling, they traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter, they continued to New Delhi, India to begin their official visit, arriving on March 1, 2006.
On March 2, 2006, President and Mrs. Bush participated in a formal arrival ceremony which was followed by a wreath-laying in honor of Mahatma Gandhi. Mrs. Bush participated in the taping of a segment for Galli Galli Sim Sim, the Indian version of Sesame Street, and visited a girls' home run by Prayas, an organization aimed at assisting impoverished and/or abused youth. Following these engagements, the President and Mrs. Bush had lunch with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife, Gursharan Kaur. The President and Mrs. Bush then traveled to the United States Embassy and greeted employees. Lastly, Mrs. Bush visited Jeevan Jyoti (Light of Life), the home for disabled children founded by Mother Teresa. That evening, President and Mrs. Bush attended a state dinner.
On March 3, 2006, the President and Mrs. Bush traveled to Hyderabad, India. Mrs. Bush participated in an event focused on HIV/AIDS, visited a Home Science School Lab, and participated in a roundtable on women's empowerment. The President and Mrs. Bush also traveled to New Delhi, India for remarks by the President before traveling to Islamabad, Pakistan.
On March 4, 2006, President and Mrs. Bush participated in a formal arrival ceremony. Mrs. Bush participated in a roundtable regarding education, met with Sehba Musharraf (wife of President Pervez Musharraf), and attended a briefing on earthquake reconstruction efforts within Pakistan. Mrs. Bush also attended a press availability with President Bush and President Musharraf and attended a formal lunch. Following lunch, President and Mrs. Bush traveled to the United States Embassy and greeted employees. That evening, the President and Mrs. Bush attended a state dinner before departing for their return to the United States.