Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and actress Julia Roberts visited Vietnam on Monday in support of girls’ education, state media reported.
Obama led a delegation of high-profile public figures and representatives of the Obama Foundation, including Roberts, Jenna Bush Hager (the daughter of former U.S. President George W Bush).
Others are U.S.-Vietnamese actress Lana Condor, Vietnamese actress Ngo Thanh Van and YouTube creator Liza Koshy.
Obama’s trip is part of the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Allowance, which aims to empower adolescent girls throughout the world.
The team visited Can Giuoc High School, located about 40 km south of Ho Chi Minh City, to promote girls’ education, according to local newspaper VnExpress.
Obama hugged students and said girls were brave individuals who, in spite of facing numerous difficulties, managed to rise up and maintain personal autonomy.
She also listened to students’ stories and shared tips about how girls could have a higher quality of life, the news outlet added.
While the event was closed to the public, Obama and Roberts plan to visit Malaysia next, where they are expected to reflect on their trip to Vietnam during a live-streamed conversation on December 12.
Obama, formerly a Harvard-educated lawyer, was the first African-American U.S. first lady from 2009 to 2017.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama also visited Ho Chi Minh City but did not attend the event.
In 2016, shortly after leaving office, he held a three-day business trip to the city, which included meeting about 800 young Vietnamese leaders.