BE BEST Initiative

  • USAID Supports First Lady’s BE BEST Initiative

Speeches Shim

USAID is proud to be a part of First Lady Melania Trump’s BE BEST Initiative, which champions successful well-being programs that provide children with the tools and skills required for emotional, social, and physical health.

USAID prioritizes investments in children and young people across all of the sectors in which we work, because we know that their wellbeing will positively affect their families, communities, and countries for years to come.

Currently, there are 1.8 billion young people in the world -- the largest youth population in recorded history. Ninety percent of those young people live in developing nations.

Our investments in children and young people yield some of the greatest development dividends and have the potential to generate the greatest change. Educated and healthy children and young people, who are involved in their community, are incredible drivers of democracy and economic growth.

For example, in Malawi - a stop on Mrs. Trump’s first solo trip to Africa - USAID is working with the local government on a National Reading Program. We’ve provided quality reading instruction to more than 4.4 million children; trained and coached more than 48,000 teachers; and supplied more than 10 million new textbooks. As a result, The Government of Malawi has adopted the teacher training and coaching model and even extended the school day to allow for more reading instruction time.

To support the First Lady’s initiative, Administrator Green named Julie Cram as USAID’s BE BEST Champion. In this new role, she will promote the BE BEST Campaign at USAID and identify opportunities for greater alignment between the initiative and USAID’s programming. Cram concurrently serves as the Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment and the Senior Coordinator of United States International Basic Education Assistance. Learn more about the critical role education plays in the journey to self-reliance at