First lady Melania Trump brings "Be Best" campaign to Malawi school

First lady Melania Trump visits school in Malawi

Melania Trump was greeted by cheerful songs and smiling children as she paid a visit to a school in Malawi, the second stop on a five-day goodwill visit to Africa. The first lady landed in the capital of Lilongwe on Thursday morning after a six-hour flight from Ghana. She's focusing the trip on her interest in child welfare.

Mrs. Trump received a joyous welcome upon her arrival at Kamuzu International Airport, with singing and dancing by a troupe of women and scores of schoolchildren waving flags.

She went directly to Chipala Primary School in Lilongwe, where she watched teachers carry out lessons to help the students learn English and the Chichewa language. Students welcomed her by singing, "We are happy today to see you." With a smile on her face, the first lady read along with children during their lessons.

In the spirit of the first lady's "Be Best" initiative, during one class visit, a teacher led what appeared to be an exercise in self-confidence, asking students to stand up and say their name along with, "You are the best!" The first lady thanked educators for helping the children "be best" throughout their school experience. 

Towards the end of her visit, children sang: "I know one day we shall meet again." Upon her departure, the first lady gifted children with dozens of "Be Best" soccer balls, tote bags and school supplies. 

U.S. first lady Melania Trump looks on as she visits a school in Lilongwe
U.S. first lady Melania Trump looks on as she visits a school in Lilongwe, Malawi, October 4, 2018. Carlo Allegri / REUTERS

Later during a visit at the U.S. embassy in Malawi, the first lady called her visit to the school an "amazing experience." 

"Meeting those children and understanding their different way of life is why I wanted to travel here. I was heartened to spend time with the students, and was honored to donate school supplies and soccer balls," she said. 

Mrs. Trump opened her first extended solo international trip on Tuesday in Ghana. The remaining stops on her tour are Kenya and Egypt.