Chelsea Clinton can trace her African awakening to February 11, 1990, when she sat on the kitchen counter of the governor’s mansion in Arkansas and watched with her parents as Nelson Mandela walked out of prison in South Africa.
Just shy of her 10th birthday, Clinton knew then that history was being made and even more, “that the future was being born,” she told CNN before leaving this week on a nine-day, six-stop African trip with her father, former President Bill Clinton.
Now she is part of that future she envisioned more than 23 years ago. The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is involved in myriad projects in Africa intended to help historically disadvantaged people get a chance to realize their human potential on a continent known mostly for squalor and conflict.
Changing both the reality of Africa and the perception of its failed progress are important to Clinton, a self-proclaimed child of advantage raised by wildly successful and famous parents.
She credits both with helping her better understand the world, quoting her father’s maxim that “intelligence is equally distributed; opportunity and resources aren’t,” while citing travels around the world with her mother — former U.S. Sen. and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — that always included time with women and girls in far-flung places such as Zimbabwe.
“I always got to meet girls who very much were my age and very much were experiencing different things and very similar things that I was experiencing in the United States,” she said, describing encounters that helped her realize “how many more advantages I had by being born in late-20th cenhttp://moguldom.com/wp-admin/post-new.phptury America.”
It resulted in a simple but profound question that inspires her today: “How could I not have thought about what I could do in my life to try to close the gaps that happened just by accident of where I was born?”
The answer is reflected in her work with the foundation and its various initiatives focused on health care, economic empowerment, climate change and other issues.
The trip began in Malawi, where Clinton and her father will meet with President Joyce Banda and tour a Clinton Health Access Initiative clinic to visit HIV-infected patients being helped by access to less-expensive medicine.
Other stops include Zambia, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda and South Africa, a regular destination on her African travels. She spent time there in 1997 with her mother on a trip that preceded her father’s historic visit a year later as the first sitting U.S. president to go to the country.
Read more at CNN.
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