Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama began her first official state visit to Africa. Leaving the President behind, Michelle and her daughters Sasha and Malia began their five day trip where they will visit South Africa and Botswana. 

The First Lady said in a video message at the WhiteHouse.gov, I'm doing this because we know that Africa is a fundamental part of our interconnected world. And when it comes to meeting the challenges of our time, whether it's climate change or extremism, poverty or disease, the world is looking to African nations as vital partners.

And we'll be looking across the continent to young people, just like all of you, to be leading the way. We'll be looking at young people like Anna, an 18-year-old from South Africa, who produces hard hitting stories as a citizen journalist on issues like climate change and HIV AIDS.

You can follow the First Lady's trip here, or on Facebook or use #youngafrica on Twitter. 

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie recently spoke with the BBC about her work with refugees. The A-list actress stated:

These children, they're not just children that somehow along the way lost their parents . . . they were born into war. They've done nothing but war, and then at 13 years old they are sent off to go work somewhere and send money home.

So they go and they work and send money home, and they are trying to do the right thing, and then war breaks out in Libya and then they're targeted.

The actress continues, I started to travel the world and I met people who were refugees, or had been refugees and had returned, and I just found them the most extraordinary people.

Jolie also works with the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation. Following the adoption of Maddox, in 2003 Jolie started the Maddox Jolie-Foundation, which has since been changed toMaddox Jolie-Pitt foundation. The foundation is committed to creating peace and stability in communities by working with impoverished rural villagers and local governments. It aims to help alleviate food shortages and increase basic necessities, such as healthcare and education.

Currently, the program is working on the Samlout 2012 project. Its priority is to achieve economic grown and reduce environmental destruction in the rural Cambodia Samlout district. 

Shakira

Today, UNICEF ambassador, Shakira will speak at the 3rd annual Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem. The Grammy Award-winning singer travels to developing nations to see first-hand the struggles many people face, and to help UNICEF in its battle to get all children into school programs. 

UNICEF has done tremendous work in my home nation of Colombia and I have seen first-hand the difference UNICEF makes, said Shakira, via Unicef.org. It's rewarding to know that I join such a great list of stars supporting UNICEF, and can personally contribute to improving the lives and futures of children.