US First Lady Melania Trump brought soccer balls and books to a school in Malawi on Thursday to highlight a USAID scheme to support African schools, on the second stop of her four-nation tour of the continent.

President Donald Trump has sought to roll back the US foreign aid budget, a move that has been criticised by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

The first lady, who has focused on advocating for children in her “Be Best” campaign, used the visit to Chipala Primary School in Lilongwe to highlight the USAID reading programme that has distributed 9.6 million books to Malawi’s schools.

“Meeting those children and understanding their different way of life is why I wanted to travel here,” she said after the school visit, speaking to US embassy workers.

“No child in this country is without a book,” Malawi’s Education Minister Bright Msaka told the first lady.

The first lady heads to Kenya later on Thursday and then stops in Egypt on Saturday before returning to the United States.