Making her first public appearance after her concession speech following her surprise loss a week ago, she also admitted that she was extremely disappointed with the election results, like many Americans, but that the campaign was never about one person or one election.

Speaking at the Children's Defense Fund's 26th annual Beat the Odds Celebration in Washington DC on Wednesday (16 November), the former secretary of state said that getting out of the house and attending the event was not the easiest thing to do.

Lauding the founder and president of the children's charity, Marian Wright Edelman, Clinton said she took inspiration from Edelman, who despite facing hardships has never given up.

"I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election. I am, too, more than I can ever express.

"But ... our campaign was never about one person or even one election, it was about the country and about building America as a hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted country," Clinton said.

She continued, "America is still the greatest country in the world. This is still the place where anyone can beat the odds. It's up to each and every one of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer."

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton speaks to the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington DC in her first public appearance since election loss a week ago Reuters

"I know this isn't easy. I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was. The divisions laid bare by this election run deep, but please listen to me when I say this. America is worth it. Our children are worth it. Believe in our country, fight for our values and never, ever give up," she added.

She urged American authorities to work towards improving the lives of poor and needy children in the country, irrespective of their colour and origin.

"As we move towards a new and uncertain future we should concentrate our efforts towards these children," she said, adding that these children are "America's children" and their problems are America's problems.

Recalling the struggle her late mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham, went through as a child, an emotional Clinton concluded, saying: "I dream of going up to her and sitting next to her and taking her in my arms and saying 'Look, look at me and listen: You will survive. You will have a family of your own. Three children. And as hard as it might be to imagine, your daughter will grow up to be a United States senator, represent our country as Secretary of State and win more than 62 million votes as president of the United States.'"