Support: Sponsoring exchange alumni to give back to the community

Published: March 29, 2012

Alumni of the US Exchange Programme meet up to discuss shared experiences and future goals. PHOTO: MYRA IQBAL

ISLAMABAD: 

In a bid to support Pakistanis voices and leaders, the US Department of State has announced to fund projects up to US$5,000. US government exchange alumni will be eligible for these grants.

To this end, scores of US government-funded exchange alumni- teachers, journalists, development workers and Fulbright students got together at the National Library on Wednesday.

Assistant Cultural Affairs Attaché Jamie Martin said that there are 9,000 alumni and the figure grows each year.

He added the programme was an opportunity to unite alumni and share how they can give back to their community. The programme aims to create opportunities for engagement between the people of Pakistan and its regional neighbours.

Alumni would have to submit a proposal of the project three months before they are eligible for funding. The fields of subjects can range from media to education.

Grants Manager for Public Affairs, Nathan Edgerton, explained that alumni can submit more than one projects and even partner with a non-alumnus to submit a proposal. However, a letter signed by the member wanting to partner should also be present. Edgerton said that if the programme goes smoothly, they will refer the programme to other departments and provide a larger grant.

Martin said the programme is going to stretch over a period of five years and if successful, it might even be extended.

The project aims to promote mutual understanding between Pakistan and the US, and provide educational and economic opportunities for Pakistani youth.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2012.

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