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United States Ambassador Olson celebrates Earth Day with Pakistani Students

Karachi, April 22, 2013 (PPI-OT): Ambassador Richard Olson celebrated Earth Day by visiting 65 Pakistani students who are using their creativity to raise environmental awareness. Ambassador Olson visited the Helen Keller Center and joined students from the U.S. Embassy’s English Access Microscholarship Program and Islamabad’s Directorate of Special Education and Social Welfare programs to highlight this year’s Earth Day theme: The Face of Climate Change. Earth Day, which originated in the United States in 1970, is now celebrated around the world every April 22.

“We can each do our part. From recycling to cleaning up our streams, every individual can make a difference,” Ambassador Olson said. The Ambassador expressed his admiration for Pakistan’s natural beauty, and stressed the need for conservation. “Pakistan is a spectacular country with diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife, such as the snow leopard. Like Pakistan, the place I call home in the United States, New Mexico, has a beautiful landscape. And like you, I care about preserving our environment for future generations,” he said.

The United States supports environmental preservation in Pakistan. For example, a USAID-funded program with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Snow Leopard Trust will improve cooperation among Bhutan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, and Pakistan on snow leopard conservation in Asia’s high mountain landscapes. The Ambassador’s Fund in Pakistan also supports wildlife conservation projects in local communities.

Many of the students who gathered at the Helen Keller Center on Earth Day are participants in the U.S. Embassy’s English Access Microscholarship Program, which provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 14- to 18-year-olds through after-school classes and intensive summer learning activities. Pakistan has the world’s largest English Access Microscholarship Program. Since 2005, the United States has awarded 10,000 Access scholarships in 21 cities and villages throughout the country.

The Helen Keller Center is a public library that was established through a partnership between the U.S. Embassy and the National Library and Resource Center of the Directorate General of Special Education and Welfare.

It is one of 15 Lincoln Corners funded by the U.S. Embassy and operating with Pakistani partners across the country. Lincoln Corners are a community resource for information about U.S. history, culture, and educational opportunities. They also provide venues for dialogue to increase mutual understanding between Pakistan and the United States.

For more information, contact:
Alberto Rodriguez
Information Office Public Affairs Section
Embassy of the United States of America
U.S. Embassy, Islamabad- Pakistan
Cell: +92300 501 2640
Tel: +9251-208 0000
Fax: +9251-227 8607
E-mail: webmasterisb@state.gov

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