What happens when VIPs arrive at the Department of State to meet with Secretary Kerry? Check out this morning’s arrival of Pakistan National Security and Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz for the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue and learn more about this important relationship at go.usa.gov/BaqG.

In the top photo, Secretary Kerry is greeted by U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson as he arrives in Islamabad, Pakistan, on July 31, 2013. Read more about the Secretary’s trip here

On July 12 — less than a year after she was shot by the Taliban for her strong voice in this fight — Malala Yousafzai will mark her 16th birthday by delivering the highest leadership of the UN a set of education demands written by youth, for youth, to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
united-nations:

Tell your friends and family that you stand with Malala, the young Pakistani champion for universal education and girls’ rights. We want to see your photos, vines and Instagram videos. Tag them ‎#MalalaDay and we’ll feature them on our social media platforms next week.
Here is one to get you started: http://vine.co/v/hauYOZm1Ttt
Sign and share her petition for education today: http://www.aworldatschool.org/malaladay
Image credit: A World At School

On July 12 — less than a year after she was shot by the Taliban for her strong voice in this fight — Malala Yousafzai will mark her 16th birthday by delivering the highest leadership of the UN a set of education demands written by youth, for youth, to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

united-nations:

Tell your friends and family that you stand with Malala, the young Pakistani champion for universal education and girls’ rights. We want to see your photos, vines and Instagram videos. Tag them ‎#MalalaDay and we’ll feature them on our social media platforms next week.

Here is one to get you started: http://vine.co/v/hauYOZm1Ttt

Sign and share her petition for education today: http://www.aworldatschool.org/malaladay

Image credit: A World At School

Secretary Kerry’s Meetings in Brussels

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry looks on as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani shake hands after their trilateral meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on April 24, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

More: Photos From the Trip

Following a busy Tuesday at NATO, Secretary of State John Kerry continued to meet with foreign leaders in Brussels today. Secretary Kerry began this morning with “an expansive conservation” with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, before he met with Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze and then held a dialogue with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. His meetings covered an extensive range of topics, from the importance of trade negotiations to security… more »

U.S. Secretary of State delivers remarks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Jilani before their meeting in Tervuren, Belgium on April 24, 2013. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/04/207920.htm

Ambassador James Warlick, Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, participates in a Twitter Q and A on January 16, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Ambassador James Warlick, Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, participates in a Twitter Q and A on January 16, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Fulbright Alum Helps Islamabad Street Kids Find a Better Future

LettuceBee kids meet with Shelby Means of bluegrass band Della Mae in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 2012. [Photograph by Robert Raines, U.S. Embassy Islamabad/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Jennifer McAndrew serves at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Jawaid is a four-year-old trash picker. He wants to be a tree when he grows up.

At least, that’s what he tells his teacher during an art class sponsored by the LettuceBee Kids project in Islamabad, Pakistan.

“But you are not a tree,” the teacher tells him. “If you don’t like where you are, you can move.”

That’s the idea behind the LettuceBee initiative, which helps street kids like Jawaid move beyond a life of begging and trash picking, and re-integrate back into society through art, music, and mentorship.

The brainchild of Sarah Adeel, a Fulbright alumna and graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), the idea for LettuceBee Kids came about when she was in Pakistan in 2008 conducting research for her master’s thesis on child welfare in South Asia.

“I was doing a comparative analysis between orphanages and foster-care… more »