Inclusive Public School Offers American English Language Training in Ukraine
About the Author: Tara D. Sonenshine serves as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
In a public school in Ukraine, the State Department’s longtime efforts to support the human rights, dignity, and inclusion of all people was in clear evidence.
Located in the Kyiv district of Obolon, School #168 is the only school in the area where physically disabled children are integrated into regular classrooms. With help from State Department funding, the school offers intensive English language training, and integrates American culture and civic engagement as part of its enhancement activities.
At my recent visit there, students — with and without disabilities — greeted me in traditional Ukrainian costume. They presented decorated Ukrainian bread, and sang a local welcoming song. They ushered me through… more »
Celebrating Girls in ICT Day
About the Author: Karen Glocer serves as an Economic Officer at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science.
On April 25, we celebrate Girls in ICT Day, established by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2010 to inspire girls to consider a career in technology. Women are half the world’s population and half the world’s talent, but there’s a persistent gender gap in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) field.
As a first tour economic officer with a Ph.D. in Computer Science, I’m thrilled to be able to use my background to contribute to the ITU program celebrating International Girls in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Today, I taught 27 girls of ages between 13 and 17 the basics of programming in python, an intuitive, but powerful programming language that is widely used by software companies, research scientists, engineers, and universities. My goal… more »
Join a Discussion on Youth and Global Engagement
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Public Affairs and the United Nations Foundation will be hosting a panel discussion entitled “The Next Level of Diplomacy: Youth and Global Engagement.” The event will feature Farah Pandith, Special Representative to Muslim Communities, U.S. Department of State; Kathy Calvin, President and CEO, UN Foundation; and Zeenat Rahman, Special Adviser for Global Youth Issues, U.S. Department of State. The panelists will discuss the importance of engaging youth in global affairs to promote peace, social justice, and democracy.
You are invited to participate by submitting questions,… more »
Join a Google+ Hangout on Global Youth Issues April 4
Why are youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship important to diplomacy? Find out Thursday, April 4 at 9:00 a.m. EDT during a Google+ Hangout with the U.S. Department of State’s Special Adviser on Global Youth Issues Zeenat Rahman and young innovators from the United States, Ghana, and Egypt. You can watch the hangout on the State Department’s Google+ page or YouTube channel. Join the conversation by submitting questions now on the State Department’s Google+ page or on Twitter to @Zeenat using #GlobalYouth.
Building Bridges Through Basketball: Peace in Israel’s Younger Generation
About the Author: Lee Satterfield is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cultural and Professional Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Just days before President Barack Obama set off for his historic trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, 16 Jewish and Arab-Israeli teens traveled to the United States to engage their American counterparts and highlight the strong relationship between the U.S. and Israeli people. Using the sport of basketball, these young people have focused their efforts on peace-building and cooperation — two themes central to President Obama’s visit.
Engaging young people is a strategic priority for the United States. After all, today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. And, sports are a vehicle in which we can engage young people from around the world on the court, in the classroom, and in their communities.
During this international exchange, these young Israelis —… more »
How Miss Minnesota USA Promoted U.S. Business and Instilled Good Will in Laos
About the Author: Paul Mayer serves as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane, Laos.
American diplomats meet interesting people every day. It’s one of the things that make our careers so exciting. I’ve met presidents, Olympic gold medalists, and civic activists. In Montreal, Stevie Wonder told me I was cool. And, in Vientiane, I met a beauty pageant winner who helped American public diplomacy efforts in Laos.
This past January, as part of an economic diplomacy initiative, our embassy organized a campaign designed to deepen U.S.-Lao business ties and promote the newly-established Lao chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). The economy of Laos has emerged as an attractive investment opportunity for American businesses. A number of U.S. companies have already entered the Lao market, but unfortunately operate under structural and cultural disadvantages compared with companies from the region.
We, however, have an unexpected advocate… more »
Empowering Young People as Economic and Civic Actors
About the Author: Zeenat Rahman serves as Secretary of State John Kerry’s Special Adviser on Global Youth Issues and Director of the Office of Global Youth Issues.
In his first major address as Secretary of State, John Kerry spoke about young people acting as a “global cohort.” He spoke about a generation proficient with technologies that keep them connected in ways no prior generation has ever been, and the opportunities that this presents all of us.
On his inaugural trip overseas, Secretary Kerry engaged this generation during #YouthConnect, a special event at the high-tech, coffee shop Basecamp in Berlin. The Secretary and more than 100 young people discussed foreign… more »
Youth Soccer Promotes Peace and Reconciliation in Kenya
About the Author: Karin L. Von Hippel serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.
At a massive youth soccer tournament last weekend in Nairobi, the competition was peaceful, and the hope in Kenya is that the election season also will be peaceful.
Kenyans want to avoid the kind of violence that occurred after the 2007 elections. In Nairobi’s Mathare slum, one of Africa’s poorest and largest and a hotspot of violence in 2007, more than 20 people have died as a result of inter-ethnic fighting in recent months. Bob Munro, who created the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) in 1987, thought that a big tournament might be a good way to ease tensions.
Munro has an impressive track record. MYSA was designed, in part, to employ sports to help youngsters gain self-confidence and leadership skills. Besides offering athletics, the nonprofit supports activities that fight child labor, creates libraries and study halls, and helps kids with disabilities… more »
Supporting Culture and Better Futures in Afghanistan
About the Author: Tara Sonenshine serves as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
This past month I had the opportunity to meet two incredible groups of young artists from Afghanistan — and to see firsthand evidence of how our public diplomacy efforts for young people in that country are bearing fruit. It was also a chance to underscore our commitment to support the strengthening and preservation of national cultures around the world.
The first artists were students of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), who began a State Department-funded tour in the United States with a concert of traditional Afghan music. I had the pleasure of introducing them, and we were joined by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who shared his own love for music with the audience. Over the course of their… more »