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U.S.-Lao Exchange Programme Alumni Seek to Better Their Communities

More than one hundred alumni of U.S.-Lao exchange programmes gathered on Mar 3 to share memories and connect with their fellow exchange programme participants.

These alumni range from high school students to established professionals and distinguished leaders who participated in a broad variety of programmes in the United States.

U.S. Ambassador Rena Bitter praised the alumni for their contributions to their communities, “I am constantly impressed by the amazing work of U.S. – Lao exchange programme alumni. They are active in everything from teaching English, to organizing entrepreneurship workshops, to working on UXO clearance.”

Speaking about her experience as part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Programme, Chindavone Sanlath said, “Being a part of YSEALI expanded my thinking and enabled me to see the challenges facing our communities, and empowered me to be a part of the solution.”

More than 500 alumni have returned from the United States after completing their U.S. Government-sponsored programmes. They studied under prestigious programmes including the Humphrey Programme, the Fulbright Programme, the International Visitor Leadership Programme, the Global Undergraduate Exchange Programme, the YSEALI programme, and other professional exchange programmes.

After returning from their exchange programmes, Lao alumni of U.S. exchange programmes are eligible to apply for funding from the U.S. Embassy to pursue projects to benefit their communities. Alumni have used this funding to support neighbourhood clean-up projects, educational children’s summer camps, professional skills workshops, and a variety of other initiatives.

Later this year, the Lao-American Alumni Overseas Student Club (LAO- SC) will organize the Vientiane Education Fair, which will provide the opportunity for students and parents to connect with educational institutions and scholarship providers.

Source: Lao News Agency