The Access Micro- scholarships program [Archives:2005/849/Local News]

June 9 2005

In may 2004, the US Embassy Public Diplomacy Office, Sana'a, launched a US Department of State initiative called, ” ACCESS Secondary School English Langauge Micro-scholarship Program. ” At start , the ACCESS program sponsored 45 underprivileged secondary school students from the governorates of Aden and Abyan and also 45 students from the Governorate of Sana', who are selected through a highly competitive process.

The program, parented and cost-shared with AMIDEAST Yemen and YALI ( Yemen American Language Institute ), seeks to provide these students ( ages 15 to 18 ), with one year of English Language training. Throughout the year, a multimedia American English Curriculum, an Education USA- supported Library and a computer lab.

ACCESS students also get the opportunity to participate in field trips and other social and voluntary activities. A recent example is when 48 students and staff from AMIDEAST Aden volunteered on the Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) lasts April to clean up the Abyan Beach.

In addition to secondary school students, the ACCESS program also provides one year of English language training to students joining the Youth Exchange and Study(YES) program. YES is a US state Department program that provides secondary school students from the Middle East and North Africa to study Academic year in the United States, where they live with host families, acquire leadership skills and educate Americans about their home countries .

The micro-scholarship program is anticipate to increase the number of students to 200 in Aden and 250 in Sana'a in 2006 due to the grant success it has received since its inception . Thus, with this expansion , funds allocated to this program will jump from US $ 66.000 in May last year to reach about US$356.000. This program will therefore make students who mostly represent underserved governorates eligible to benefit from US Department youth exchange programs in the United States.

The overall objective of these programs is to expand communications between people of the United States and partner countries in the interest of promoting mutual understanding and respect.