The US Consul General, Ms Jennifer McIntyre, inaugurated the 'English Access Microscholarship Program', a collaborative educational program of US Embassy and SARVAM, at its community center ‘Satyam’ in Poothurai village, on Sept 28, 2013.
In the presence of village representatives, teachers and the 110 recipient students of the scholarship, Ms McIntyre and Mr David Gainer, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate, flagged off the first US-supported English language interactive program to take place in the Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu.
US government officers congratulated Sri Aurobindo Society and its Integrated Village Development Project, SARVAM, for initiating the intensive English courses for talented 13- to 20-year-old children coming from underprivileged backgrounds.
Ms McIntyre, while addressing the children, stated "...these classes will open doors of opportunity for you to pursue higher education and then expand career opportunities," and that they travel and study in higher educational institutes in India and US, with the help of additional skills they gain from this program, as it had happened in other places.
The English Access Program aims at helping the girls and boys of the villages to learn English, to feel confident in expressing their thoughts and opinions, and to benefit from the exposure they can get by understanding a global language such as English. Besides helping the students by creating more job opportunities, the program also helps in acquiring a higher level of cross-cultural understanding, respect and open-mindedness among people as well as the leadership skills needed to assume proactive roles in the local communities and in the country.