Ambassador Jeff Daigle’s Remarks
English Access Microscholarship Program Launch
Sal, Cabo Verde
May 18, 2023
(In English). On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I would like to thank you all for coming to this event to launch the English Access Microscholarship Program in Cabo Verde.
At this point I want to ask you to raise your hand if you understand me.
For the first 24 students selected to participate in this prestigious program, you will be able to raise your hand when asked if you understand – and speak! – English at the end of your Access studies.
(In Portuguese) So to start again, on behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I would like to thank you all for coming to this event to launch the English Access Microscholarship Program in Cabo Verde.
The 24 students selected to be the first participants in this prestigious program will receive intensive after-school instruction in English for two years. The goal of the Access program is to provide a foundation of English language skills to bright, motivated young people from economically disadvantaged communities to boost their chances for success in education, business, and other fields in adulthood.
Since the U.S. Department of State launched English Access in two thousand four (2004), approximately two hundred thousand (200,000) students in more than ninety (90) countries have benefited from the program.
The program in Cabo Verde is being funded with an initial grant of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) for the first two-year program cohort as part of the two thousand twenty-one (2021) U.S.-Cabo Verde Partnership Dialogue. Sal was selected for the
launch of the Access Program in Cabo Verde due to the island’s central role for the country’s tourism, air transportation, meteorology, and geophysics sectors, all of which demand strong English skills to make Cabo Verde competitive on the international stage. Our aim is to help ensure the young people of Sal have the English-language abilities to be successful leaders in these fields.
To launch the English Access program in Cabo Verde, the U.S. Embassy is pleased to be partnering with the Associação Chã da Matias, and we could not have asked for a better partner. Not only is Associação Chã da Matias one of the most well-respected NGOs in the country, it has been a long-time friend and partner of the U.S, Embassy with an impressive track record of success implementing U.S.-funded programs. In fact, the space we are in today was built by the U.S. Department of Defense in two thousand and one (2001), so it is quite fitting that our new English Access program will be hosted in this venue. We truly appreciate ACM’s partnership.
I also want to thank the Mayor of Sal, Dr. Julio Lopes, and the other local officials who have joined
us today to celebrate the launch of this important program, important not only to the participating students but to the future economic development of Sal.
This project is one that is dear to my heart and has taken more than four years to bring to fruition. I would be remiss if I did not also express my sincere gratitude to my Embassy colleague Suely Neves for her tireless efforts to bring the English Access program to Cabo Verde. Thank you Suely for everything you have done. I am so very glad to be here with you for this historic moment.
And finally, to the twenty-four (24) students from the Chã de Matias and Terra Boa communities selected to participate in the inaugural English Access group in Cabo Verde, I extend a hearty congratulations! By participating in this two-year program, you will be able to develop skills and knowledge that will greatly enhance your ability to participate in Cabo Verde’s economic development. We also hope you will use your new English skills to compete for future U.S. exchange and study opportunities. I encourage you to study hard and
take the maximum advantage of your English Access experience.
Best of luck to all of you!