Islamabad, November 16, 2012 (PPI-OT): Dawn McCall, Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs and the senior U.S. Department of State official responsible for facilitating the exchange of knowledge about U.S. culture, history, and current events, visited Karachi and Islamabad November 14-16. During her visit, Ms. McCall met with a variety of Pakistanis to discuss how the U.S. can help strengthen education and information literacy for Pakistani citizens, including the disabled, through libraries and information services.
The delegation visited the Helen Keller Center in Islamabad, a resource center within the library of the Directorate General of Special Education and Social Welfare. Ms. McCall, together with Director General Ms. Ghayoor Sultana, presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Chief Librarian, Khadim Shah, for his dedication to supporting education and opportunities for all people, regardless of ability.
DG Sultana and Ms. McCall discussed future plans for collaboration on training for teachers of disabled children. They then sat down with physically disabled and deaf children aged 10-17 to create artwork that will decorate the new Children’s Room of the Helen Keller Center.
In partnership with the United States, the Helen Keller Center at the Special Education and Social Welfare library provides information, resources, and activities aimed at increasing opportunities for people with a variety of disadvantages.
Helen Keller was a blind and deaf woman who became a symbol of hope and inspiration to disabled individuals around the world. She advanced the rights of disabled Americans during her life in the first half of the 20th century. McCall said, “She proved to the world that the disabled have a great deal to give to their country and to humanity.”
Ms. McCall also visited the National Library of Pakistan and presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Director General Muhammad Nazir, to recognize him for his commitment to education and information literacy for all Pakistanis.
She honoured him for his dedication to sharing authoritative, accurate, and current information about the United States through the Lincoln Reading Lounge, a resource center at the National Library named after U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. At the Reading Lounge, Ms. McCall met with a group of YES alumni to discuss their volunteer work with their communities and learn more about the education needs of Pakistani youth. YES is a U.S. government-sponsored high school exchange program that brings Pakistani young people to the U.S. to study in a high school for one year.
For more information, contact:
Public Affairs Section
Embassy of the United States of America
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
Tel: +9251-208 0000
Fax: +9251-227 8607