In honor of Earth Day, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Clune and his wife Judy joined English Access Scholarship students in planting a frangipani tree, the national symbol of Laos, at the American Center @ That Dam. This event was part of an international effort to plant 7.8 billion trees, one tree for every person on the planet, by the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020.
Celebrated on April 22 each year, Earth Day is dedicated to supporting environmental conservation. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now celebrated in more than 193 countries worldwide. The theme of Earth Day this year is “Trees for the Earth.”
During the event, Ambassador Clune congratulated the students for studying English, the official language of ASEAN and of international business. He noted that, on the same day that they were planting a tree in Vientiane, Lao Minister of Natural resources and the Environment Sommad Pholsena was in New York signing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a landmark step in preserving the planet.
The Access program is a U.S. government scholarship for 14-17 year old students. It provides two years of free English classes and life skills training to disadvantaged youth in Vientiane. Through the program, students engage in a wide variety of activities including English classes, sports, arts, and personal development.