Ambassador Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick Remarks at the Official Recognition of UmaAmerika as American Corner

We are very excited that all of you can join us today for this momentous occasion!

I want to take a moment to welcome United States Army Major General Suzanne Vares-Lum of Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii.  She is with us today to join in this event.  She and her team are here in Dili this week for our U.S.-Timor-Leste Bilateral Defense Dialogue.  She is the highest ranking U.S. military officer to visit Timor-Leste since 2012.

Today is an important day for Uma Amerika and all of us.  We are here not only to celebrate the second year anniversary of Uma America, but also to commemorate Uma’s official recognition as an American Corner, joining nearly 700 American Spaces around the world.

We thank the commitment of the Rector and his team, and want to acknowledge the hard work and coordination between the Embassy and UNTL over the past two years. We are proud of all your achievements so far.

The space will continue providing information about American education and scholarship opportunities.  It will help organize cultural and information programs about the United States; and support the study and teaching of English; engaging with the alumni of exchange program.  And it will provide a free space for academic research, discussion, and debate combined with free access to the extensive e-library database.

We have big plans for the future.  We will support the move and expansion of Uma Amerika.  We hope to bring in hi-speed wifi to help establish UmaAmerika as the country’s premiere center for debate, design, innovation, and research.

All of this depends on your support, your partnership, and your engagement.  I encourage all to take advantage of what Uma Amerika has to offer.

We invite you to come for an English lesson or a coffee chat with experts on various topics from around the world.  Or how about stopping by for a movie night or an afternoon of board games?

Feel free to reach out to Uma Amerika staff to see how they can help you and to get in touch with Zeck, the UmaAmerika Director about any ideas you have to make our relationship with Timor-Leste even stronger.

The United States’ also has many of programs and initiatives of interest to young people in Timor-Leste.  Our newest program the Young South East Asian Leadership Initiative or YSEALI.  YSEALI is a networking program to connect the future leaders of ASEAN to one another and the U.S.

YSEALI provides the opportunity to improve your professional skills, English language ability, and give you the chance to participate in developmental and academic fellowships.

To find out more about YSEALI, please visit the embassy website or talk to Michael and Roselia.

Thank you once again for your friendship and your support.  “Uma” is house in English.  In America we have an expression – Our House is Your House.  So here in Uma Amerika – Ami-nia UMA – Imi-NIA UMA! Thank you.