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KARACHI: United States Deputy Consul General (CG) Matt Ference joined prominent Pakistani athletes and students, along with alumni of US government-funded English language programs to clean-up Sea View in Karachi. Sports stars, including Hajra Khan, Asad Shafiq, Javaria Khan, Faisal Iqbal, Sikander Bakht, Moin Khan, and Azam Khan joined the event, which concluded a four-month “Sports for Climate” sports diplomacy campaign to mitigate climate change.

“I am honoured to be here among such outstanding Pakistani athletes and inspiring Pakistani students to advocate for sports diplomacy and environment protection,” said Deputy Consul General Ference in his remarks at the event.

“Healthy oceans are key to environmental stability. …This means it is imperative that we do everything in our power to slow and reverse effects of climate change on our oceans and its inhabitants. By removing litter from our beaches, everyone can help protect marine wildlife,” Deputy CG Ference stated.

While speaking to journalists, the prominent Pakistani cricketer Asad Shafiq said, “We must work together to reduce the impact of climate change. We can start with activities like today’s beach cleanup.” He added, “I appreciate US Consulate General Karachi’s efforts to increase awareness about this urgent topic and congratulate them on the success of its Sports for Climate campaign.”

‘Sports for Climate’ was a four-month messaging campaign that featured prominent cricket, soccer, squash, and field hockey athletes who joined Consulate General Karachi in promoting things every individual can do, right here in Pakistan, to help mitigate the looming crisis of climate change.

The youth who took part in the beach cleanup are students and alumni of the US government-funded English Access Micro-Scholarship and the English Works! programs. The two-year-long English Access Micro-Scholarship Program provides a foundation in English-language skills to 13-to-16-year-old students of economically disadvantaged circumstances, through after-school coaching and activities.

English Works! provides young adults (aged 17-to-25) with a virtual, six-month English-language and skills-enhancement program. English Works! – currently being implemented in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Khairpur – engages students from underserved communities. The students receive more than 240 hours of training and practice in developing English-language proficiency and 21st-century, computer-related employability skills.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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