January 26, 2016
The Embassy of the United States of America officially opened the newly renovated American Corner at the D.S. Senanayake Memorial Public Library in Kandy January 26. Senior U.S. Department of State official Macon Phillips, Coordinator for the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), joined the Mayor of Kandy Sena Dissanayake at the ceremony.
“This is an exciting moment for the people of Kandy and the surrounding region,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap. “These modern facilities and technologies should become a laboratory for innovation in the Central Province.”
Through IIP, the United States provided 84 million Sri Lankan rupees ($600,000) to fund physical renovations, technology, and interactive programs at the American Corner, with additional support from the Kandy Municipal Council and former Kandy Mayor Mahindra Ratwatte. The renovations were designed by a special team from the Smithsonian Institution in the United States in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau. American Corner patrons will have access to computers and free wifi in a space that is three times larger than the previous facility.
Programs at the American Corner in Kandy are generally free, including weekly English classes for English, entrepreneurship, coding and social media familiarization, and audio/video production. These programs provide youth in the Central Province with skills and leadership training to increase their educational and job opportunities.
“American Spaces are the places to meet and learn from others, a safe environment to make mistakes and find creative solutions,” said Phillips. “Whether it’s starting a business, choosing the right universities, creating a blog or YouTube channel, or connecting with like-minded activists, we want to help you uncover and nurture your unique talents.”
In addition to the American Corner in Kandy, the U.S. Embassy also operates an American Corner in Jaffna and an American Center in Colombo. To find out more about American Corner programs, visithttp://srilanka.usembassy.gov/american_corners2.html.