President Obama, First Family, and Dr. Rajiv Shah Visit in March, 2011
During President Barack Obama's visit to El Salvador, First Lady Michelle Obama and USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah visited two USAID-supported projects.
Donating Equipment to Ciudad Mujer ("The Womens' City")
The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, accompanied the First Lady of El Salvador, Vanda Pignato, in the inauguration of the Ciudad Mujer government project in Colón, La Libertad, on March 22, 2011.
Mrs. Obama made a donation of medical supplies, computer equipment, furniture and children's books through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This donation from the U.S. government is valued at over one million dollars.
The Ciudad Mujer centers will offer Salvadoran women a series of integrated services including dental health, maternal-child health, psychological services for victims of domestic violence, vocational orientation, legal services, and microloans to support small businesses. The centers will also provide medical services for children under five.
According to news reports, the Ciudad Mujer project will benefit 162,000 women from the municipality of Lourdes Colón, where the first branch will be located, as well as from the surrounding municipalities of Armenia, Ciudad Arce, Jayaque, Sacacoyo, San Juan Opico, Talnique and Tepecoyo.
Mural Painting at the Supérate Center
Students from five different Supérate centers arrived at the Merlet Supérate Center, located in Plan de la Laguna, Antiguo Cuscatlán, to spend time with the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, her daughters Malia and Sasha, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah.
The Merlet Supérate Center, to be inaugurated in April, will offer low-income and at-risk youth the opportunity to learn essential skills, such as English, computation, and values, that allow them to overcome financial and social barriers. The young beneficiaries, between 13 and 18 years of age, have demonstrated excellent academic performance and a desire for achievement. The ¡Supérate! Program helps prevent youth from becoming involved in criminal activities.
On this visit, Mrs. Obama, her daughters, and Dr. Shah painted a mural for the institution and invited students to move forward and take advantage of their opportunities.
USAID, Microsoft, and the Sagrera Palomo Foundation signed an alliance last year to strengthen the ¡Supérate! Entrepreneurial Programand establish new centers in El Salvador using a franchise model. The project has a total investment of 3.9 million dollars, of which USAID provided 1.5 million and the Sagrera Palomo Foundation 2.4 million. Microsoft provided support in the form of software licenses. This alliance forms part of the USAID Global Development Alliance initiative, which promotes the participation of private enterprise in actions that benefit society.
Other businesses participating in the Supérate initiative are ADOC, CASSA, the Alberto Motta Foundation, the Gloria de Kriete Foundation, the Poma Foundation, and Merlet Industries.
In addition to direct funding from USAID, the Embassy Public Affairs Office has donated $200,000 through a program called English Access Microscholarships to support English classes. The office has also given over $564,750 in various types of scholarship aid for Supérate students to study in the U.S.