Ambassador Gray and VADM Pandolfe Attend Opening of U.S.-funded Vocational Training Center for the Blind in Sidi Thabet
May 28, 2012
In support of disability rights in Tunisia, U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia Gordon Gray and VADM Frank Pandolfe attended the opening of the newly renovated vocational training facility administered by the Tunisian National Union for the Blind (UNAT) on May 28. The center, extended and refurbished with a 550,000 dinar allocation from the U.S. Government Humanitarian Assistance Program, will contribute to the development of educational, life skill, and athletic activities for visually impaired youth from throughout Tunisia.
The event included a tour of the new facility, presentation of UNAT association goals, educational and vocational programs, and athletic activities. VADM Pandolfe, visiting Tunisia on the occasion of the U.S. Memorial Day Ceremony at the American Cemetery in Carthage, joined the Ambassador for the event along with the Naval Forces Europe Quintet that performed for the guests, students, and educators in the new gymnasium constructed as part of the project.
In his remarks, Ambassador Gray noted the common values related to disability rights shared by the American and Tunisian people. Interviewed by local journalists, the Ambassador commended UNAT for its efforts to address inclusion and promote skill building and employment for the visually impaired and blind citizens of Tunisia. As a symbol of the friendship and solidarity from the American people and U.S. Embassy staff, the Ambassador presented a U.S.-Tunisian humanitarian cooperation plaque and donated two new music systems for the recreation facilities of the new center to UNAT President, Mr. Attia Ben Said.