By Chiemelie Ezeobi
The United States Consul General, F. John Bray, on Tuesday said educational and professional exchange programmes were started 75 years ago to figure out how humanity could recover from the effects of World War II.
He said this during the 2016 pre-departure orientation for Nigerian exchange participants in the most prestigious educational and professional exchange programmes sponsored by the U.S. government held in Lagos.
The statement from the Consul-General said the participants undertook orientation on health and safety and how to be successful as a U.S. exchange programme participant.
The statement reads: “Last year, we celebrated the 75thanniversary of the first exchange programs that the United State government attempted. We have learned a lot since about how to design a fantastic experience.
“We started such programs, trying to figure out how humanity could recover from World War II. But there has been one immutable lesson we have taken away from organizing bilateral exchanges during and after the Cold War.
” As President Dwight Eisenhower said when he was advocating people-to-people programs in 1956: “If we are going to take advantage of the assumption that all people want peace, then the problem is for people to get together and to leap governments—if necessary to evade governments—to work out not one method but thousands of methods by which people can gradually learn a little bit more of each other.
“Over these 75 years we have had hundreds of Nobel Prize winners, legislators, governors, ministers, heads of government, and heads of state grow in their careers and emerge as leaders with these titles after they had their immersion experience in a U.S. exchange programme.”