Ambassador Vrooman’s remarks on 2022 Annual Alumni Reception

Esteemed Members and friends of the U.S. Exchange Program Alumni Community,

Good evening!

It is an honor to be with you all today – in person and virtually – for the first alumni reception in our new Embassy building and the first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Welcome!

You – alumni from professional and academic exchange programs – are the fruit of one of the most important investments the U.S. government makes in Mozambique.  An investment in the future of this country.  Through demonstrated leadership and commitment to your communities, you were selected out of many competitive applicants to participate in impactful programs in the United States.  You stepped outside of your comfort zone and moved to a new country for a few weeks, months, or even years.  You not only sought to learn about American culture, but you also served as ambassadors, representing Mozambique abroad. While I hope the majority of your experience was enriching and exciting, I imagine there were also challenging days that made you nostalgic for home, and yet, you persevered.
And when you returned to Mozambique – decades ago or just last month – you applied your experience in the United States in your respective fields to give back to your communities to make a difference.  You inspired and continued to inspire meaningful changes in the myriad sectors in which you work.

Being an alum of our exchange programs comes with some exciting benefits.  You have access to funding opportunities created just for you, membership in the global alumni community, and other opportunities offered by the Mozambique and Cabo Delgado alumni associations – MUSAA and CADUSA.  If you’re interested in learning more, seek out Alumni Coordinator Mr. Pedro Nguluve for more information.  I would like to personally and publicly commit to providing resources relevant to you as an alumni community, as well as constructive platforms for you to connect with one another for a healthier, safer, more democratic, more resilient, and more prosperous Mozambique.

In that vein, I would like to launch of our Alumni Achievement Awards.  This is an annual opportunity to publicly recognize the important impact you all have in your respective careers and communities.  From activists to entrepreneurs, we look forward to celebrating your successes and sharing your achievements with others to inspire them to do great things too.

Before I conclude my remarks, I’d like to point out that there are alumni based in every province of Mozambique.  To ensure that you all have a chance to gather and connect in person, I am excited to announce that next year’s alumni reception will be held in Nampula city!

I look forward to connecting with our alumni who are the leaders of today and tomorrow, and wish you all an amazing rest of the evening.  Thank you for coming out today.  Estamos juntos.