Six Mandela Washington Fellows reported to the Embassy conference room for a pre-departure orientation. The objective of the session was to provide them with information on the program as well as on life in the U.S. in order to put them in a position to fully benefit from the program. In her opening remarks, Ambassador Geeta Pasi congratulated the Fellows on their selection for the program and stressed the importance of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which she said, will give the Fellows “the opportunity to enhance [their] already impressive leadership skills at [their] host universities.” She added that, in addition to helping them enhance their leadership abilities, the program will also give them the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of American society, culture, values and institutions. Four alumni joined the group and shared their experiences with the Fellows. At the end of the pre-departure session, each Fellow received a “YALI” bag and books provided by ARS Paris. The Fellows expressed gratitude to the Embassy for enabling them to take part in this prestigious program and promised to join forces with the small but steadily growing group of alumni to share their U.S. experience with their fellow Chadian upon their return home.