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News >Access Field Day 2023 | Diversity: Embrace it, Share it, Celebrate it

May 15,2023

With the unswerving support of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, and that of the U.S. Regional English Language Office (RELO), TFL’s Access team held a Field Day for the 500 students of Cohort 16 of the Access Program which TFL stands as provider of in the country. The students, teachers, teacher assistants, Access alumni volunteers, and TFL staff converged from all parts of Lebanon to the event’s venue at El Rancho Resort in Ghedrass on Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Under the theme of "Diversity," the main objective of Field Day is to encourage interaction and foster diversity among Access 16 students coming from different regions, some of whom have not even known their countrymen outside their locality or district. In fact, Field Day takes inspiration from the field day that is held at schools in the U.S. where students engage in different outdoor activities.

A remarkable gesture that the Embassy made was to get four U.S. marines, themselves from diverse ethnic backgrounds, to spend hours during the day mingling with the students and running group activities such as the Tyre Run physical fitness drill, thus enabling the students to practice their English along the way. 

Following warm greetings to the students and a hearty breakfast upon their arrival in 25 different buses, the Field Day began with standing up to the Lebanese and USA National Anthems, followed by welcoming statements by Mr. George El Assad, Access Program Director, and Ms. Janine Weber El-Meouchy, TFL Executive Director, and an opening note by the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Her Excellency Ms. Dorothy Shea. 

The U.S. Embassy’s presence also comprised Ms. Melissa O’Shaughnessy, Public Affairs Officer, and Ms. Edith Bitar, English Language Coordinator-Public Diplomacy.

Next, students from the different Access centers and regions in Lebanon were asked to join their pre-assigned mixing groups to participate in the day’s activities. The 500 students were divided into groups of 32 students each, in addition to Access alumni and teachers, and the groups were named under 16 different states in the U.S., such as New York, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Michigan, Georgia, Washington, and Alabama.


The students engaged in ten different activities for 30 minutes each during the event, including team building, emergency tips, yoga, self-defense, arts and crafts, drawing, Pictionary, and reflection groups on a documentary about diversity. Later at lunch, the Access students seized the opportunity to connect and get to know their national Access mates further. They later gathered in El Rancho's outdoor "main square" and joyfully danced, cheered, and chanted with their teammates to lively music!

A group of Access students also collected the plastic bottles used in the event, to use them in their community service projects. 

Another round of activities was conducted in the afternoon, leading to the conclusion of the Field Day.  Then the day’s sign-off was made by Manar Hammoud, Access Program Coordinator, following which the students orderly departed back home on the pleasant thought that they had made new friends and acquaintances and gotten to know about other parts of their country, all capped by such memorable fun!

We would like to thank the U.S. Embassy, the Access team, and TFL’s Procurement & Logistics team for such a successful event and an unforgettable day for the students and all the other participants. Thanks are also in order to the numerous TFL staff and Access alumni who joined as volunteers and were bent on contributing to making the event a success.

A short video documenting the field day: https://youtu.be/0_X6_4wqXEQ

"Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world”

- Nelson Mandela -