An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Service Members Deliver Supplies to Local Djiboutian School

28 June 2023

From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rion Codrington

DJIBOUTI, Djibouti (June 28, 2023) U.S. service members deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, repaired desks and delivered picnic tables in support of a renovation project led by the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion at a primary school in Ali Oune, Djibouti, June 7.
The 450th Civil Affairs Battalion works with the Djiboutian Minister of Education on multiple projects to build libraries in schools throughout Djibouti.

“We’re trying to make their educational experience a bit better,” said U.S. Army Maj. David Ewing, Civil-Military Operations Center chief of the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion.

The civil affairs team received help from the 294th Engineering Support Company, whose primary mission is to provide force and general engineering support to the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
Initially, as the teams delivered libraries, they noticed that students needed more supplies, and that need sparked a new goal - to eliminate the desk shortage.

“When we first started building these libraries, most of the desks were broken,” said Ewing. “I just saw what needed to be done, so I grabbed a team and started working on it.”

During the recent desk and picnic table delivery, volunteers interacted with the local children by playing games, and got a chance to practice both English and French.

“Every time service members volunteer, they get to interact with the school faculty, the kids, and the parents,” said Ewing. “When we come off the base and interact with the Djiboutians, it shows them that we care.”

By providing better facilities for Djiboutian schools, this project and the 294th ESC’s work directly relate to CJTF-HOA’s line of effort of being a good partner to our host nation - Djibouti.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Joshua Guevara, assigned to the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364, talked about his volunteer experience.

“I felt so happy, I felt so many emotions,” said Guevara. “I know I will be helping young kids that will appreciate what we do for them and motivate them to pursue their goals in education, and life.”

The community and students have noticed the changes that the team has made, said Abdichakour Robleh, an English teacher at the school in Ali Oune.

“Sometimes three to four children have to sit in the same chair because there were not enough chairs,” said Robleh. “When all the students came here and noticed that all the chairs were fixed, they were happy, and it made me happy for them.”

This project and others led by 450th CAB in Djibouti are funded through the Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid.

Each project has to be approved by U.S. Africa Command and the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti, and to save time and money the team will get creative with their resources.

“Instead of waiting on funding to get approved, we do projects that require little time and no funding,” said Ewing.

Repurposed woods and metals found on Camp Lemonnier, along with personal funds were used by the 294th ESC to ensure the job got done.

“This project gave us the opportunity to see our work make an impact at the personal level here within our host nation of Djibouti. It also gave our Soldiers more awareness of the culture of Djibouti, specifically the educational environment,” said U.S. Army Capt. Trey Maevers, 294th ESC commanding officer. “We built it, we delivered it, we installed it, and with the help of Civil Affairs, it became a tangible product that our Soldiers can be proud of.”

The team has more projects planned for the school in Ali Oune, there is a series of humanitarian projects that will provide a clean water source to the school and combat flash flooding in the region.

Through their efforts, the team hopes to support sustainability in Djibouti for children, said Ewing.

“My goal is to provide something for the kids to have,” said Ewing. “They are the next generation and we care about the people of the community.”

For over the past 20 years, service members at Camp Lemonnier have worked on multiple community improvement projects to help promote stability and prosperity in Djibouti.

Camp Lemonnier enables maritime and combat operations in the Horn of Africa while fostering positive U.S.-Africa relations.

Google Translation Disclaimer

  • Google Translate, a third party service provided by Google, performs all translations directly and dynamically.
  • Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central, has no control over the features, functions, or performance of the Google Translate service.
  • The automated translations should not be considered exact and should be used only as an approximation of the original English language content.
  • This service is meant solely for the assistance of limited English-speaking users of the website.
  • Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central, does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information translated.
  • Some items cannot be translated, including but not limited to image buttons, drop down menus, graphics, photos, or portable document formats (pdfs).
  • Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central, does not directly endorse Google Translate or imply that it is the only language translation solution available to users.
  • All site visitors may choose to use similar tools for their translation needs. Any individuals or parties that use Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central, content in translated form, whether by Google Translate or by any other translation services, do so at their own risk.
  • IE users: Please note that Google Translate may not render correctly when using Internet Explorer. Users are advised to use MS Edge, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox browser to take full advantage of the Google Translate feature.
  • The official text of content on this site is the English version found on this website. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of the information contained in translated text, refer to the English version on this website, it is the official version.

Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central   |   PSC 817, Box 108   |   FPO, AE 09622
Official U.S. Navy Website