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Monday, May 21, 2007

Service Organization Offers support

21 May 2007
Story by Angela Scherbenske

MPEKETONI, Kenya - The 489th Civil Affairs team is distributing nearly 50 cases of supplies it recently received from the Spirit of America Organization to the the Mpeketoni Lake Kenyatta Primary School in Mpeketoni, Kenya.

The CA team recently conducted a village assessment and met with the local leaders in Mpeketoni. During their assessment, the CA team found the Lake Kenyatta Primary School building well taken care of and in good condition. However, the head teacher of the school said his students were in need of supplies.

Spirit of America donated items such as school supplies, soccer balls, toothbrushes and toothpaste, backpacks, and soccer ball pumps to the 489th CA team, which is assigned to the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.

“We are very thankful for the supplies Spirit of America has sent us. They are helping us (CJTF-HOA) develop relationships that will further the partnerships of the Kenyan and United States governments,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Nathan Hicks.

Besides building partnerships, Hicks said gifts from non-military organizations does wonders to increase a favorable attitude from the people of Kenya.

“Many of the children are grateful to receive the school supplies,” said Hicks. “These supplies will help the children learn more efficiently and hopefully some of them will use their education to make Kenya a better place.”

The CA team handed out packs of papers and other school supplies to the children there. Hicks said the head teacher was very thankful for the gifts from the CJTF-HOA members.

“It is the support of organizations, such as Spirit of America, which allows CJTF-HOA to assist a greater number of individuals in the host nation,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Kris Hesselbrock. “Often financial restrictions or requirements do not allows us to have extra funding for expendables like school supplies. So, with the additional help from American service organizations, we are able to meet the extra needs of the children in the Horn of Africa.”

The mission of CJTF-HOA is to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interests in order to prevail against extremism. The CJTF-HOA organization began operations at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti May 13, 2003. It works with partner nations on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, consequence management, civic action programs to include medical and veterinary care, school and medical clinic construction and water development projects.

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