MCAT 205 Attends Dedication at Ziwani Primary School

TANA DELTA DISTRICT, Kenya - U.S. Navy Lieutenant Perry Choi (center), Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 205 team leader, along with educational and community leaders of Ziwani Primary School, performs a ribbon-cutting during a dedication ceremony for 200 new desks, a project that was a combined effort between MCAT 205 and the local community, at the school November 17, 2010.  The Little Creek, Virginia-based MCAT 205 is deployed to Kenya in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Laird) CJTF-HOA Photo TANA DELTA DISTRICT, Kenya - U.S. Navy Lieutenant Perry Choi (center), Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 205 team leader, along with educational and community leaders of Ziwani Primary School, performs a ribbon-cutting during a dedication ceremony for 200 new desks, a project that was a combined effort between MCAT 205 and the local community, at the school November 17, 2010. The Little Creek, Virginia-based MCAT 205 is deployed to Kenya in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Laird)
TANA DELTA DISTRICT, Kenya - Samuel Iha, Ziwani Primary School Management Committee chairman, speaks to U.S. Navy Lieutenant Perry Choi (right), Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 205 team leader, prior to a dedication ceremony for 200 new desks at the school November 17, 2010.  The Little Creek, Virginia-based MCAT 205 is deployed to Kenya in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Laird) CJTF-HOA Photo TANA DELTA DISTRICT, Kenya - Samuel Iha, Ziwani Primary School Management Committee chairman, speaks to U.S. Navy Lieutenant Perry Choi (right), Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 205 team leader, prior to a dedication ceremony for 200 new desks at the school November 17, 2010. The Little Creek, Virginia-based MCAT 205 is deployed to Kenya in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Laird)
TANA DELTA DISTRICT, Kenya - Members of Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 205 visit a classroom of children at Ziwani Primary School prior to a dedication ceremony for 200 new desks at the school November 17, 2010.  The Little Creek, Virginia-based MCAT 205 is deployed to Kenya in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Laird) CJTF-HOA Photo TANA DELTA DISTRICT, Kenya - Members of Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 205 visit a classroom of children at Ziwani Primary School prior to a dedication ceremony for 200 new desks at the school November 17, 2010. The Little Creek, Virginia-based MCAT 205 is deployed to Kenya in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Laird)

U.S. Navy Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 205 attended a dedication ceremony of 200 new desks at the Ziwani primary school in the Tana Delta District of Eastern Kenya, November 17, 2010.

According to U.S. Navy Chief Equipment Operator Matthew White, team engineer, the project was nominated in April 2010 by MCAT 205's predecessors, MCAT 115, when the team visited the school and found two expansion classrooms that had no desks and the students were sitting on the bare dirt floor. MCAT 205 inherited the legacy project, funding was approved by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), and work began on the 200 desks by a local craftsman, Peter Karanja, owner of K.K. General Works Company.

Nearly 900 students attended the ceremony, as well as guest speakers, including Samuel Iha, chairman of the School Management Committee, Jackson Dima Hiribae, education officer for the Tana Delta District, Miriam A. Shevo, head teacher of Ziwani Primary, and Wilfred Matatia, a representative for the parents of the students and Peter Karanja. The dedication included a ribbon cutting, ceremonial dances, songs by the students and speeches by the guests of the ceremony.

"I urge you to listen to your parents and teachers, and some day you will be the leaders of this community, Kenya, Africa and even the world," said Lieutenant Perry Choi, MCAT 205 team leader, during his speech to the children.

The students, faculty, educational and community leaders were extremely appreciative of the team's efforts.

"I know the children appreciate this gift," said Miriam A. Shevo, Ziwani Primary's head teacher. "They now have a more comfortable environment in which to learn, and this is very important because they are the future of Kenya."

According to White, the desk project is just one of the many success stories of MCAT 205. During the team's time here, they completed four projects, nominating an additional 18 projects and continuing to build on the foundation set by the first Civil Affairs teams that arrived in Kenya in 2003.

For more information on Maritime Civil Affairs Teams, visit www.mcast.navy.mil.

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