Wisconsin Club Donates School Supplies to Djiboutian School in Village of Chebelley

U.S. Army Lieutenant Col. Michael Hert, civil military operations plans officer, hands a box of crayons to local children during a Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa visit May 8, 2013 to a primary school in Chebelley, Djibouti. Hert, an active member of the Oshkosh Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club, Oshkosh, Wis., contacted his club to gather school supplies to donate to the children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Rachel Waller) CJTF-HOA Photo U.S. Army Lieutenant Col. Michael Hert, civil military operations plans officer, hands a box of crayons to local children during a Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa visit May 8, 2013 to a primary school in Chebelley, Djibouti. Hert, an active member of the Oshkosh Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club, Oshkosh, Wis., contacted his club to gather school supplies to donate to the children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Rachel Waller)
U.S. Army Lieutenant Col. Michael Hert, civil military operations plans officer, gives a young girl a coloring book during a Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa visit May 8, 2013 to a primary school in Chebelley, Djibouti. Hert, an active member of the Oshkosh Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club, Oshkosh, Wis., contacted his club to gather school supplies to donate to the children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Rachel Waller)

CJTF-HOA Photo

U.S. Army Lieutenant Col. Michael Hert, civil military operations plans officer, gives a young girl a coloring book during a Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa visit May 8, 2013 to a primary school in Chebelley, Djibouti. Hert, an active member of the Oshkosh Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club, Oshkosh, Wis., contacted his club to gather school supplies to donate to the children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Rachel Waller)

U.S. Army Maj. Lynda Perry, a liaison officer, visits with local women and children during a Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa visit May 8, 2013 to a primary school in Chebelley, Djibouti. Perry's church and members of the Oshkosh Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club, Oshkosh, Wis., sent school supplies to donate to the children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Rachel Waller) CJTF-HOA Photo U.S. Army Maj. Lynda Perry, a liaison officer, visits with local women and children during a Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa visit May 8, 2013 to a primary school in Chebelley, Djibouti. Perry's church and members of the Oshkosh Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club, Oshkosh, Wis., sent school supplies to donate to the children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Rachel Waller)

(Editors note: No federal endorsement is intended.)

Soldiers from the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa recently visited youth at a school in Chebelley as part of an ongoing effort to build relationships and partnerships with the village. The May 8 visit differed from past visits because this time the 411th CA BN distributed school-supply donations from the Oshkosh Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club, Oshkosh, Wis.

"One of our long time Mid-Morning Kiwanis members (U.S. Army Lieutenant Col. Michael Hert) is deployed to Djibouti," said Michelle Wihlm, the club president, in an email. "In the past, while he was on assignment, we were able to donate some clothing for local school children. This year, he made us aware of the need for basic school supplies. We were happy to help."

During the visit, Hert and Soldiers from the 411th CA BN passed out the notebooks, pencils, crayons and coloring books to 30 children and gave the bulk of the donated supplies to the school director for later use.

"This really helps me because I cannot buy them," said Saredou Harbi Waase, mother of three. "I really appreciate it."

By and large, the new supplies will help the children with their studies.

"The best thing that I like is our kids are doing good and they are getting an education here," said Wasse. "The teachers are teaching them good education and I am really happy with that."

"We feel fortunate to be able to expand our horizons and not only help out children in our community but across the world," said Wihlm. For his part, Hert echoed Wihlm's sentiments.

"It's tremendous the members of the Oshkosh Mid-Morning Kiwanis Club reached out to the children of the village of Chebelley," said Hert. "Kiwanis is an international organization and recognizes our children are the future whether they are in Africa or the United States."

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Djibouti Partnership

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