U.S. Servicemembers Deliver School Supplies to Tanzanian Students
U.S. servicemembers assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) provided more than 600 students at Tongoni and Mleni Primary Schools in Tanga, Tanzania, with school supplies November 2, 2009.
The 1700-pound delivery of supplies consisted of paper, pencils, and erasers, and followed a renovation project conducted at the Tongini Primary School earlier this year.
The supplies were donated by People to People International, a not-for-profit organization based in Kansas City, Mo.
According to its website, People to People International is a voluntary effort of private citizens promoting international understanding through direct personal contacts.
The supplies were solicited from donors all over the United States, said U.S. Navy Lieutenant Lukin Lain, a country plans officer currently assigned to CJTF-HOA.
"I think this serves as a unique follow up operation to the renovation work that was performed at the school before," said Lain. "Lending a hand and showing people we care has a big impact."
Upon arrival to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, the school supplies were loaded on a C-130 Hercules cargo plane for transport to Mombasa, Kenya. The materials were then transported by Maritime Civil Affairs Team 214 by truck convoy to Tanzania.
"For a short-fuse operation with minimal planning, the job went off without a hitch," said U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Jamie Rock, MCAT 214 team leader. "I've been in the Navy for 10 years and it's very rewarding to be a part of this. I believe we are making a difference for generations to come."
Local city officials and teachers took part in distributing the school packets to the students.
"We thank you for bringing the school supplies, because it motivates our students to want to attend school," said Tongoni headmaster Gabriel Nyange. "The supplies you bring to the school serve as an inspiration for our students to want to learn, thereby increasing their chances to succeed."
"The children here love to be in school and these supplies will go a long way in reinforcing their will to stay in school. Your support has provided a better learning environment for the students here at Tongoni and Mleni," said city agriculture and environment coordinator Enedy Mnzava.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to give back," said Rock.