CJTF-HOA troops deliver goods to needy Djiboutians

7 Dec 2003 | Cpl. Paula M. Fitzgerald

"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness," contemplated Roman philosopher Seneca.

Service members here in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa recently seized that opportunity and delivered donated furniture, toys and books to some local civilians here.

"Most all of the stuff was donated from the United States military," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Kinzell Hendricks, operations noncommissioned officer for the Djibouti U.S. Liaison Office. "Our mission for this was to make sure everything got passed out to the community to help improve the living conditions for some people."

The first stop of the day was to the city's boys' orphanage, National Association for the Protection of Juessh.

English books and physical exercise mats were donated.

According to the orphanage's director Abdi Aden, the orphanage also acts as a school.
Girls and boys from the neighboring villages attend classes such as French, arithmetic and geography during the day. The boys are also taught technical skills like welding, masonry and mechanics.

The next visit was to Porte Ouverte, which translates to "Open House" in English.

"Open House is for street kids between the ages of six and eighteen," said Mohamed Ahmed Farah, the facility's director. "During the day, most of them have jobs in town.

We give them clothing, food and shelter because we get a lot of aid from the World Food Program and the United Nations."
The children at Open House were given exercise mats and toys.

Next, the troops traveled with another truck-full of furniture and books to the Association Iftin for the Action of Female Development, which provides help to children who are hospitalized with AIDS and other serious illnesses.

The last stop of the day was to the English Language Teachers' Association, where the troops dropped off several large boxes full of books.

At the end of the trip, Kinzell, a Panama City, Fla., native said, "All of the stuff people donate from the states really doesn't do a whole lot of good sitting around in some warehouse. It's really a great thing to be able to come out here and give something to these people to make life a little easier."

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