Chad has been a key partner of the United States in countering extremism and building stability in a region torn apart by violence. Its borders are surrounded by problems such as Boko Haram, the Lord’s Resistance Army and the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur. The Chadian government is heavily engaged in countering these threats. Indeed, Chad was recently the site of Flintlock, a major military exercise, involving the United States, several West African countries and other Western partners, who focused on combating extremism and other causes of conflict.
During the course of this exercise, the U.S. team working in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena, told Spirit of America about the orphanage, the Fondation d’Amour pour la Formation des Enfants en Détresse (Foundation of Love for the Care of Children in Distress). Home to some of the children most affected by instability in the region, this orphanage was in dire need of support.
U.S. Embassy N’Djamena staff has long provided personal donations to the orphanage. Over the course of time, Embassy personnel have donated money to buy food, clothing, toys and school supplies as charitable contributions. The orphanage was also the recipient of U.S. Embassy N’Djamena Marine Detachment’s 2014 toys for tots collection, and a Boxing Day 2014 donation of food and clothing by Embassy personnel.
If Spirit of America could provide basic supplies, the U.S. team could provide training in sanitation and hygiene, highlighting the close collaboration and cooperation taking place between the two countries.
Accordingly, Spirit of America provided items such as bedding, soap, toothbrushes, pens and paper, notebooks, and even toys for the children. At the same time, U.S. servicemembers conducted medical outreach, addressing both basic health issues and teaching the children how to care for themselves properly.
In addition to SoA and the U.S. military, the Ambassador and other representatives from the American Embassy, as well as high-ranking officials from the Chadian military, also participated in the event. All emphasized a commitment to the needs of these young children and spoke to the importance of working together to ensure lasting peace and stability in West Africa, stating that these children were indeed the future. Finally, the delegations passed out toys to the children, who responded by singing for the benefit of the group.
The event was mentioned in a press release put out by both the U.S. Embassy in Chad and by the U.S. military here: http://ndjamena.usembassy.gov/pr/flintlock_2015_03092015.html.
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Field Ops Manager