The West African country of Chad is an important ally of the United States in a region beset by problems. Boko Haram’s atrocities are spilling over its southwestern borders, the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army wreaks havoc just south in the Central African Republic, and Sudan’s Darfur region is immediately to the east. Chad has played an important role in containing these conflicts and was also instrumental in countering al Qaeda and its affiliates in Mali.
At the same time, it remains one of the poorest countries on earth. During the recent joint U.S., Western Partner and West African Partner nation military exercise held in Chad, a U.S. team, in close coordination with the U.S. Embassy, identified a particularly vulnerable segment of the Chadian population that has urgent needs.
In the capital, N’Djamena, an orphanage takes care of some 60 young victims of violence, poverty, and disease. The orphanage, named Fondation d’Amour pour la Formation des Enfants en Détresse (Foundation of Love for the Care of Children in Distress), only receives enough funding from the government to cover the most basic operating expenses, so essential items are missing or old beyond use. The children desperately need bedding and toiletry items such as sheets, towels, mosquito nets, soap, and toothbrushes; educational supplies such as pens, paper, and drawing materials; and even toys to simply give them a little enjoyment in an otherwise very difficult existence.
The U.S. team told Spirit of America that, if we were able to provide these items, it would not only improve the immediate well-being of these children, but it would also demonstrate to our Chadian partners the U.S. commitment to their country and their people. With your help, we can accomplish both those objectives.