By Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch, CJTF-HOA Public Affairs February 14, 2012
BALHO, Djibouti (Feb 14, 2012) -- Soldiers with Civil Affairs Team 4902, 490th Civil Affairs Battalion, with Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, partnered with U.S. Agency for International Development, the Djiboutian Ministry of Education and the U.S. Embassy to deliver school supply kits to the Balho Primary School in Balho, Djibouti, Jan. 31, 2012.
The delivery included about 150 kits, each containing a notebook, a pencil and a pen.
"Getting materials like this is very useful and important to continue education for the students," said Mohamed Dabaleh, Balho School director.
The school, which provides education to more than 140 students in Balho, a remote village in the Tadjourah region of Djibouti, was running low on essential school supplies at the time of the delivery.
"A lot of kids dropped out, because they didn't have those basic school needs and the parents couldn't afford them," said Cpl. Kwami Koto, Civil Affairs Team 4902 information manager.
The Soldiers realized the school's need for supplies after delivering backpacks to the students during a previous visit. During the visit it became obvious that though the students now had new backpacks, they had little or no supplies to put in them, Koto said.
The supplies will help the school continue its important task of educating the children of Balho, Dabaleh said.
"Education is part of life. To live in a society you have to be educated," said Dabaleh. "It's a tool of life. If the student knows how to read and write, he will be useful to himself, then he will be able to help his parents, then eventually he will be able to help his country."
Koto, a native of the Republic of Togo, West Africa, echoed Dabaleh's sentiment saying, "Children today will be leaders tomorrow."
"If we want a better Africa tomorrow -- (an) Africa that does not rely on foreign aid, (an) Africa that is ready to take on the challenges they face -- you have to educate the children today," Koto said.