News: NMCB 3 Timor-Leste CCAD provides holiday cheer to 1,200 Timorese children
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Fahey
DILI, East Timor - Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3’s Construction Civic Action Detail (CCAD) in Timor-Leste helped ring in the holiday season for 1,200 Timorese children by volunteering at a day-long play and gift exchange sponsored by the East Timor Rotary District Conference.
Seabees helped the organization setup, play sports, hand out gifts, prepare food and read during the annual event that according lead coordinator Daryl Mills is the only one of its kind in Timor-Leste.
“We’ve been doing this for ten years now,” said Mills. “Seabees have been participated every year since they arrived to Timor, about five years now. They are a lot of help.”
Although open to everyone and free of cost, families benefiting from the free event are typically orphaned or from families in need. Maria Jose, a mother of two who has attended the seasonal exchange for the past four years, said the Seabees helped rally the Holiday spirit for her home.
“They brought the holiday atmosphere to my kids,” said Jose. “It makes me very happy to see my kids so excited and to get presents. Hopefully, they continue this every year.”
According the NMCB 3’s Timor-Leste CCAD Assistant Officer in Charge Chief Utilitiesman Miguel Fernandez, volunteering was an excellent way to show the community that the Seabees care for their families and future.
“I am amazed to see the blessing the rotary club is doing here in Timor,” he said. “They bring joy every year to thousands of children. It’s a true testimony to their never ending goal to improve lives. I’m glad we could be a part of it.”
NMCB 3 is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy, providing details deployed to Okinawa, Atsugi and Yokosuka, Japan; Chinhae, Republic of Korea; China Lake and San Clemente Island, Calif; Timor-Leste, Tonga, Cambodia and the Republic of the Philippines that are independently capable of providing disaster preparation and recovery