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    Civil Affairs builds trust by helping others in Djibouti

    Civil Affairs builds trust by helping others in Djibouti

    Photo By Senior Airman Scott Jackson | Nafisa Mahamed Dawud an English discussion group student, reads an English essay she...... read more read more

    Nearly every week, a Civil Affairs team leaves Camp Lemonnier and travels three hours north into the cities of Tadjoura and Obock to build relationships with community leaders.

    On the 25th and the 26th of July, the team awarded certificates to local students who have been attending English discussion groups. Held every week in both towns, the team teaches English on varying levels.

    "We do assessments on villages, we meet and interact with the local populace and work with whatever governing officials they have," said Sgt. Kyle Caprio, Civil Affairs Team 2A, 407th. "Any non-government organizations that might be in the area, veterinarians, nurses, teachers, village elders. For example, we'll set up veterinarians to come into towns with deworming agents, things like that, and give classes about keeping livestock healthy, how to feed them properly, how to breed them properly."

    To be the direct bridge between the U.S and the local community is what ties everything together.

    "Here in Djibouti, we help build a relation between the U.S. and the Djiboutians," said Spc. Antonio Nieves, 404th Civil Affairs. "So if they need someone to work with the local villages, we can be that middle-man between the military and the local populace. Everyone here sees the U.S. in a good light, we're that face for the military."

    Civil Affairs is split into U.S. Army active and reserve components, the teams here in Djibouti are mostly made up of reserve forces. One team of three CA members, all reserve, drive to the Tadjoura and Obock region each week.

    "We all have civilian jobs, Nieves is a border patrol agent, Roberts is a general restaurant manager, Shealy is a corrections officer; I work in manufacturing." said Caprio. "We all bring something to the table to assist us in what we're doing. A big one is police force members, we have a lot of EMTs, lawyers, doctors. They bring those skill-sets and they apply it to civil affairs."

    For the towns of Tadjoura and Obock, the core of CA mission is spent teaching English in the evenings and meeting with community leaders in the day to coordinate lesson plans and see what materials the towns might need. In the past, teams built wells, for the more rural villages, which in some cases, families would have to travel over hills and mountains in the heat, to get water and take it back to their village.

    "I feel like we're making a difference here," said Cpl. Michael Roberts, 404th Civil Affairs. "We're giving free education to the kids, teaching English, something that they will remember later in life that they can use if they need jobs [requiring English]. English is the business language of the world. This is a huge foundation for them, and the kids love it. They go to school all day, and they all come to class when they don't have to, but they want to. And you have kids that are really dedicated to learning and asking questions; they're super interactive. That's my biggest take away. I never experienced anything like that before, and it makes me love doing what I do."

    The team truly feels connected to the mission of teaching English in Tadjoura and Obock.

    "It's crazy seeing how smart everyone is over here," said Nieves. "Honestly I don't even know what I was expecting but I was blown away when I saw that most people know about 4 or 5 different languages. They know so much about different cultures."



    Date Taken: 08.06.2018
    Date Posted: 08.08.2018 09:35
    Story ID: 287385
    Location: TADJOURA, DJ 

    Web Views: 85
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    Civil Affairs builds trust by helping others in Djibouti