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    Camp Lemonnier increases community relations activities in Djibouti

    Camp Lemonnier increases community relations activities in Djibouti

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Previc | DJIBOUTI, Djibouti (Aug. 3, 2021) U.S. Navy Sailors stationed on Camp Lemonnier,...... read more read more

    DJIBOUTI, Djibouti (August 15, 2022) – Military personnel stationed on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ) donated recreational and medical supplies to Caritas Djibouti, a member of the larger charity organization Caritas Internationalis, August 3. Service members also played sports and visited with the children at Caritas.

    U.S. Navy Lt. Richard Shang, a CLDJ chaplain, organized the community relations (COMREL) activity as part of Camp Lemonnier’s wider partnership efforts with its host nation, Djibouti. Camp Lemonnier Sailors delivered donated medical supplies to Caritas and transported other volunteer military personnel to Caritas.

    The quarantine lockdowns beginning in 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic created barriers to established COMREL projects between Camp Lemonnier and the Djiboutian public. With social distancing standards returned to a pre-COVID level, Camp Lemonnier has made COMREL a top priority again.

    “In the past six months, CLDJ and its tenants have increased COMREL projects four fold,” said Shang, who heads COMREL operations for CLDJ through the Chaplain’s office. “We are providing services and delivering donations to six different locations currently and are adding more soon.”

    Founded in 1978 by then Bishop of Djibouti, Monsignor Bernardin Hoffman, Caritas Djibouti is sponsored by the Catholic Church in Djibouti and is located next to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Good Shepherd in Djibouti City. Camp Lemonnier personnel have been volunteering at Caritas as far back as 2010.

    On the August 3 visit to Caritas, members of the Montana Air National Guard stationed on Camp Lemonnier volunteered their time and brought donation of children’s clothing sent from Great Falls, Montana.

    “It’s emotional when you are there,” said Tech. Sgt. Amy J. Barille of the 449th Air Expeditionary Group, who has volunteered at Caritas Djibouti four times during her deployment. “The kids light up when they see you.”

    Caritas Djibouti provides warm meals, clean water, medical care and education to refugees, children of low-income families, and orphans. Additionally, Caritas Djibouti supports emergency humanitarian aid projects to provide relief from natural disasters (including drought) and to temper consequences due to conflicts occurring in neighboring countries.

    Camp Lemonnier COMREL activities deliver critical goods donated from the United States and contribute volunteer hours on a regular basis to organizations caring for refugees from neighboring countries and low-income residents using the local services of Djibouti.

    The additional medical supplies and donated clothing are not available on a regular basis.

    Caritas Internationalis officially formed in 1954 from a movement of Catholic charity organizations that began in Germany in 1897. Today, it is an association of more than 160 charitable member organizations working in conjunction with bishop conferences of the Roman Catholic Church. Caritas Internationalis headquarters are located in Vatican City.

    Camp Lemonnier also has a long-standing commitment to engaging Djiboutian citizens in commerce. Camp Lemonnier hosts a semiannual bazaar where local vendors have the opportunity to sell to military personnel stationed on camp—at the May 2022 bazaar, $53,000 of merchandise was sold. The U.S. Government, through the Embassy and CLDJ, is the second largest employer of Djiboutian nationals in Djibouti. Over 1,300 Djiboutians work at CLDJ.

    Camp Lemonnier is a forward operating site supporting joint operations managed by the U.S. Navy and is the only enduring U.S. military base on the African continent. Djibouti has been a partner of the U.S. military since 2002 when the installation on the south side of the Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport was formally stood up as the headquarters for Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). Camp Lemonnier is operated by Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Central (EURAFCENT).



    Date Taken: 08.15.2022
    Date Posted: 09.01.2022 07:44
    Story ID: 428474
    Location: DJ

    Web Views: 876
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