NMCB 11 Seabees Bring Joy to Homeless Djiboutian Children

By Lt. Brian Myers, Command Chaplain, NMCB-11

Seabees with Caritas childrenCAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti — Seventeen Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 visited Caritas, a homeless children’s shelter in the African country of Djibouti, on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 as part of the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) – Horn of Africa (HOA) Friends of Africa organization.

Lt. Brian Myers, NMCB-11’s Command Chaplain, Religious Program Specialist Seaman Jamar Pegues, and Equipment Operator 3rd Class Andrew Vaughn organized the Community Relations (COMREL) activity.

“It was an eye opener to see how other people are living,” said Pegues.  “They don’t have the same resources as us.  I think a lot of us were touched by how welcoming the kids were.”

 “It was very humbling to see the gracious attitude of the kids,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Andrew Campbell.  “They shared everything they had, and loved having us play soccer and sharing our culture.”

Founded in 2003, Caritas is sponsored by the local Djibouti Catholic Church and provides warm meals, medical care, clean water, and education to refugee and homeless children of Djibouti and nearby countries, Ethiopia and Somalia.  Caritas is one of the few places local refugee kids can find rest, learn how to read, work on trade skills, and receive medical care with help from volunteer nurses.

The Naval Construction Force is a vital component of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. They provide deployable battalions capable of providing contingency construction, disaster preparation and recovery support, humanitarian assistance, and combat operations support.

With its home-port in Gulfport, Miss., NMCB-11 is a Seabee battalion currently deployed to multiple locations in support of AFRICOM, EUCOM, CENTCOM, and PACOM.

NMCB-11’s Det. HOA is a CJTF-HOA unit whose mission includes stabilizing and strengthening security in East Africa through military-to-military engagements with partner nations. 

Seabees with Caritas childrenSeabees with Caritas childrenSeabees with Caritas childrenSeabees with Caritas children

 

About jcarmichael