CJTF-HOA, partners build school library in Djibouti

The Balbala 7 Library is a combined project that provides education opportunities to local children and is designed to give back to the local community.


“This is a very important project, and the kids learning here at the Balbala 7 school will take full advantage of this new opportunity.” - Abdi Dirir
By Staff Sgt. Thomas Johns Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Balbala, Djibouti Oct 13, 2022
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Members of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, the United States Embassy Djibouti, and international partners and allies celebrated the opening of a Library at the Balbala 7 School in Djibouti, Oct. 4, 2022.

The Balbala 7 Library is a combined project that provides education opportunities to local children and is designed to give back to the local community. The project enlisted the help of U.S. Army Civil Affairs Soldiers, CJTF-HOA Army Engineers, the Japanese Self-Defense Force, the Spanish and Italian militaries.

“This is a very important project, and the kids learning here at the Balbala 7 school will take full advantage of this new opportunity,” said Abdi Dirir, Director General of Education. “This project was done thanks to the cooperation of the allied countries here. For the students, reading and writing is the key to life. I’d like to thank the nations here for this wonderful project in the name of the Minister of Education.”

The project took four weeks to complete, with the 319th Engineer Support Company, assigned to CJTF-HOA, building the structure, Spanish military members providing books and reading materials, and the Japanese and Italian military members providing furniture for the interior.

“This Library is a testimony of service – the service of many people and governments working together to improve education and learning for Djiboutian students,” said Andrea Tomaszewicz, U.S. Embassy Djibouti Deputy Chief of Mission. “We join with the Ministry of Education in its overall goal of improving educational standards for all Djiboutian students.”

The Balbala 7 Library will allow Djiboutian students to learn and grow, and give them a place to excel in reading skills and other educational pursuits.

The Library is the first of many construction projects Civil Affairs, CJTF-HOA Army Engineers and U.S. partners and allies will work on across Djibouti and East Africa.

“This library is a token of friendship because we recognize that education is a cornerstone of peace and prosperity,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Case, CJTF-HOA Deputy Commanding General. “We hope to continue with similar projects in a series of collaborative events with the Minister of Education. When we work together, we, as partners, bring a better and brighter future.”

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