GAROUA, Cameroon - Soldiers from 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, in partnership with the Cameroon Air Force, held a school supply donation ceremony at the Ecole Maternelle Base Aerienne 301 Garoua (government nursery school) here April 8.
Spirit of America, a U.S. non-profit organization, arranged for the donation of the supplies in coordination with Maj. Perry White, commander of 2nd IBCT troops in Cameroon, Cameroon Air Force Col. Barthelemy T'Silla, commander of Base Aerienne 301 De Garoua, and Capt. James Turk, civil affairs team leader from Company B, 82nd Civil Affairs Battalion.
Through Spirit of America's continued support of civil-military activities, the organization provided funding to purchase the school supplies. As a result, 2nd IBCT and Cameroon troops delivered these supplies to the students and teachers of the nursery school and shared in the special event.
Sgt. Eunice Tahsoh, a supply technician assigned to 2nd IBCT, spoke to the children from a unique perspective as a Cameroonian-born U.S. Army Soldier. "Education is fundamental to the development of the country," she explained in French. "We are here today to support the government's actions towards education."
The supplies donated will be used to continue the education and preparation of the young children for primary school.
The children of Ecole Maternelle, with the help of their teachers, put on a program of cultural song and dance for the U.S. and Cameroonian troops to show their appreciation and thanks.
T'Silla addressed the group and explained that education is a crucial effort in the fight against Boko Haram.
"Education is the most important thing and through education of our children we will be able to defeat Boko Haram," said T'Silla.
Soldiers from 2nd IBCT, provide non-lethal support to their Cameroonian hosts as part of U.S. Africa Command. At the request of the government of Cameroon, U.S. troops are providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assistance via unmanned aerial systems to assist Cameroon in defeating violent extremists.