Approximately 300 desks were delivered to Misrata Primary School as part of a donation coordinated by U.S. Army Civil Affairs Team 203 at Nigerien Air Base 201 Oct. 23.
The ceremony recognized the first delivery of 1,000 desks that will be distributed to schools in the Agadez region. A donation of coloring books, writing utensils, paper, and other items gathered by the military community was also presented to the school.
“Today we're here to celebrate, not only the partnership we have with security, but also the partnership the United States has with development in Niger,” said U.S. Army Capt. Alexander d’Orchimont, Civil Affairs 203 team lead. “We understand how important education is to the U.S., and likewise we understand the importance of education in Niger and that’s why we’re not only donating 300 desks today, but we plan to donate an additional 1,000 desks over the coming weeks to other primary schools in Agadez.”
The desks will range from brand new to refurbished, with a little help from a team of volunteers from the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron. The base Top Three organization, comprised of senior NCOs, organized volunteers to take apart pallets to salvage good pieces of wood to refurbish the well-worn desks.
“I feel that the partnership between air base 201 and the city and area of Agadez is very important to us,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Francis Tyson, 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron commander. “You make us feel as we are part of your community. I think that education is the most important thing and giving us the opportunity to build these desks and further strengthen the education of the people of the Agadez region is very important to us.”
Deputy governor, vice mayor, regional primary school inspectors, Parents and Teachers Association and a representative from the Sultan’s office attended the event to show their appreciation.
“Thank you for the good quality of desks, they were made to support the education in Agadez,” said Agadez deputy mayor Attachir Elh. “As said by Alex, the leader of civil affairs — we are not here only for military affairs, we are here for development.”
“I would also like to say thank you to the…United States for all that they do to support the education of Niger,” he said.