Camp Lemonnier Personnel Help Distribute Shoes to Refugees in Djibouti
Personnel from the Enduring Chapel at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, helped distribute 10,000 pairs of plastic clog shoes to the Ali Addeh refugee camp in Djibouti, as well as to several schools, churches and non-government organizations, March 3, 2010. The shoes were donated by the World Emergency Relief (WER) organization.
"We did this project in conjunction with WER because of the high rate of foot injuries and infections due to the lack of footwear in many areas," Petty Officer 2nd Class Norman Otters. "We work closely with WER and other organizations on many community projects, donating items such as clothing, baby needs, and sports equipment."
Approximately 1600 pairs were given to United Nations High Commissioner (UNHCR) for Refugees, the UN refugee agency, for distribution at the Ali Addeh refugee camp, added Otter.
Hassan Mohamed, the refugee camp manager, gave a tour to Lieutenant Commander Robert Cain, a chaplain at Camp Lemonnier Djibouti, and Ann Encontre, the UNHCR representative in Djibouti, to see first-hand the difference that the shoes made in the lives of the refugees.
"On behalf of UNHCR and the refugees in the camp, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you and your team for the donation of shoes and the interest you have shown in improving the lives of refugees in Djibouti," said Encontre while addressing the military volunteers. "The visit with Mr. Cain is yet another example of the commitment of the U.S. Government and its people to humanitarian efforts for the needy."
During the tour, Cain helped pass out food and met with several children wearing the donated shoes. "The [shoes] were given to the most vulnerable: orphans, single women, elders," said Mohamed.
The Ali Addeh refugee camp was established after the collapse of the Somali government in 1991 to host refugees fleeing the civil war. Currently, the camp hosts a total population of more than 11,000 refugees from Somali, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The Ali Addeh refugee camp is administered by the Djiboutian government, under the jurisdiction of the Ali Sabieh Commissioner and the National Emergency and Disaster Relief Organization. UNHCR is responsible for the protection and humanitarian assistance programs in the camp. ONARS is the coordinating agency for refugee assistance.
Camp Lemonnier provides, operates and maintains superior service to meet the needs of regional tenant commands, and facilitate operations in the Horn of Africa, while promoting positive relations between the United States and African nations.
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