Residents of Addis Ababa Celebrate Dedication of Refurbished School
Members of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) joined officials from American and Ethiopian governments, school administrators, and local citizens to celebrate the dedication of the refurbished Abadir Primary School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on October 16, 2008.
The eight month project was the result of a partnership between Naval Marine Construction Battalion 4, CJTF-HOA, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Embassy. The team upgraded facilities at the school by replacing roofs on the classroom and administration buildings, rebuilding the latrine, refurbishing the buildings, providing a new cistern for water supply, and installing a covered area in the courtyard. The school originally opened its doors in 1945 and has given basic education to over 4,500 pupils from the community.
"I wish to convey on behalf of Adabir our heartfelt gratitude and deep appreciation to the people of the United States," said Atohl Mohammed Ahmed, Chairman of the Abadir School Administration.
Mohammed also thanked the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Africa Command, and CJTF-HOA for "the effective rehabilitation, refurbishment, and refurnishing of our venerable school."
In a speech at the dedication ceremony U.S. Marine Colonel Michael Pierce, CJTF-HOA, highlighted the ongoing partnership between the Ethiopian and U.S. governments. "I'm proud to say that our partnership with the Ethiopian government has far yielded many completed projects all over the country, the majority conducted in communities like this very one," said Pierce.
Pierce also used the opportunity to give encouragement to the students of the school. "Use this school to learn as much as possible. It is through education that success is built upon. It is the knowledge that will become your tool for shaping the world to become an even better place," said Pierce.
Personnel assigned to CJTF-HOA, and USAID provided new and refurbished furniture, while the Embassy contributed textbooks for 300 students.
"We are honored to be able to work with so many of Ethiopia's communities in our assistance partnership...touching Ethiopians across this great land. In every case, in every partnership project our soldiers and diplomats and NGO colleagues do with our Ethiopian friends, we all become richer for the experience. In fact, the Abadir Primary School is the latest link in a long and growing chain of partnership projectssacross Ethiopia," said Deborah Malac, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa.