As many of our colleagues know, Matthew Hall, Partner here at Goldstein Hall, is a Captain in the US Navy Reserve. Currently, Matt is doing a tour of duty at the US Naval Base Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa.
While serving at Camp Lemonnier, Matt became aware of the incredible poverty and significant numbers of homeless children in the area. An amazing woman by the name of Saada Moumin, a native from Djibouti, who moved back to the area after living in Canada for several years, opened a school called Association De Developpement Et Protection De L’Enfant A Besoin (ADPEB) School for Homeless Children to help numerous homeless boys and girls five years ago.
The school, situated near Camp Lemonnier, works to provide education, along with food and basic medicine for over 150 homeless children that come to the school daily (with another 220 children on waiting list). The children range from 3 – 16-year-old girls and boys up to 14 years old. Classes run from 7 am to 1 pm (main programming), followed by special tutoring from 3 pm to 6 pm. The children’s needs are substantial, but Matt suggested that we focus on helping Saada with her school as a way to make a positive impact in the lives of these young kids.
Saada does everything she can to make sure that the children are given an education, counseling and one meal before having to send them back out to the streets. The school’s annual expenses are approximately $50,000 annually for rent, electricity, supplies and teachers. The food is primarily donated by Camp Lemonnier.
The school has two local teachers who teach French, along with some volunteers from the Camp who come once a week to teach English – both languages critical for being able to make a living in the Djibouti – but the school receives no government funding and relies on donations for all their operating costs, supplies, medicine, and food.
The children in Djibouti have very rough lives. They live on the streets and basic survival is their daily concern. The school provides them with some basic skills, temporary shelter, and food, but the most important gifts they receive are love and support – both of which are greatly lacking in their lives.
Click here for Goldstein Hall’s GoFundMe site to help raise critical dollars to support the local school and children. 100% of the donations will go to the school to provide for the school and local children.
Please contact Helena Sowah, Goldstein Hall’s Strategic Planning Advisor at [email protected] if you have any questions.