DCM Andrea Tomaszewicz Remarks for the Opening Ceremony Balbala 7 Library

DCM Andrea Tomaszewicz Remarks for the Opening Ceremony Balbala 7 Library
Tuesday, 04 October, 2022, 4:30 p.m.


Good morning, Distinguished Guests, Dear Students, Ladies and Gentleman.

I am so excited to join you today to commemorate the opening of the Balbala 7 library.  To me, there’s no place more energizing than a place that promises discovery, opportunity, adventure, and wonderment than a library.  When I was in school, the library was my place of refuge.  It was the first place I ever volunteered my time and the start of a life and career dedicated to service.

This library is also a testimony to service.  The service of many people and governments working together to support improved education and learning for Djiboutian students.  I am sure many of you are familiar with the proverb that it takes a village to raise a child.  The U.S. government is honored to be part of that village – your village – along with the Djiboutian government and our Italian, Spanish, and Japanese partners.  By building this library and more like it, we hope to contribute to increased literacy rates.  We join with the Ministry of Education in its overall goal of improving educational standards for all Djiboutian students.

I want to acknowledge the specific volunteer work by the U.S. military engineers assigned to Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.  They have the skills to quickly construct these prefabricated libraries.  Their expertise enables the U.S. government to build more libraries across the country.  They are constructing one now at the Annex 3 Elementary School.

We are also working with the Djiboutian government to construct larger libraries in the near future.  Yoboki and Wea will receive new libraries built from the ground up, while the Municipal Library in Djibouti City will receive much needed renovations.  These larger projects are estimated to have a total value of nearly $500,000.  These libraries will contribute to educational development for many years.  The construction of the larger libraries will also employ many Djiboutian construction workers.

The United States is committed to greater prosperity for all Djiboutians by enhancing employment skills and opportunities.  And we reaffirm our partnership with the Djiboutian government to improve education services.

Thank you for including me today in this celebration of the library opening.  Thank you for including the United States as part of your village.  We are honored to partner with each of you.