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Friday, June 26, 2009

AFP, JSOTF-P Turn Over Education, Livelihood Projects and Distribute Relief Packages to Sulu Communities

By Lieutenant Lara Bollinger
Joint Special Operations Task Force - Philippines

Students from Bato-Bato Elementary School, Indanan North District, Jolo read books that were donated by Books for the Barrios in the newly-built library immediately after the turn-over ceremony of the school library June 22. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class William H. Ramsey/Released)

JOLO, Republic of the Philippines – Officials from Armed Forces of the Philippines and Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines joined representatives from international Non-Governmental Organizations to turn over four projects and distribute packages of clothing and school supplies to the residents of Kagay, Bato-Bato and neighboring barangays in Indanan, Jolo, June 22.

AFP and U.S. service members were present with senior representatives from Knightsbridge International and Republic of the Philippines – United Nations White Helmets Commission at the ribbon cutting turn-over ceremonies for the Bato-Bato Elementary School library, and a reconstructed madrasah, coconut tapahan and barangay hall in Kagay. In a separate ceremony, 200 school children received school supplies and 90 families received bags of clothing that had been donated by Knightsbridge International and RP- UN White Helmets Commission.

The construction projects were planned, funded and managed by the AFP and JSOTF-P. Local workers were hired to perform the work. These newly turned-over projects will enhance the welfare, livelihood education of the people of Bato-Bato and Kagay. The projects are a sign of the mutual commitment of the AFP and JSOTF-P to carry out humanitarian projects that help the people of Sulu, despite recent fighting between the AFP and ASG.

Even as these projects were turned over, US Navy SEABEES continue construction of a new four-classroom school in Kagay, slated for completion in September 2009.

A coconut tapahan (smoker platform) that was turned over to the community of Kagay, Indanan, Jolo, June 22. This tapahan was constructed by Armed Forces of the Philippines , JTF Comet and Marine Battalion Landing Team Six (MBLT-6), US Joint Special Operation Task Force-Philippines LCE 1122A (U.S. Navy photo by Lieutenant Lara R. Bollinger/Released)

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