“They are Lebanon’s future after all”
School bags, stationery, footballs and more were presented to children from kindergarten to grade 9 at Naqoura public school by UNIFIL's Civil Affairs and the Italian Battalion on Monday 5 November.
In a celebratory mood, Civil Affairs chief Albagir Adam and the CIMIC Italian officer Captain Cerea distributed the gifts to the students in the presence of the director of the school Mr. Jamal Hamzi, and local officials.
Captain Cerea expressed his delight and joy to the children. "You children remind us of our own children back home. We are very pleased to be among you and offer you our helping hand. Today we are in Naqoura School, tomorrow we could be somewhere else."
The school director Mr. Hamzi pointed out that UNIFIL responded to a request for assistance. "As you know we are all living in severe economic conditions,s therefore we asked for UNIFIL's help and they responded by offering stationery equipments, school bags, and some soccer balls."
The school director thanked also UNIFIL's Turkish contingent, which visited their school for a medical checkup and distributed medicine to the children in need.
This activity was supposed to take place on United Nations Day, said UNIFIL's chief of civil affairs, Mr. Albagir Adam: "In light of the recent events we decided to postpone it till today. And as I was chatting with the Italian peacekeepers, we stressed on the need and importance of supporting these children. They are Lebanon's future after all."
The Naqoura public school is one of approximately ten schools which hosted such an activity and distribution of needed supplies. However, the Naqoura School holds a special interest as Mr. Adam noted "Naqoura hosts UNIFIL after all."
The schoolchildren were excited and thankful for the gifts they received regardless of their age. The eleven year old Ali Yazbek, for instance, was overjoyed with his new soccer ball, "We really love UNIFIL; they always help us one way or the other."
The feeling was shared by many more schoolchildren who were touched by the "exciting activity" and the supplies they received.