CAMP DARBY, Italy. U.S. Army Garrison Italy (May 15, 2018) – Schools in Albania and Armenia are receiving a valuable shipment of new furniture and other classroom supplies thanks to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Humanitarian Assistance Program-Excess Property (HAP-EP) located at Camp Darby.
Fifteen container trucks of school furniture destined for Albania were loaded May 11 and will reach their final destination approximately May 23.
“This project supports the Mons Lucjan Avgustini combined elementary and high school located in the Vau Dejes, Albania,” said Janine Wick, HAP manager for Livorno. “HAP-EP Livorno is sending donated equipment as a complementary package to another Department of Defense project that renovated the school facility.”
The request for support came from the U.S. Embassy in Albania to the Washington-based DSCA that manages HAP-EP. The final request for support was assigned to Camp Darby.
The purpose of the HAP-EP program is to acquire non-lethal excess DOD property and donate that equipment to foreign countries in support of Department of the State-sponsored humanitarian steady-state projects and contingency disaster relief mission. In this instance, excess property from the Darby Military Community entered the HAP-EP inventory for redistribution.
“Because of the community office consolidations here, a large part of this mission package included excess equipment from Logistics Readiness Center Livorno, Darby Child Development Center, Darby Child and Youth Services, and the garrison Livorno MWR program,” said Wick. “These contributions made this shipment possible and will significantly improve the quality of education in the school, as well as enhance the relationship between the people of Albania and the United States.”
HAP-EP Supply Technician Becky Lauersdorf said she hopes the shipment improves the quality of education for some of the children of Albania.
“The shipment included student and teacher desks, classroom shelving, school electronic aids, children’s furniture and teacher aids,” said Lauersdorf.
According to Wick, the mission couldn’t be complete without the support of the 14th Transportation Movement Control Team. The team drew up contracts and made sure all transportation and customs documents were in compliance.
“Coordinating humanitarian aid shipments is more challenging than most people might imagine. As a project manager I need to match resources to requirements while managing expectations,” said Wick. “Dealing with multiple agencies can be frustrating at times. But when you see photographs and news stories about happy recipients, especially kids, who are overjoyed with the items we send, it makes it all worth it in the end.”
The hard work of HAP workers is often rewarded by satisfaction.
“I am satisfied of what I do. At the end of the day, I hope that the items we prepare and ship will make a difference in somebody’s life,” said Eleonora Morini, warehouse operator.
Warehouse operators Simone Bonechi and Daniele Badalassi echoed their co-worker’s feelings.
“I am proud to take part in these humanitarian support missions. I hope our contributions will help those in need,” said Bonechi.
“My heart is filled with joy when I see pictures of our shipment at delivery point, especially if those (receiving items) are children. I am proud and glad I can be part of HAP-EP here at Camp Darby,” added Badalassi.
The warehouse employees are also busy with a back-to-back humanitarian aid package of six containers destined to reach out and help Tsiatsan and Amberd primary and secondary schools located in the small village of Amberd, Armenia.
“After a visit by the U.S. Ambassador to check on the progress of a United Nations school feeding program designed to provide proper nutrition, the local embassy requested humanitarian assistance to increase the effectiveness of the program,” explained Wick.
According to Wick, former Darby school furniture will be reutilized to improve not only their food service program but also their educational curriculum.
“Among the items being donated by Camp Darby through HAP-EP Livorno are cafeteria tables, food service equipment, school furniture, teaching supplies, and general medical exam equipment,” said Lauersdorf.
The HAP-EP Armenia shipment is expected to be completed by the end of May with an approximate delivery date by the end of June.