The Gift of Giving

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Jan Valle
  • 435th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Capt. Guy Kagere, 435th Air Expeditionary Wing Chaplain, provided support to the members from the Nigerien Armed Forces (FAN) July 10, 2021 at their compound outside of Agadez City. U.S. service members at Nigerien Air Base 201, Agadez, exchanged the resources.

This is the latest of many humanitarian efforts the chaplain team has facilitated. One of the efforts for Nigerien AB 201 is to support the 409th Air Expeditionary Group vision of having the FAN as privileged partners.

“It has always been my joy to pay a visit or be visited by American brothers,” said FAN Capt. Badage Oumarou, Nigerien AB 201 commander. “This morning's warmth coupled with goodwill continuously fosters brotherhood between the two armed forces.”

U.S. Airmen and Soldiers contributed donated items towards the partnership effort. The initiative of the chaplain team demonstrated their commitment to maintaining a bond with partners and the local region.

“The event today was a promotion of partnership,” said Kagere. “According to the commander’s priorities we get to build a strong, privileged partnership with the host nation.”

Some of the chaplain team’s prior supply drives included a donation of school supplies to local orphanages in the Agadez region. They donated 26 bags with pens, pencils and journals that contributed towards the children’s elementary school education.

Additionally, Chaplain Kagere has been boosting cultural exchange through an English Discussion Club. Kagere re-established the club after many years and he now leads weekly discussions.

“This program is designed to foster relationships with the local community,” said Kagere. “I always look forward to these weekly opportunities to see the faces of about 40 young professionals and students from local colleges discussing with Americans and improving their English writing and spelling. This program has brought the base community closer to the locals.”

In the future, the 435th AEW chaplain team at Nigerien AB 201 looks forward to culture exchanges with the families of the FAN members. Kagere along with the FAN chaplain are in agreement in the continued efforts of fostering partnerships between the nation and military members alike.

“For the future, we would wish for a consolidation of our partnership vis-à-vis base defense, patrols, sociocultural relationships, and a culture of excellence.” said Oumarou.

Interactions like these contribute towards building rapport with the host nation military and the community of Agadez. This is just one example of many ways that the personnel at Nigerien AB 201 show their gratitude to their host nation and seek to make lasting impacts.