On July 17, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) celebrated the completion of a Humanitarian Assistance renovation project at a local school in the village of Starychi, Lviv region.
This summer’s project builds upon the success of the groundbreaking ceremony at Starychi’s Preschool last July, when the U.S. Military prepared for the upcoming renovations, and ROTC cadets and local Ukrainians worked on joint volunteer projects around the school. Since then, the European Command (EUCOM) Civic Engagement Branch Humanitarian Assistance Program has funded the installation of a new thermal façade, new windows, new entrance steps (including a terrace and canopy), indoor toilets, kitchenettes, and the renovation of six outdoor gazebos. The EUCOM team also funded the participation of the U.S. Embassy Press Team, allowing them to better capture and share the energy and emotion of the celebration.
The school’s ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled to coincide with Distinguished Visitor (DV) day at the multinational military exercise Rapid Trident 2013, which is based out of the International Security and Peacekeeping Center. As a result of the concurrent scheduling, U.S. Ambassador John F. Tefft, Major General David Baldwin, ODC Chief LTC Tracey Rueschoff, and ODC staff all attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the beautifully transformed school. The juxtaposition of these two events highlights the many facets of military work, including international partnership, public diplomacy, and civilian stability.
For many Military Humanitarian Assistance projects, the United States’ commitment to the health, safety, and success of Ukraine’s students does not end after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The U.S. Military is invested in the continuing success of local communities like Starychi, and recently provided a large shipment of school supplies to support Ukrainian students.
To see all the photos for this event, please click on http://www.flickr.com/photos/usembassykyiv/sets/72157634750236622/