Spirit of America's Blog
Reinforcing Veterinary Skills in West Africa, Part II
Greetings once again from Nouakchott,
As promised, I'd like to update you on the second part of the Mauritanian veterinary refresher training I first told you about here. After spending the first part of the training in the classroom, the veterinary auxiliaries finally got to put their knowledge and expertise to the test in the field. Given their role as important players in the struggle to stabilize Mauritania's eastern half from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other extremist influences, this was a critical step in ensuring the auxiliaries were up to the task.
While finding out about parasites, diseases, and treatment in a classroom setting is very important – to be sure, a strong theoretical grounding is essential – there truly is no substitute for hands-on experience. Therefore, we loaded up in CNERV's (the Mauritanian livestock agency that conducted the training) vehicles in the morning to head for Nouakchott's livestock markets. This setting, perhaps fifteen miles outside of the city center, is where the animals destined to feed the Mauritanian capital's inhabitants are housed and traded. In other words, it was a perfect place for the auxiliaries to get their hands dirty diagnosing and treating animals.
The auxiliaries watch intently as a CNERV instructor shows them how to insert a needle in an impromptu training exercise
Reinforcing Veterinary Skills in West Africa, Part I
Greetings from Nouakchott!
This week, I'm in the capital of the West African country of Mauritania, observing a refresher training course for veterinary auxiliaries funded by Spirit of America. This ten day training period is designed to reinforce the skills the auxiliaries acquired last year, as well as add to their capabilities so they can provide even better treatment to the extremely valuable animals in their isolated communities. For an initiative like this, it's vital to ensure that those involved have everything needed to be successful in the long term, especially in a place as challenging as eastern Mauritania.
SoA funded refresher training by the Mauritanian livestock agency, CNERV, for veterinary auxiliaries from the border regions near Mali
Spirit of America’s Impact in South America
In September we told you about our efforts to support small teams of US troops and diplomats working to prevent conflict and improve livelihoods in difficult corners of South America. Thanks to your support, we were able to deliver that “ounce of prevention” and make an impact in Guyana, Colombia, and Peru.
Using education to keep children away from extremism and crime in Guyana
Remembering the Marines, Sailors and Soldiers killed 30 years ago in Beirut
On this date thirty years ago, 241 US Marines, Sailors and Soldiers were killed by a suicide truck bombing on the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Our troops were sent to Lebanon on a peacekeeping mission. Hezbollah carried out the attack under orders from Iran.
Mark Nevells, a Marine Lance Corporal at the time, survived the attack. In a story today, Mr. Nevells says, “The worst part for me is that nobody remembers.”
We want to take a moment to remember.
Making an Impact in Guyana
Spirit of America recently heard from a team leader who served as the head of the U.S. Embassy Guyana's Humanitarian Assistance Project (HAP). In response to what we were told was needed, and with our generous donors' help, we provided computers and school supplies to communities in need throughout this poor Caribbean country--a country in which there is a concern about extremist organizations recruiting its vulnerable young people.
A member of the US Embassy's humanitarian assistance project in Guyana provides school supplies donated by Spirit of America to local school children
Spirit of America Welcomes Another Army Veteran
This week, we’re pleased to introduce the newest member of the Spirit of America team. Chris Clary, an Army veteran, came on board this week. After an initial training period at the home office, Chris will head to Afghanistan to join Marine veteran Mike Harte as a Spirit of America field representative.
New Field Rep Chris Clary
Hi all, my name is Chris Clary and I'm the newest member of the Spirit of America team as an Afghanistan Field Representative. I am excited about the opportunity I have been given to join the team at Spirit of America. It seems like everything has happened so quickly from the time I arrived in Los Angeles for my interview to being back here to start my training. Everyone on staff has been welcoming and helpful during my transition. Life in LA is quite different from what I am used to but I'm confident I will adjust quickly to the amazing city life with a beach just down the road. Now the fun begins as I prepare to go to Afghanistan for the third time. It will be a change for me though. In the past I have worn the uniform of a US Soldier. This time I will be wearing civilian clothes, but I will be going with the same mission: to help those in need and bring stability to Afghanistan.
SoA Helps Shed Light in Dangerous Areas of Kunar Province
High in the northeastern mountains of the legendary Hindu Kush sits Kunar Province. Likewise positioned along the border with Pakistan's tumultuous North Western Frontier Provinces (NWFP), Kunar has been a hotbed of insurgent activity since ISAF operations began in the country. The infamous Korengal Valley, known more popularly as the Valley of Death, is located here, and has been the site of some the fiercest fighting seen in the Afghan War to date.