George Washington Sailors Spend Time with Myanmar Refugee Kids


Story Number: NNS121010-05Release Date: 10/10/2012 10:47:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Justin Yarborough, USS George Washington Public Affairs

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (NNS) -- Sailors attached to the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) volunteered their free time for a community outreach at the School for Myanmar Refugee Children in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Oct. 8 during a port visit.

Sailors interacted with 140 children ranging from ages five to 16-years-old as well as repainting a kindergarten classroom.

The school, which opened its doors in May 2010, takes in refugees and prepares them for resettlement by teaching math, English and science so that they can are better prepared when they resettle and start a new life.

Sailors spent half of the day at the school talking to the students about American culture and values to help prepare them for when they relocate.

The students were very excited to talk with the Sailors, according to Chris-Jong, headmaster and full-time volunteer at the school.

"The majority of these students will eventually relocate to the U.S. so when we told the kids that the Americans were coming they were very excited," said Jong. "That's why we especially arranged for this question and answer session with the Sailors so they can know what to expect when they come to America."

Later on in the day, Sailors moved upstairs put their seamanship skills to work and repainted a kindergarten classroom in less than four hours.

"We originally received the paint and supplies as a donation and we were wondering where we were going to get the manpower from to paint the school," said Jong. "Two days later we got a call asking if we wanted some Sailors to help us paint the school, so to us it was like these Sailors were a godsend."

The project was a success according to Airman Justin Parker, one of the 15 Sailors who volunteered.

"The project went fairly fast and we had a large turnout for volunteers", said Parker. "We put in a lot of hard work, effort and teamwork and I think it showed from the looks of this room."

"I thought this visit went very well," said Jong. "We needed the help, the visit was useful for the children and we appreciate everything George Washington has done for us."

The School for Myanmar Refugees is a publicly funded school staffed by full-time volunteers

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.

 
 
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