DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – U.S. Navy Sailors from the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) volunteered at the Al Noor Center for Children with Special Needs in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 26.
Sailors conducted a tour of the facility with the staff before ultimately breaking into groups of two to spend time with the children.
“The first thing we did was watch a video that informed us about the organization and their purpose”, said Lt. Mandisa Maforah, Mobile Bay’s chaplain. “After the video, we were provided a tour to see what each classroom provided for the students. Classes ranged from a bakery to an arts and crafts center.”
Sailors, along with students and staff, proceeded to interact with each other, performing various activities with the residents.
“The goal was to get into the heart of the community of Dubai and help these children who have disabilities,” said Maforah. “It also provided for Sailors to see how fortunate they are and appreciate their
ability to serve others.”
One Sailor who volunteered was Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kayla Montana, from St. Louis.
“It was a very humbling experience,” said Montana. “The teachers have a lot of patience with the students, and are willing to work with them, from the time they are little to when it’s time to choose careers.”
Throughout the visit, Montana learned there are more than verbal communications.
“I made necklaces with a female student who wasn’t vocal,” said Montana. “She would give us signs to teach us how to make the necklaces. She was a girl just like us, she just couldn’t speak.”
The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the
Mediterranean and the Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.