US sailors visit children’s home, join clean-up event in Vilimalé

No additional reporting by missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan

Officers and crew from the USS Rodney M Davis visited the Kudakudhinge Hiya orphanage or children’s home in Vilimalé yesterday (October 8 ) and assisted with painting and repairs.

“The American sailors also worked with a local environment group Save the Beach Maldives to clean up island debris later that afternoon,” reads a press release from the US embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The USS Rodney M Davis – an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate with the US 7th Fleet – visited the Maldives this week on its last tour of duty.

The 27-year-old, 4000-ton, 435-feet long, and 45-feet wide frigate is due to be retired by the US Navy. Local journalists were invited for a tour of the ship on Tuesday (October 7).

In its last major operation in 2010, the frigate seized over 1,500kg of drugs from a vessel in the South Pacific Ocean.

Vice Admiral Robert Thomas said earlier this week that he expected the visit to the Maldives would be “tremendously beneficial to build on our excellent relationships with the maritime nations of the Indian Ocean.”

“The area is critical to regional security, and the partnerships we build with this training will go a long way to creating a more professional and stable maritime environment,” he was quoted as saying in an earlier press release.

The embassy meanwhile noted that the sailors volunteered their personal “liberty” time to participate in the activities in Vilimalé yesterday with support from the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and Ministry of Law and Gender.

“Time off is very precious because our sailors put in long hours while we are at sea,” said Lt. Russell Wolfkiel, public affairs officer for the Rodney M. Davis.

“One of the highlights of deployment is the opportunity to engage with the local communities when we visit exotic ports like Maldives.”

The American sailors repainted the interior of the orphanage while special fire safety trainers explained how to service fire extinguishers and demonstrated their proper usage.

“This is very important for us. We are very appreciative of your team to come here and do some painting and to take some time to explain the fire alarm systems,” said Mohamed Shafeeg, deputy director of Kudakudhinge Hiyaa.

A second group of sailors meanwhile joined a clean-up event organised by a local youth group called Save the Beach Maldives. The debris collected from across the island included heavy concrete pieces left over from construction projects.

“We hope more people want to help places like this in the future because it’s not just a problem for Maldives here.  It’s a problem for everyone around the world,” said Fathimath Thanzeela Naeem, the lead coordinator for the clean-up.

“We are all connected by the ocean so I’m sure that bigger countries like the US could make an impact as well.”

The Rodney M Davis departed today after concluding its four-day stopover.

Aside from the day out in Vilimalé, the sailors also participated in sporting activities with the MNDF Coast Guard, “building camaraderie and friendships with the local mariners.”

“I like being able to come overseas and help out other people and see how they live,” said Petty Officer Daniel Cornede.

“Especially when it comes to cleaning up the beach, because I come from Hawaii, and this is how I was raised to pick up trash off the beach.”


14 thoughts on “US sailors visit children’s home, join clean-up event in Vilimalé”

  1. We need to send some of our xenophorbic citizens abroad and open up their minds to other cultures and ways of life. The just may see foreigners as something more than 'infidels' carrying dollars!

  2. Whatever next.....Israeli sailors cleaning up the centre of Male?

  3. @ Soatu

    True. People with xenophobia of foreigners needs to be cured. At the same time, Maldivains with 'xenophobic' attitudes to other Maldivains also needs therapy, eg, the two rival parties MDP and PPM.

  4. Learn that the key to success is always opening your mind and thinking out of the damn box for once in your life.
    Maldives is a paradise for the ignorant and the tourists. Anyone with common sense cannot live with these morons.

  5. They must be watch careful for any activities to spread Christianity. Also police must watch to see all return to the boat and no CIA agent remains behind.

  6. Thank you USA! You are a great friend indeed!

    Hands of India! Your military is no longer welcome in the Maldives!

  7. @ Hamdhan and his mates
    Do not buy Indian products including foodstuffs, medicines, construction material, clothing, car parts and all other manufactured goods. Do not watch our movies or buy our music. Do not clog up our colleges and hospitals.
    We will survive but will you?
    You don't have the capacity to manufacture a pencil so its best to shut up and keep it zipped.
    Maldives survives on cheap imports from India and by exploiting it expat workers.

  8. With looking at some of the replays from various persons it’s obvious that a small population in Maldives have a radicalized view, this type of radical’s that has now tolerance for others as well a warped, prehistoric, evil thinking. And a Schizophrenic looks at anyone ells. Political parties should unify. You can now see these radicals trying to make rift between parties for their own gain. Its 50 gangs and over 300 gang members in Male. Its 50 families not sending kids to schooled. etc. . All parties should unify and organize one Island that this radicals can live without harming others. I do not think it’s over 10 000 with ultra-radical view in Maldives. People should now look up at Muslim Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan and Buddhist Kailash Satyarthi from India that resived Nobel Peace Prize yesterday.

  9. @MissIndia.
    are you giving those items for free ?

    We will survive and we are not born to depend on you.

    People like you who are shame to your nation will only be able to see upto your toe.

  10. Authorities should monitor the bearded monkeys activities before its too late. The last thing we need is an explosion happening in vilimale. Furthermore, they should monitor if any radical thoughts are fed to the US sailors or forced conversions taking place.

  11. How about you all clean up your own rubbish and not just throw it on the sreet and the US navy amongst others wont have to clean up after you!
    And who am I to say that, just an easy going Australian who enjoys natural beauty (ie beaches not covered in rubbish) and I helped clean up your mess - yes your welcome. I'm not spreading christianity or part of the CIA or anything sinister. I believe your either part of the pollution or part of the sollution. Personally I'd rather be part of the sollution 😉
    Keep up the great work Save The Beach!

  12. I just want to say to to the Save the beach foundation. I appreciate what you all do for your country. The sailors that were allowed to help the clean up enjoyed what they did. Black Rose it's not about the people trashing their own island. I was there and I also helped a lot of the rubbish has to do with trash falling off a barge that goes to be disposed of. Remember the Maldives is nothing but islands seperated amongst each other and nor are they the size of Australia. To all that had negative comments about us being there I am sorry if that's how you feel. I know how you must feel about strangers on the foot of your front door. We did enjoy helping out there at the orphanage and the beach and I look forward to one day coming back to your country and visiting again and like before I am not there to change anyones beliefs on anything I love people for who they are no matter of race, religion or beliefs or how they live. I respect a person for who they are.

  13. If this happened in ol' Anni's time, there'd be huge protests about 'CIA' and 'missionaries'.


    Not a word from the adhaalath paateys and their heroin-addled mujahideen.


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