Preparing For The Future With Education
January 27, 2008
We’ve often said that the future of both Afghanistan as well as Iraq, is the children of those countries. One way to ensure that the children are able to make a better country for themselves and their children to live in, is through education. Task Force Saber Patatroopers in Kunar Province, Afghanistan work tirelessly to ensure that happens by acting as a liaison for a school partnership between American and Afghan schools.
Through this partnership, they’re able to link children and schools in Afghanistan with schools in the US, Italy and Germany, to provide the Afghan children with essential supplies, such as pens, pencils, paper, chalk, notebooks, as well as linking them with pen-pals in these countries. The 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment Paratroopers also ensure that the partner schools receive updates on the progress of the Afghan children, by sending them pictures and letters.
“Being in the US, it is hard to visualize the lack of resources they have here,” said Army Captain Jay S. VanDenbos. “Ninety percent of the schools are open-air schools, which are sometimes a tarp and a dirt floor. They’ll have a rock that they use as a chalk board, and kids sit underneath the tarp and learn.”
“Most of the kids want to learn. They yearn for knowledge,” said VanDenbos. “Anytime anyone goes on patrols, the kids are screaming to them, ‘give me pen, give me pen.’ They don’t have anything they can use to learn.”
The partnership is a great opportunity for the children in Afghanistan to get some of the supplies that children here tend to take for granted. It also enables the Americna children to learn about other cultures in the world. So the partnership goes both ways. By being able to pen-pal with each other, the children are also afforded the opportunity to forge friendships that they might never otherwise be able to have. The teachers in Afghanistan, are firmly behind the project, having seen their schools destroyed over the years and they greatly appreciate what is being done for them and their students.
“Coalition forces are always giving school supplies to the students and I support the Coalition forces for helping the children,â€ said Pacha Gul Aulfat, 36, an Afghan school teacher. â€œIt makes me really angry that we do not have school buildings, but Coalition forces are building schools for us.â€
â€œMost of the past generations are uneducated, but my plan for the future is to teach. I will provide the students of the next generation with an education,â€ said Aulfat. â€œNow is a time for education, and all of our attention must be given to education.â€
The troops love the opportunity to be able to put forth effort to help the children … the future of Afghanistan. This allows the children to have an opportunity to be able to advance their educations and perhaps go on to further their educatio and become doctors, attorneys, or other professionals who can make a difference in their country and it’s future. For all the bad press we see in the media about our Troops and the jobs they’re doing in both Iraq and Afghanistan, things such as this are happening without much fanfare, or mention in the major media outlets. This is truly the work that counts, enabling the future of these countries to become whatever they dream of being in order to become a part of making their country once again whole.