18 Apr 2007

PR# 2007-317

ISAF visits school, delivers supplies

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Soldiers from the International Security Assistance Force visited a Kandahar Province school April 4 to deliver supplies and gifts to children.

Air Force Maj. Chad K. Morris, U.S. Garrison Command, and his team presented school supplies to the school’s principal.  The Afghan thanked the troops for the supplies, praised ISAF for its efforts in Afghanistan and took Major Morris and his team on a tour of the school.

“[ISAF] forces have provided a lot of supplies for our school, and we are thankful,” said the principal. “We are also thankful for the security provided by [ISAF] that makes it possible for this school to be here. This school was not here and would not have been allowed to be here when the Taliban was in power, especially because it has girls,” he said.

The school, which teaches first through 11th grade and has 16 classrooms, provides an education for more than 500 students. There are approximately 270 girls in the school. 

Soldiers and airmen of the U.S. Garrison Command at Kandahar Airfield organized the event.

“I am really glad to see boys and girls in school,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Mark E. Repp, garrison command. “It gives them an opportunity for something better.”

The principal said he realizes the importance of an education, and anyone who wants to help a country must have a good foundation in education.

“We need education for the future of our kids,” the principal said. “We are helping and teaching our kids to make them good people, to better our country and to make them educated.”

Major Morris said he was impressed at how well the school was functioning and hopes that an education will help the children realize there is more to their future other than what they have seen so far.

“I was amazed by what they were learning and what they were studying,” Major Morris said. “The kids are sitting down, well behaved; there is a chalkboard and a teacher controlling the class.  It seems like they are really learning something.  I think I saw some chemistry on one board.”

ISAF troops also delivered soccer balls with two soccer goals for the children of the school.  Major Morris came up with the idea for the soccer goals while driving by the school one afternoon.

“I saw a bunch of kids kicking a soccer ball around, but they didn’t have any goals,” he said. “So, I asked one of the Dutch soldiers who works in the billeting office to build some soccer goals for the kids.”

Royal Netherlands Air Force Private 1st Class Marco Hoeusra completed the goals in two weeks.  He made the goals from scrap lumber he gathered around Kandahar Airfield.

“I was excited to be given the opportunity to make the goals for the kids,” Private Hoeusra said. 

“When you see the smiles on the kids’ faces it makes it worth it.  It feels real good to do something for the kids,” he said.  “To see how these poor kids live was a real eye opening experience for me.  I have never seen that in my life.  Where I am from in Holland we do not have a whole school of kids with nothing to play with,” Private Hoeusra said.

The private will redeploy back to Holland soon and will take home memories of the Afghan children.

“This is something that I will never forget, and I am glad I was able to participate in this event,” Private Hoeusra said.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/