From the event

27 Aug. 2008
PR# 2008-435

Kandahar school receives year’s worth of supplies

KABUL, Afghanistan - ISAF soldiers and members of Kandahar city’s Skills Generation gave a year’s worth of school supplies to both students and their teachers at the Afghan National Army camp’s Sayd Pacha School August 26.

The school supplies were purchased with donated money from the soldiers’ families in Canada. The project started after a few Canadian soldiers, responsible for training and mentoring the ANA at Camp Hero, began working with Sayd Pacha School’s principal, Mohammad Issa, and regularly visited the school to spend time with the students.

“It was a great opportunity for people at home to feel like they are doing something tangible to support what their loved ones are doing here,” said Major Jim Short, chaplain for Task Force Kandahar’s Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team. “Apart from the things that make us very different, we all want the opportunity for our children to be educated.”

To ensure the school supplies are evenly distributed throughout the school year, Canadian soldiers handed over the project to the Afghan organization Skills Generation. Skills Generation’s mandate is to help Kandahar schools receive adequate school supplies and textbooks for teachers and students by working closely with the Ministry of Education to improve Kandahar province’s school system.

“Skills Generation will help to continue the donations from families to Afghans; school bags are being made by Skills Generation who hires women to sew the bags,” said Luc Saint-Jean, who previously served with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan as a Civil-Military-Cooperation operator and who now works for a Kandahar city business development company responsible for Skills Generation. “School supplies will be put into the bags to be given to the school and a link put on the [web]site so they (families) have proof.”

Major Short said the project began five months ago and has finally come to fruition after the hard work of a small, dedicated team of Canadian soldiers.

“Children are the future of this country,” said Major Short. “And they want to learn; we all want the children to go to school.”

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/