06 Sep. 2008
PR# 2008-463

ANP and ISAF Soldiers work together for the Children in Zabul province

School children are passing a milestone in the country: 100 straight days of attending school.

KABUL, Afghanistan – On August 21, Afghanistan hit a milestone, and the majority of people outside of Zabul province did not even realize it.

It wasn’t a major election, or the passing of legislation by the Afghan government. It was something better; it was the 100th consecutive day that children of this remote area have been able to do something that is done by children the world over--attend school.

They walk in from some of the most remote villages in the area. ISAF soldiers can see them in the morning as a group of tiny specks off in the distance that slowly grow more recognizable with their backpacks as they slowly make their way toward school. 

However, there would not even be a school in this remote area were it not for the efforts of the local ANP chief, who decided a school was something the area could not do without.

ISAF soldiers, with donations from back home or humanitarian assistance, supplied some of the basics needed for learning, including pencils, paper and crayons. But the children supply the most vital element--hope for the future and the desire to learn something that will not only make their lives better, but also that of their families and friends.

The school house is not much to look at; it is where the old Taliban regime held local government meetings and it has fallen into disrepair since their departure. It is just like any other mud building in the region with no windows, a leaking roof, and no working water source. Currently there are no desks and the children sit on the floor, but a request has been put in for lumber so that local residents can be paid to build desks and tables for the students and teachers.

With a little hard work from everyone who has a stake in a better Afghanistan--the ANP, the children and their parents, and ISAF soldiers--the hope that this school represents will continue to grow and prosper.

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/