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French aid village

By Sgt. Michael Maddox
First published in
SFOR Informer#103, December 20, 2000

Prozor - Some of the villages like Scipe are very far off the beaten path. In fact, Scipe is more than 20 kilometers off of main roads on unimproved roads.
But that doesn't stop the members of French Battle Group's 2nd Company who live in a squad house in Prozor. They take the time to visit all of the villages and help where they can. That's how they found out about the school in Scipe and its needs.
The soldiers have been working there for several weeks, putting in a drainage system and a new recess area for the children of the school. They have also built a stone wall to hold up the road that runs uphill next to the school. This is no small feat when you consider the squad rotates soldiers in from Mostar each week and new soldiers take over the duties of the previous squad.
Even so, it a job that gives all of the soldiers satisfaction, said
Master Sgt. Claude Paquereau, chief of the logistics for the 2nd Company
"I am very satisfied with the work we are doing," he said. "We have made very good contact with the local population. It has been very nice because the local people like to come and see us."
The work has been hard, but nothing the soldiers can't handle, said Paquereau.
"At the beginning this was a difficult job with a lot of digging and collecting rocks from the area to use in the work," he explained. "The most difficult part is to take the big rocks from the land and bring them back here."
The platoon is working local people as well to finish the job they have started. Paquereau said that if everything goes well, they will finish the work in two weeks.
Esad Bobar, school director, said he was surprised to see the SFOR soldiers, but is grateful for the work they are doing.
"I didn't think this job would ever be done because we are lost in the mountains, so I was very, very happy," he said with a smile. "If SFOR had not come along, I couldn't have made this work. The children are very happy to have this place to play. Before they were playing in the road. It was very dangerous."

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: France
Humanitarian Aid