By 2nd Lt. Alexandre Barb
First published in
SFOR Informer#109, March 21, 2001
Sarajevo - On air. The curtain opens in front of
an impatient public. The show can start. In the primary school
of Hrasno, in Novo Sarajevo, where 900 children aged from 7 to
14 study, about 50 of them prepared a little show to thank the
French contingent of Butmir.
As many other nations, the French want to be involved in local
development. Thus, four classrooms have been set up with curtains.
During summer, because of the sunshine, children could hardly
work in these classrooms.
got this idea from talking with our interpreter, Almira, whose
cousin is working as a teacher in the school. The director told
us about her needs and we set up this operation," said French
Staff Sgt. d'Auber de Peyrelongue. It didn't take a long time
to collect 1,956 KM needed to buy and install the curtains on
the windows. "We set up commercials and a collecting point
at the French NSE. We also organised a party and the profits were
kept for buying the curtains," he added.
"I'd like to thank you for what you've done for the school.
In the past few months, working conditions got better but our
school is far from being completely reconstructed. We need furniture
above all," said Jasna Beia school director.
Among the guests, DCOMSFOR Maj. Gen. Roger Duburg didn't hide
his satisfaction. "I (was) one of the last to know about
it and I hope this kind of action will be continued. Many people
come here without having any contact with the population. This
kind of help allows it," he said while chatting with the
director. "I have seen a lot of schools during the war and
I am very glad to be here tonight," he added. Beia revealed
that during the war, the lessons were held in cellars.
But on that evening, on all the shining faces of the children
and their teachers, everyone could read two words: "merci"
and "beaucoup," as one of them said in French.
The French contingent doesn't intend stopping its good deeds.
Soon, about 20,000 notebooks will be given to the pupils and to
others from an orphanage and a school for handicapped children.
After the children sang and gave a shadow show, the curtain came
down. But not on the future of the children.
Nations of SFOR: France