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Not just one more

By 1st Lt. Luis Sanchez
First published in
SFOR Informer#115, June 13, 2001

A small Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC) task has been carried out by French troops from the Detsout Detachment, posted in Rajlovac, to provide clothes and other items for persons in need.

Sarajevo CIMIC activities mean a lot to the locals: they are valuable to both the civilian and military population. Charitable organisations are needed to provide food, medicine and medical help, overall, for children; they are part of the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and needed in order to build a better future.
On the evening of June 5, nuns from the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, a small community located in downtown Sarajevo, received many boxes containing childrens' clothes, toys and others items for poor people. This time is not like the others, the action has not been performed by one of the numerous CIMIC teams, but by the French Detsout (Support) Detachment's staff.
"The idea came to us during previous tours here, this is my fourth tour; I have been stationed in Mostar and in Rajlovac twice," explained Lt. Col. Charles Dubourg, French detachment's commander. "We support the French contingent in Sarajevo and in the northern area of Multinational Division - Southeast, making contacts with locals and willingly helping people, especially children. My regiment started to collect items from our own relatives in France, and to prepare gifts for the next mission in the theatre. The transport was another problem, but fortunately we were able to bring the gifts with us as cargo in our aircraft."
The items were collected from military family members from the 516th Rgiment du Train (Transport Regiment), a logistic unit posted in Toul, a town near Nancy in eastern France. "All the soldiers of the unit took part in this project, they are happy to collaborate, and at the end we managed to fill 20 boxes," Dubourg continued.
At three o'clock in the afternoon, the special convoy departed from Rajlovac. After driving through the narrow Sarajevo streets, the vehicles stopped in front of one green house. The institution that was selected was the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, established in Sarajevo in 1871. It is one of the oldest charitable organizations in the area. With a great smile on her face showing gratitude, Sister Vitomira, centre director, didn't hesitate to say thank you. "We are happy to receive this help, we are going to distribute it among the children and locals where needed, whatever the religion, and in addition we will also provide to them medical care," she said.
The detachment's priest, Jacques Ebling, who is in his fourth tour in BiH, was also fully involved in this project. "As a cleric I am highly involved in those matters, I made contact with the community thanks to other religious men. I talked with them and explained our project. Everybody could help."
This small CIMIC operation is now complete, but in fact, for goodwill men, there is no "small" operation in this domain.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: France,
Humanitarian Aid