A new school for Pale students

2Lt. Ilario Tancon and Cpl. Natale Vadori
First published in
SFOR Informer#148, September 26, 2002

On Sept. 9 at Pale, a ceremony took place to inaugurate a renovated primary school. This was made possible due to the efforts of the Italian CIMIC (Civil-Military Co-Operation) Unit belonging to SFOR Headquarters. The ceremony coincided with the beginning of the school year for nearly 1,000 children.

Pale - It was a Monday morning holiday for a thousand children from the primary school of Pale, which was the Bosnian-Serb capital during the war. A new school was renovated thanks to the Italian CIMIC Unit (ICU). This theatre unit works directly under CJ9 (CIMIC Headquarters) command. Many people, to include the schoolchildren's parents, were happy to see the new classrooms. Attendees of the event included the local authorities, the Mayor of Pale and the Commander of 505th Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) as well as a representative from the Ministry of Education. In addition, the SFOR official party consisted of Brig. Gen. Zavattaro Ardizzi, Assistant Chief of Staff Support, and Col. Gianfranco Rossi, Italian Battle Group Commander.

A team for a specific task
The intervention of the Italian CIMIC Unit, which is 15 people strong and co-ordinated by Lt. Col. Giuseppe Manzari, was made possible thanks to funds from the European Union valued at 62,000 Euros.
"In detail, the work consisted of a complete reconstruction of the roof, the floor of the entrance and of corridors and in the replacement of frames and windows," said Manzari.
Capt. Fabrizio Cappello, the project director with the ICU, said: "Everyone involved in the project was always very kind and ready to do whatever needed to be done."
The Unit worked hand in hand with locals to rebuild the school in time for the children of Pale to being a new school year.
"They were very nice people doing the work, from the principal of the school, to the civilian contractors," said WO2 Domenico Casadibari, who worked on the site.

Incoming projects
During the summer, the work carried out by the unit had one goal -- the goal to support a better quality of life for the population.
"Our goal is to regain normality in the way of life for the population, our dignity and habitation, especially for school rooms," said Manzari.
Besides the rebuilding of the school of Pale, other projects have been completed during the last months. These include the reconstruction of a mountain road at Donje Kukavice, also located in the RS. The amount for that project was 132,000 Euros.
In a short period of time a lot of work, and a lot of plans, will come to light for the Italian CIMIC Unit.

Related links: Nations of SFOR: Italy

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Photos: WO2 Andrea Lombardo

Lt. Col. Manzari, Italian CIMIC Unit Commander, sets up the project to Col. Gianfranco Rossi, IBG commander.

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A happy team, both children and Italian soldiers who were involved in the re-building of the school.

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A young fellow wears an Alpine hat while waving the flags of the European Union and Italia.

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Brig. Gen. Zavattaro Ardizzi, Assistant Chief of Staff for Support, listens to a young accordion player.