Foca - It was a day of celebration
Aug. 17 for both the citizens of Foca
and the German soldiers who have been
working in the town to bring about a
few changes. As a result, a new playground
was built for kindergarten students
at the Uncle John Dragon School in Foca,
and five CIMIC
houses were completed in the town.
The occasion was marked with a visit
by local and German officials. One of
those visitors was Col. Guenter Engel,
the commander of the German Battle Group.
kicked off the first ceremony of the
day at the school with a few remarks.
He said both of the events of the day
were worthy of celebration.
"These events show us a common
direction and emphasis that all efforts
must be taken to ensure peace,"
he said. "This point is the return
of refugees, but this is not the only
thing that matters. My soldiers and
I would like to convey this message
by the way of the symbolic gesture at
the kindergarten. The motto, 'The future
belongs to our children' applies all
over the world."
Capt. Markus Vollman, the playground
project officer for the 5th Company
based in Filipovici, said he and his
soldiers are glad they can do something
to make the children's lives a little
"We had heard that it was necessary
to build something for the children
here. My staff thought there was a possibility
to help," he said. "Col. Engel
helped by providing 3,000 DM from his
hometown of Sigmaringen. With my information
and his funds we were able to help."
Vollman added, the project, which took
three weeks to complete, was a labour
of the equipment made of wood was made
by soldiers of my company. They only
bought the wood, made it smooth and
built all of the equipment. Everything
is handmade," he said. "I
hope the children will have a lot of
fun with these things.
"I think it's a good idea to help
the children because they are the future
of this country," said Vollman.
"They must understand that we are
not here to occupy, we want to fight
with them against misery in their country."
The work done by the soldiers overwhelming
Dobrica Radovic, the director of the
Uncle John Dragon School.
"I am very happy for all of my
children now that they have a place
to play. I can't say how glad I am in
one word. I hope it helps all of the
children have a more bright future,"
Later in the day, the five new CIMIC
houses were dedicated during a ceremony
that was attended by Maj. Gen. Robert
Meille, MND-SE commander.
Lt. Col. Wolf Von Krause, deputy commander
for the German CIMIC unit, said he thinks
the CIMIC houses are a step in the right
direction to let the residents of Foca
know that SFOR is still actively working
to help refugees return.
"This is one practical effort that
you can actually see. Security keeps
the situation calm and secure, but for
the people living here, reconstruction
is a visible effort," he said.
The five houses will have a ripple effect
on the community, said 1Lt. Heiko Ramisch,
project officer for CIMIC houses.
"For this project, we have five
houses. We reconstructed these houses
for 50 persons returning here next week,"
He added that he is glad to be able
to help the people of Foca.
Nations of SFOR: Germany