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Soldiers Deliver School Supplies to Afghan Villages

By Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Sept. 5, 2008 – Task Force Gladiator, together with the Afghan National Police and a contracted construction and supply company, delivered 75 desks, 10 chalk boards and 150 sets of school supplies to the villages of Jurghati, Hasanzi and Shawo Katay in the Kohi Sofi district of Afghanistan’s Parwan province Aug. 26.

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A child from the Kohi Sofi district of Afghanistan’s Parwan province, laughs at Army Sgt. Jeremy Smith of Task Force Gladiator’s Alpha Company. The task force distributed school supplies to the district’s Shawo Katay, Hasanzi and Jurghati villages on Aug. 26, 2008. Courtesy photo

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The Commander’s Emergency Response Program funded supplies after Army Capt. William Coulter, Alpha Company commander, visited and assessed a number of local communities.

“All three villages had absolutely no school supplies, and the only one with any furniture was Hasanzi,” Coulter said. “The furniture at Hasanzi was old, rotten and falling apart.”

Coulter’s team sprung into action.

“The cost of supplies distributed is over $15,600, with the majority of money being spent on wood and metal for the desks,” Army Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Miller, CERP manager, said. Task Force Gladiator worked closely with the local contractor to ensure materials could be accessed and distributed quickly, he added.

Children of each village were given two sets of school supplies, including a backpack, paper, a coloring book, crayons and other basic classroom materials.

Task Force Gladiator plans to distribute farming tools and several water wells to residents in these villages, Coulter said.

Shawo Katay rests on a mountain top and has no school building. Residents use a mosque for meetings and instruction. Jurghati has a school, but it operates in a poorly structured private home. Projects for school buildings are badly needed, Coulter said, especially in Jurghati, where children from four villages gather together for instruction.

“Many projects to improve the lives of Afghan people take a long time,” he said. “School supplies, farm equipment and wells make a positive impact quickly on communities.”

(Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens serves in the Task Force Warrior Public Affairs Office.)

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Related Sites:
Combined Joint Task Force 101
NATO International Security Assistance Force

Click photo for screen-resolution imageA local contractor from an Afghan construction and supply company counts desks with villagers in the Kohi Sofi district of Afghanistan’s Parwan province as Task Force Gladiator soldiers distribute school supplies, Aug. 26, 2008. Courtesy photo  
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