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On the Ground: Forces Donate Supplies, Celebrate Mothers in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2009 – In an ongoing mission to provide support to the Afghan people, Afghan and coalition forces distributed humanitarian aid to several villages and a reconstruction team helped celebrate mothers in recent days in Afghanistan.

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An Afghan National Army leader holds a key leader engagement with village elders during a combined forces humanitarian-aid mission in Gardez district in Afghanistan’s Paktia province June 27, 2009. Courtesy photo

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Afghan commandos and coalition forces distributed much-needed school supplies and clothing to children near Chahar Asiab district in Kabul province June 29.

The commandos led the coordination and distribution efforts while coalition forces provided some of the school supplies and clothing for more than 100 children.

The Afghan-led force also conducted a key-leader engagement with village elders to discuss the needs of the village and security in the area.

Elsewhere, Afghan National Army commandos, assisted by coalition forces, delivered aid to villagers in Paktia province’s Gardez district June 27.

The combined forces handed out about a dozen backpacks, blankets, radios, children's items, women’s clothes and dental hygiene supplies to more than 300 villagers.

In Panjshir province, Nearly 150 women gathered for a celebration of Afghan mothers June 23 with guest speakers and a luncheon at the Astana Guest House in Bazarak district.

The event, organized by the Panjshir director of women's affairs, featured a series of speakers who highlighted the role of mothers in Afghan society. They also talked about the importance of education and offered a reminder to vote in the Aug. 20 presidential and provincial council elections.

Former Afghan judge, Rahila, who was recognized as "Panjshir's Woman of the Year," talked with the women about her role as a working mother and encouraged them to pay attention to the election and campaign process.

"I'm proud of the women here who are running for a position on the provincial council and I offer my support to them," Rahila said.

As a testament to women's advancement in Panjshir, seven local women are competing for three provincial council positions. Once elected, they serve four years and help determine the provincial development objectives of the government in areas such as economic, social, health, education and reconstruction.

"One of the highlights of this deployment has been attending events like this mother's day celebration where I've had the chance to interact with Panjshir's women," said Air Force Capt. Stacie Shafran, a member of the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team, who has served a mentor for Panjshir's women.

"During my time in Afghanistan, whether I've talked to mothers, professional women or school girls, I've learned that they are all striving for a successful, brighter future," Shafran said.

(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 82 and U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

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Combined Joint Task Force 82

Click photo for screen-resolution imageAfghan commandos distribute humanitarian aid to villagers in the Gardez district in Afghanistan’s Paktia province, June 27, 2009. Courtesy photo  
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