Before I came here some people on base decided they wanted to try to help some of the children of Afghanistan. The years of fighting in this coutry have created many orphans and disabled children. They wanted to try to help.
People here began speaking with the local nationals that work here on base to try to determine how we can best help and reach as many children as possible...the neediest of kids.
We were informed of an Orphan Education Center in Kabul. It is an all-boys school for orpahed and disabled kids. They don't live at the site, they live with a relative or somewhere else but attend this school daily. There are 160 students of all different ages.
We started a collection. Several people here reached back to family, friends and their home USACE district to collect school supplies for these kids. Sadly, my district office in Portland was not contacted to donate, I would've like to participate.
We were able to receive a ton of supplies...and money, too. In addition to the supplies we received, we gathered about $1600 to purchase more stuff. Our LNs went shopping for us to get the rest of the supplies that we needed. With the money and donations that we received each boy will get a backpack filled with: several notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, crayons/colored pencils, puzzles, a few toys, ruler, caligraphy tool and ink wells.
We also collected about 30 lbs of toiletries and candy in case the kids need either of those necessities.
The caligraphy tools are very interesting. They are essentially bamboo-type sticks with the ends cut. The written language here is very artistic and there are subtle nuances with the written letters that can't be conveyed as well with standards pencils and pens...so each child gets a few of the caligraphy tools and 2 ink wells.
After filling our quota of school supplies, our LNs spent some of the leftover money on soccer balls, volleyballs, basketballs, and air pumps for the school. You know...all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. In wonder what the Afghan equivalent is for "Jack"...
We were planning on going to the school tomorrow to make our delivery, but our movement was cancelled for some reason. We're hoping that we can do it in a week or so.