U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 579th Engineer Detachment (FEST-M) Building Strong ® Global Support

Kandahar school children welcome engineers by Mark Abueg
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Sept. 19, 2010) – A Kandahar school welcomes deployed personnel through its doors every Saturday morning. But this isn’t a place for them to sign up for a class to earn college credit. This is an opportunity for them to interact with children of Afghanistan. A bazaar is held every Saturday on KAF, where merchants not only bring their sons and nephews to help sell their products, but also provide the kids with a chance to learn a new set of skills from the Coalition Forces. Members of the U.S. Army’s 579th Engineer Detachment (FEST-M) and U.S. Air Force’s 777th Expeditionary “Prime BEEF” Squadron helped here yesterday by putting their engineering expertise to work. They showed the children how to build a bookshelf.

“I had a great time with the kids today,” said Javed Ahmed, FEST-M highway engineer. “I was really impressed by their willingness to learn something new such as building a shelf, and how good they were at using the tools and putting it together.” The military-civilian volunteer force showed the kids how to properly assemble precut material with nails and a hammer. Afterwards they painted their new shelves with black paint. “This was fun,” said a student. “It looks nice and I get to take it home today.” The KAF Bazaar School is an opportunity for citizens of KAF to interact with locals and also a chance for the boys to meet people from around the world and perhaps learn a new set of skills explains Deenah Heudebourck, school coordinator. “It’s normally crafts and sports, but what we’re working on right now is we’re working on a couple of other things,” she said. “One is the governance document to talk about all of the administration that goes along with the school: The vision statement. We’re also working on an academic and athletic curriculum, so it’s not just playing soccer, but we’re going to actually teach them some skills and drills and rules of the game and sportsmanship.” Despite a day fueled by political angst with parliamentary elections happening outside the wire, the boys we’re just trying to have fun inside the compound. “The kids are very friendly,” said Ahmed. “They are interacting with everybody. Kids are kids wherever they are from. They are fun to be with.”

Boys from Kandahar, Afghanistan, learn how to build a shelf with help from an Airman assigned to the 777th Expeditionary “Prime BEEF” Squadron. (Photo by Mark Abueg)

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS – 579TH ENGINEER DETACHMENT (FEST-M) Camp Phoenix and Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan E-mail: 579festmpao@usace.army.mil www.mvd.usace.army.mil/579festm

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