Rebuilt Afghan School Brightens Youths’ Future
By Staff Sgt. Johnny A. Thompson, USA
Special to AFPS
soldier assigned to the 364th Civil Affairs Brigade chats
with an Afghan girl as she enters the newly renovated Meanshakh
High School in Meyan Shakh, Afghanistan, Jan. 14.
by Staff Sgt. Johnny A. Thompson, USA
Afghanistan- The $72,000 cost to rebuild Meanshakh High
School was worth a million dollars – if the looks of excitement
and gratitude on students’ faces factored in.
members of the Coalition Joint Civil-Military Operations Task
Force and the Parwan Provincial Reconstruction Team attending
the reopening ceremony of the rebuilt Meanshakh High School here
Jan. 14 saw it.
a great honor and pleasure to witness the opening of this much-needed
school," said Army Col. Mackey Hancock, task force commander
and a ceremony guest speaker. "The completion of this facility
improves the educational capabilities of not only this community,
but the region, and improves the overall education system of the
200 students, faculty members, Meyan Shakh elders, Afghan dignitaries
and U.S. Army representatives attended.
a wonderful feeling to be a part of the event that is significant
to improving this country," said Army Maj. Carman Oldre,
Parwan civil affairs team leader. "More than 1,200 children
will get the opportunity to improve their future because of the
high school. Education is so important to fundamental growth of
children, and helping these children today means helping Afghanistan’s
such as the director of education and Bagram’s mayor praised the
U.S. and coalition forces for their efforts. One speaker said
he attended the high school decades before the Taliban destroyed
it, and the school was the bedrock of his education. "What
I learned here as a child helped me develop into the man I am
today," he said.
said helping with projects such as the school’s renovation has
been "a humbling experience."
are areas in my life that were brought into perspective because
of my opportunity to serve with the local citizens," Army
Staff Sgt. Chelly Fuchs of the Parwan PRT said. "I saw people
literally take nothing and make it into something, and that’s
something I’ll never forget."
concluded with a ribbon cutting that included the CJCMOTF commander
and local Afghan dignitaries. But the spirit of the day continues
to live in the hearts of the people who were there.
a short time here, but the impression we make lasts a lifetime,"
said Oldre. "By our actions we can change perception, which
changes behavior, and I think we were able to accomplish that
with our efforts."
refurbishment configured the school with 11 classrooms and a bathroom.
The team replaced 46 windows, 17 doors, the interior ceiling and
the concrete walkways to the classrooms.
project was under way, students attended classes under tents provided