Gov. Gul Agha Sherzai of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province joins other provincial leadership in cutting the ribbon at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Nangarhar Women’s Resource Center in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, March 7, 2009. The facility will provide a secure location for women to meet and receive educational and technical training courses. U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Dustin Hart
Resource Center to Provide Training, Education for Afghan Women
By Air Force Capt. Dustin Hart
Special to American Forces Press Service
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, March 11, 2009 – The provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province joined provincial leadership March 7 for a groundbreaking to mark the beginning of construction on a women’s resource center in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
“We requested the PRT’s assistance on this project, and now it has been funded,” Gov. Gul Agha Sherzai said at the ceremony. “This is going to be a great place for all the women of Nangarhar.”
The facility, slated for completion in about seven months, will include a two-story, 12-room building, and a surrounding privacy wall that will allow the women to meet and exchange ideas in a secure, private location. The center also will offer educational and technical training classes.
“I can’t express the happiness this project will bring the women of Nangarhar,” Sheela Barburi, director of women’s affairs for the province, said. “The resource center will allow women to get training and make different products they can sell to make money and support their families.”
The province doesn’t have a facility that offers these types of services, which made supporting the project a priority for the PRT, Air Force 2nd Lt. Steven Klenke, Nangarhar PRT engineer, said.
“This facility will be exclusively used to meet the needs of the women in Nangarhar,” said Klenke, who is deployed from Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. “It’s a very exciting project to be a part of and an honor to work with the Department of Women’s Affairs to create the center.”
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New School to Offer Modern-day Facilities Blended With Tradition
BASRA, Iraq, March 11, 2009 – Iraqi children soon will benefit from a traditional-style school built partially out of reeds to reflect their marsh Arab culture in Rota village, a remote marshland northeast of Qurna, Iraq.
An Iraqi company is slated to build the school, which will serve 150 to 300 students from 6 to 12 years old. The contract was signed March 8 at the Basra Contingency Operating Base here.
"What is unique about this project is that the school will have all the facilities for a modern-day education, but it addresses the traditional heritage of the marsh Arabs within that area," Peter Hunt, a project officer, said. "The school will be built in part from reeds that come from the marshes, harvested by the marsh Arabs, and will be woven into this school."
The school’s basic design is patterned after the “mudhif,” a large communal house made of reeds, paid for and maintained by a local sheik for use by guests or as a gathering place. The school will have a main hall, four classrooms, a washing area with 10 common toilets, two sinks, a single male and a single female toilet and a couple of general-purpose rooms. There also is land reserved nearby for a children's playing area.
"The project is the result of a coordinated effort between coalition forces and the Iraqi army assessing needs with local sheiks who asked for a school," Navy Capt. Robert Lansden, chief of civil military operations for Multinational Division Southeast, said.
The building is funded by the Iraqi Commander's Emergency Response Program and scheduled to be completed at the end of May.
"I hope it will be one of many buildings that will reflect the noble culture of the marsh Arabs," Hunt said.
(From a Multinational Division Southeast news release.) (here)