EUPOL donates minivan to Balkh Province Orphanageby ISAF Regional Command (North) on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 3:33am
On October 5, Regional Commander North Major General Hans Fritz handed over the keys of a Toyota minibus to Ro Afzr, Chief of the Balkh Province Orphanage in Mazar-e Sharif. During the ceremony children at the orphanage sang and displayed their gratitude with smiles. For a final bit of fun, the children were allowed to enter the minibus and play with inflated colored balloons.
Ro Afzr, head of the orphanage said, “This vehicle is going to be a tremendous help for our orphans living here. They will always be able to get to school and for a number of them, drive over to the women’s prison to visit their mothers from Thursday night and stay until Saturday.”
The minibus was purchased after an Orphans Aid Project Marathon was held 25-26 September at RC North’s Camp Marmal in which soldiers ran and rowed on machines in the base gym. For every kilometer completed, a Euro was donated for the effort. One very generous anonymous donor gave over two thousand Euro.
The man who headed the project was EUPOL Chief Superintendent, Frank Hansen. He said, “The purpose of this program is to make the lives of the orphans better. It is not only humanitarian, but is also strongly related to safety and security issues. Because we think it not only makes sense to build up the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police, but also to win the hearts and minds of the children. We are letting them know we are not the bad guys. We are here to support them. Hopefully they will take this experience with them for a long time, and maybe they will not be reachable by a criminal or insurgent group who are telling them we are the bad guys.”
General Fritz said, “It makes me happy. I am the father of two. They have grown up, but I can remember when they were small. We need to continue always doing the best we can for these children. They are the future of the country,” he added.