News: Old KFOR buildings create new overhang for school
Story by Sgt. Samantha Parks
GJILANE, Kosovo – Soldiers with Liaison Monitoring Team Four were recognized for their contributing efforts in building an overhang at the Kenan Halimi school during a ceremony Dec. 20.
“It’s always good in my eyes when a community can come together,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Charles Hipple, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of LMT-4 and a Pittsburgh native. “A lot of people had a hand in this.”
The project began in July when Kenan Halimi gym teacher, Mirlinda Sadiku, voiced several concerns during village meetings.
“I stressed four problems that our village faces, one of them was the school,” Sadiku said. “During the winter there can be a lot of snow and some of the children slip on it.”
In the past winters, some of the children suffered from fractures or bone breaks after slipping on the stairs Sadiku said.
“As a mother [whose] son goes [to Kenan Halimi], I decided to do something about this,” Sadiku said.
A female engagement team also attended the same meeting as Sadiku and was able to come up with a solution.
“Initially I met with Mylinda on one of the FET missions and she brought up the problem about the issues with the stairs and how it was a safety hazard,” said U.S. Army Spc. Ayanna Davis, an LMT-4 soldier from Great Falls, Mo. “I communicated with Area Support Team-Balkans and acquired the wood for the project.”
Davis said she knew they were disassembling some of the buildings at Camp Bondsteel, so she figured instead of just getting rid of the wood she could put it to good use.
“Initially after the idea was made we had to go through our chain of command to get it approved in order to actually get the wood from AST,” Davis said.
For Davis, this project was very important for her to complete.
“Prior to joining the Army I worked with children at a school, so the safety of kids is always a primary concern of mine,” Davis said. “I wanted to ensure kids were able to go to school safely.”
The school awarded certificates of appreciation to the Joint Regional Detachment-East soldiers to thank them for their help in providing a safer environment for their students.
“It is nice to see that the good relations between Kosovo Forces and the local communities continue on through projects like this,” Davis said.