News: Operation Outreach Afghanistan Kids Day
Story by Capt. Michael Thompson
CAMP PHOENIX, Kabul, Afghanistan — The volunteers of Operation Outreach gave a few Afghan children the opportunity to experience their first time seeing a fire fighter and hearing an animal's heart beat. The children ventured from Malali English Language Center, the Afghan Challenger English Language Center and the PARSA Afghanistan Scouts to visit the base as part of a community outreach project.
“While coalition and their civilian volunteer counterparts are in Afghanistan, they notice the hardships and poverty of the population of Afghanistan,” said Capt. Paula Paul, secretary for Operation Outreach Afghanistan and a contract administrator for the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. “People volunteer with Operation Outreach to give back to the local Afghan community in a tangible way. You can see the impact it makes and that is rewarding.”
Upon arrival the children were treated to pizza and broken into small groups to set about on Camp Phoenix. The camp fire department demonstrated their fire tools and safety equipment while a translator helped answer questions for the children. The veterinary clinic and AMK9 provided a class on animal care followed by a kennel show. The wide eyes and happy faces were universal of any student tour. Upon departure, the students received goodie bags filled with soccer balls, pencils, paper, amongst other treats as a souvenir to the visit.
Normally, Operation Outreach Afghanistan spends time preparing fuel doughnuts and bricks to be distributed to Afghan locals to burn as fuel for cooking and heating source. The fuel doughnuts are made from shredded paper and sawdust mixed in water, pressed into form, and then left to dry. Once dry, the bricks and doughnuts are gathered and distributed to the local public around Kabul.
Throughout the months, as donations and supplies are sorted for distribution and made available, the program decides on a special event. This event featured children from the Kabul area to visit the base as well as coalition forces to experience part of the Afghan community.
Operation Outreach Afghanistan is a chartered organization composed of all volunteers not only from the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force, but also base contractors and NATO forces. The program empowers the Afghan people through humanitarian assistance and provides supplies to hospitals, villages, orphanages and schools in need. Outreach Afghanistan has distributed food, winter clothing, toiletries, school supplies, toys, and basic medical items as part of their donations to the community.