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    National Guard Liaison Monitoring Team visits local school, volunteers with young adult education program

    National Guard Liaison Monitoring Team visits local school, volunteers with young adult education program

    Photo By Sgt. Gina Russell | A local student in Ferizaj, Kosovo, participates in a Training Workshops International...... read more read more

    FERIZAJ, Kosovo - With hands in the air and laughter filling the room, Soldiers clapped and stomped their feet to the voices of local children singing songs, July 15. National Guard Soldiers from half way around the world worked with a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping the children and young adults of Kosovo further their education by providing training workshops that develop leadership and job skills, and teaches them to resolve disagreements by working together within the community.

    Singing along with the children were National Guard Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment, out of Bluefield, West Virginia, who are deployed to Kosovo to serve as one of several liaison monitoring teams assigned to the multinational Joint Regional Detachment-South.

    These Soldiers spent the day working with the young adults who participate in Training Workshops International to develop an open relationship and help build up the outreach program in the community.

    TWI hosts annual workshops and camps for school-aged children, young adults, and teachers in communities and orphanages in the Balkans. These camps promote furthering students’ education outside of grade school, learning self-confidence and leadership skills.

    The LMTs’ task is to develop cooperation within communities, to include economic and social leaders within their area. They also cooperate with international, civic and non-governmental organizations in Kosovo.

    “As Kosovo builds and develops, fewer children are homeless and in need of education, but programs like this one ensure they are prepared for what comes after they graduate from school,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Lester, a platoon sergeant assigned to the 1-150th.

    “This is also a good opportunity for the Soldiers to meet the children and teachers of the schools where we will be visiting on a monthly basis once the summer break is over,” he said.

    Adifete Shabani, a middle school English teacher in Ferizaj and a volunteer in the TWI program says the military’s involvement in the community and participation at the summer camps shows how much they care.

    “The children and their future are important to us,” Shabani said.

    “The self-confidence that is built within this program, and the Soldiers that come and pass along their personal triumphs and knowledge of life, really helps these young adults and even small children know that the future of Kosovo depends on them.”

    Bobby Houser, the president of TWI, also takes part in these activities and said the day’s events showcased the importance of the military’s multinational cooperation and support.

    “We are grateful for the Soldiers being here and the interaction we see among them and the community leaders,” Houser said. “We are dedicated to helping the people of Kosovo and we see that the Soldiers are too.”

    It is part of the mission of the 1-150th LMT to reach out to the communities and talk to families, business owners, government officials and others, to find out what the people of Kosovo need. As part of NATO’s peace support mission in the region, known as Kosovo Forces, or KFOR, the LMT use their relationships and dialogue within communities to support a safe and secure environment for all.

    “The mission that the LMT has is one of the more unique ones to the Army,” Lester said. “We are not only charged with sensing the populace to find out what the needs of the people are, but we converse and get to know the individual citizens and see how they are doing.”

    “It’s a meaningful relationship that we are able to strengthen because at the end of the day we know we are giving back to the people of Kosovo,” he said.



    Date Taken: 07.15.2015
    Date Posted: 07.29.2015 12:21
    Story ID: 171428
    Location: FERIZAJ, ZZ

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