MUSA QAL'EH, Afghanistan -- Waves of Afghan children flooded the play ground with anticipation as they waited for the opening ceremony of the school supply distribution to begin.
Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, alongside Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army, took part in a joint school supply distribution and school registration at the local school house in Musa Qal’eh, Oct. 11.
The ceremony opened with a poem from one of the students followed by key note speeches by the district education director, district governor, 1st Bn., 8th Marines, executive officer, school headmaster and teachers.
The event went smoothly with ANP, ANA, Marines and sailors on site, handing out backpacks while simultaneously maintaining inner security to keep the distribution orderly.
As Marines and sailors stood by their Afghan counter parts the words of, 1st Bn., 8th Marines, executive officer’s speech were brought to life.
“We are here to work with the good people of Musa Qal’eh to ensure that there is a prosperous future for the entire district,” said Maj. Justin Ansel, executive officer for 1st Bn., 8th Marines. “The future begins today; as your young children learn to read and write they will ensure that there is a future filled with peace, security, and prosperity.”
During the event 916 Afghan children registered for school and were given a backpack containing 2 pens, 2 pencils and notebooks, according to 1st Lt. Scott Bayer, civil affairs assistant team leader, 1st Bn., 8th Marines. The school also received enough textbooks to supply each student covering grades 1-12.
“Having these simple school supplies allows the students to do homework, take notes and essentially practice the lessons they learn, as well as how to read and write,” said Capt. Charlie Chiang, civil affairs team leader, 1st Bn., 8th Marines.
Chiang went on to explain, “70 to 80 percent of the Afghan population is illiterate, so having these essential supplies now, means that in the future these students will be able to read and write, enabling them to exchange ideas in ways they couldn’t before.”
The distribution came to an end as children filtered out of the playground carrying their new backpacks with smiles on their faces. As they left, the district governor’s closing statement resonated in each child’s smile.
“Education is the light that shines through the darkness,” said District Governor Naimatullah through an interpreter.
With many similar events on the way, the people of Musa Qal’eh are one step closer to a bright future with education lighting their path.
|Date Posted:||10.14.2010 13:47|
|Location:||MUSA QAL’EH, AF|
This work, Nearly 1000 students from Musa Qal’eh receive school supplies after registering for school, by Cpl Joshua Hines, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.