HUSAYNIYAH, Iraq - The Karbala Provincial Reconstruction Team, assisted by Troop A, 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, celebrated the completion of a renovation project on the Husayniyah Youth Center Oct. 31.
The Youth Center is one of eleven ‘Good Neighbor’ projects the PRT has finished in recent months and provides Iraqi children a place to enjoy their favorite sporting activities. Many neighborhood children were present for the ceremony that was held on the basketball court.
“The condition of the center when we first came to look it over was pretty poor,” said Lt. Col. Vince Rice, deputy team leader for the PRT. “We came at the request of the mayor to see what could be done to make it better for the kids.”
After visiting the center, the PRT walked away with plans for the project that would result in an almost completely restored facility. The basketball court received a fresh coat of paint and netting for the hoops. The center’s boxing ring was replaced and the ceiling above the ring was torn out and rebuilt.
Before the ceremony began, children were finishing a game of soccer on the field, which was also part of the renovation. The upgraded field featured new goals and the once bare concrete is now covered in a bright green artificial turf.
After the ribbon cutting the kids and soldiers of Troop A moved inside the center where a large donation of shoes was handed out. All the children received shoes and shirts and moved back outside to resume their soccer game while others began a game of basketball.
“We are extremely pleased with all the work that has been done here,” said Isam Al Masoudi, the youth center director. “The children are very happy and thankful for all you have done for them.”
“The PRT has been proactive in trying to get this project done, and it’s gone very smoothly,” Rice said. “We do our best to provide these things for the children because, in the end, they are the future of Iraq.”