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Friday, February 09, 2007

Two Shammar Tribe villages enjoy civil affairs' school renovations

This is an article which is very touching. One way to win part of this war is to get the Iraqi people on your side. This is one step forward.
    2/9/2007

    RABE'A, Iraq - Coalition civil affairs teams completed two nearly-identical school reconstruction projects in two nearly-identical Shammar tribe villages, located miles apart from one another, Feb. 1.

    The villages of Al Jafal and Asfaia, while located several miles apart, are both Shammar tribal villages near Rabe'a. [B]oth contain between 100 and 130 school-age children, and until recently, both contained primary schools in need of renovation.

    Funded by the non-governmental organization AEGIS, a firm that works hand-in-hand with the military to provide basic needs projects to the local populace, Coalition civil affairs teams coordinated to have both schools renovated to bring them up to a safe and acceptable learning environment.

    In Al Jafal, the $3,142 renovation consisted of providing heaters, windows, and doors. A small generator was provided due to the lack of electricity in the village. The lights in the school were replaced, and the school was provided with two water tanks and fuel tanks. All work was contracted through residents of the village.

    In Asfaia, the $3,806 renovation consisted of plastering and painting the outer walls of the building, as well as replacing all of the toilets and sinks. The contractor installed new water tanks and pipes to supply the restrooms with water. A new circuit breaker was purchased, and new lights were installed in each room as well as on the outside of the school. The doors were repainted and all the locks were replaced. Additionally, new screens were installed in all the windows in preparation for spring and summer weather. The contractors went a little over their initial budget, but extra resources were collected from the villagers, who were more than happy to help provide their children with a better learning environment.

    The residents of both villages were pleased with the renovations and welcomed future projects with promises of support and assistance.

    AEGIS continues to work with Coalition forces in helping to provide quality-of-life improvements to Iraq's, and the Ninewa Province's rural areas.
For all the bickering about where the money is going, it is good to know that the Iraqi people are being included in the jobs. This way they may not have a desire to blow up something that they have created themselves. Let us hope they take pride in their workmanship, the same way (or better!) than we do.

Source: CENTCOM Press Release. If you have difficulty with this link, try this one.

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