IVANO-FRANKOVE, Ukraine -- U.S. Army civil affairs soldiers conducted a student wellness class Apr. 19 at Ivano-Frankove Primary School in support of Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.
The purpose of the class was to help improve child health and strengthen relationships with the local community, JMTG-U, and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
"We felt integrating our Ukrainian Armed Forces partner was critical to enhancing the relationship between the training area and the local communities. It also demonstrated solidarity between the Ukrainian army and JMTG-U in working together to support and engage the local communities," said Capt. Casey Miller, team leader, 80th Civil Affairs Battalion. "Ultimately, the goal is that our Ukrainian partners will continue the student wellness classes in the future," Miller added.
Soldiers with the civil affairs team initially engaged schools to determine if outdated sanitation or hygiene infrastructure could be a contributing factor to chronic child illnesses within the local district.
The team developed the curriculum and worked with the JMTG-U senior medical officer and the district director of education to finalize the curriculum for delivery in local schools. The team instructed students in five schools as part of the health awareness program.
"I feel like this is going to help make a difference in the community and make kids healthier, stronger and smarter," said Spc. Shayden Young, a combat medic, 80th Civil Affairs Battalion. "Hopefully this school will talk to other schools and they spread the word around about the health concepts that we taught them," Young added.
At the end of the class, the civil affairs team gave out gifts to students and took time to interact with the children in order to strengthen bonds with the local community.