By Spc. Cynthia Teears Van CleveMay 25, 2010
DEHDADI, Afghanistan - Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, from the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team have been coordinating efforts recently to help improve school facilities in Dehdadi District in Northern Afghanistan.
Three schools they have been working with are the Habiday Balkh Preschool, Primary School and High School.
"In this district 60 percent of the people are educated," said Capt. Timothy Williams, HHC, 1st BSTB commander. "That's better than most districts in Afghanistan."
Abdullah, the principal of Habiday Balkh Primary School, said he appreciates the United States Army helping with the school's needs in this district and for providing the classroom tents for his school.
"We're putting in a new classroom for the preschool," said Williams.
The preschool has a building, but the wood roof is rotting and leaks when it rains. Contractors working on the building added a porch for the students, replaced rotten wood and sealed cracks in the walls.
"They are doing a good job," Williams said. "It looks a lot better than it did."
"We're trying to get the project approved to get the classroom done before the beginning of the next school year," he added.
Water purification is also an issue that the company is working to improve over the next year.
"I'll look into getting a well or water into the other side of this school too - for the garden," Williams said.
Williams noticed the students talking to his Soldiers more and more in English lately and asked the high school principal how the students had learned English so quickly.
"The students are starting to trust you more, so that's why they will talk English to you more now," said Sheienjen, Habiday Balkh High School's principal.
Building trust and helping the community are some of the key ingredients to accomplishing the mission in Afghanistan.