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PRT delivers bags of joy to orphan girls in Laghman Province

  • Published
  • By Capt. Gerardo Gonzalez
  • Mehtar Lam Provincial Reconstruction Team
The Mehtar Lam Provincial Reconstruction Team paid an unexpected visit to a girl's orphan school here Nov. 27 and donated three trailers full of supplies, including items to help with the approaching winter.

The staff of Rosantoon Orphan Girl's School in Mehtar Lam City welcomed the team and helped coalition troops unload the winter clothing, school supplies, hygiene products, food and other items.

An entire trailer of food was an important part of the delivery, said Army Capt. Bernice Logan, Mehtar Lam PRT civil affairs officer.

"Some of the girls only eat one meal a day and that's the meal they are served here in school," the captain said. "There is a big demand for vegetables as well."

Wax and red beans were part of the donation to help with the demand. Rice, sugar, cooking oil and firewood were also delivered. All the meals at the school are cooked in an open-air, makeshift kitchen over firewood.

"We're working to improve the school," said Mohammad Afaq Biryli, school director, through an interpreter. "Thank you for helping us."

The director said the school has a staff of 12 and an enrollment of 190 orphan girls. Most of the girls at the school are missing one parent, usually the father, and are therefore considered "orphans" in Afghanistan. A few are missing both.

Each girl received a large individual bag containing a coat or blanket, two outfits, winter socks, hat, scarf, a radio and literature on a variety of topics, Logan said.

"It was very nice to do this mission," Logan said. "Some of the girls helped bring the items in from the vehicles and you could see their faces light up with excitement as they carried the boxes."

In addition to the humanitarian assistance drop, the PRT had the opportunity to speak in length with the school staff and get a tour of the facility to plan for potential improvements. One of those potential improvements is to expand the facility so the girls without families can live there, said Logan.

"I am grateful the PRT came out here today," said Biryli. "I'm sure President Karzai would be very happy to know these types of activities are going on in the provinces."