American Forces Press Service
Jan. 5, 2010 - International Security Assistance Force servicemembers supported an award ceremony here Dec. 29 for about 500 school children from Afghanistan's Ghowr province. The head of the provincial education department, local authorities and the chief of staff of the Lithuanian-led provincial reconstruction team attended the event.
"The local government put a lot of effort into facilitating education for the people of Ghowr," said Lt. Col. Arturas Jasinskas of the Lithuanian army, the provincial reconstruction team's chief of staff. "This contributes to the building of a better future for the people of Afghanistan."
The Lithuanian-led team provided the prizes for the students, as well as learning equipment and tools for the school.
Cooperation with provincial education has been a priority for ISAF servicemembers here since the provincial reconstruction team was formed in 2005. The team provides seminars for teachers, books, school furniture, computers and learning equipment. It also is involved in school construction and reconstruction projects.
"I'm sure schoolchildren here today will be coming back to the province in five or 10 years after graduating from universities in Kabul or Herat," Jasinskas said. "They will work for the future of Ghowr and Afghanistan."
Japanese members of the provincial reconstruction team are providing some of the most significant development effort. In September, for example, they offered literacy courses for local residents. The courses are an element of the five-part Program for the Enhancement of Literacy in Afghanistan coordinated by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and funded by the Japanese government.
Five centers for literacy will be established under the program in Ghowr's Chaghcharan, Dowlat Yar, Lal Sarjangal, Saghar and Tulak districts for around 30,000 children and adults.
The provincial reconstruction team is composed of soldiers and civilians from Lithuania, Denmark, Japan, Croatia, Georgia, Romania, Ukraine and the United States.
(From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command news release.)