UK Troops Participate in School Reading Programme
Troops from the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) visited a local school in Kabul as part of an outreach programme, which includes reading to school children.
NTM-A has hosted this reading programme for the last six months and service personnel from different nations participate every few weeks – all expressing enthusiasm about taking part. In addition to reading, the service personnel also sang, danced and decorated cupcakes with the students, ranging in age from pre-school to six.
Squadron Leader Tim Davies is one of those to take part in reading books to children during this community outreach event. He said: “By volunteering my services I am able to contribute more to the country and the people than I would do by just doing the job I was posted here to do. The servicemen and women who volunteer to read to the school children in Kabul are not just doing it for purely selfless reasons; each person has their own motivation for the visits. Some of them miss the children they have left at home and some just enjoy getting away from their busy life at work. I do it because when you interact with these children you can see in them the hope that many Afghan adults are now slowly starting to demonstrate.”
The pupil’s excitement over the guests visit was evident on their smiling faces, but the teachers also expressed their thanks.
“The program is very valuable…it’s very important for the children,” said Heidi Miller, a teacher at the school where the NTM-A troops read. “It shows the kids the difference between what they may have thought about the troops in Afghanistan and teaches them they are here to help, for peace and they can have fun. It shows the children that the troops are men and women with names, families and faces.”
Tim added: “My hope is that when these children grow up they will remember the servicemen and women who came to read to them and that they will understand that NATO forces are here to help Afghanistan on its way to a brighter future.”
Tim and his wife I have started a charity that collect toys and clothes for Afghan orphans and displaced people all over Afghanistan. RAF Valley is helping to collect these items as is the youth club that Tim is involved with in Rhosneigr, Anglesey. He is currently collecting and redistributing these items to camps over the capital with the help of US and UK servicemen and women.