Skip to comments.ISAF Outreach Program Lends Helping Hand to Afghan Refugee Camp
Posted on 07/18/2010 4:07:41 PM PDT by SandRat
KABUL, Afghanistan - A group of servicemembers from the International Security Assistance Force Volunteer Community Relations Program here donated more than 300 bags of food, clothes, toys and other supplies Thursday to a local Afghan Refugee Camp during a Humanitarian Aid mission.
The team of volunteers, led by U.S. Air Force Chaplain (Maj.) Michael Goecker, ISAF chaplain, collected hundreds of supplies donated by ISAF members and U.S. volunteers to give to local Afghan orphanages, camps and families in an effort to help with their state of living and support the ISAF Counterinsurgency plan.
We receive the donations from private organizations that send baby clothes, toys, medical and school supplies for the families here in Afghanistan, said Goecker. Once we have them (the supplies) they are sorted into groups for the families then transported to the designated areas.
The charity distribution is then coordinated with the locals and volunteers (civilian and military) then loaded on to the trucks. They distribute all the shoes, clothes, blankets and notebooks they receive to the Afghans to improve their quality of life.
The chaplain visited the site for the first time since he has arrived in Kabul, reinstating the COIN strategy in his efforts by connecting with the hearts and minds of the Afghan community.
Theres supposed to be more than 87 families at the camp, said Goecker. Many of them came from out of Kandahar amidst all the violence to find refuge here.
According to U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brad Barkhauer, ISAF chaplain assistant, the VCR members intend to give the Afghans a better alternative.
By being here it shows that we are an alternative to all the violence and corruption they face in their society, he said. We give whatever we can to make their lives better and will continue to do so.
The families at the camps live in very substandard conditions and anything they can help to improve their living conditions is always welcomed, said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Kalamajka, HQ ISAF Socio-Economic Team officer in charge.
The look of gratitude on the families faces that we donated to are enough to let us know were making a difference, said Goecker. Well continue to connect with the local community and help them.
The group plans to continue to distribute the supplies to the members every two weeks and has coordinated with SOZO International to know where the camps are located. For more information about donating to the program visit the website www.shoesforafghankids.org
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