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Canadian Soldiers Help Build Teachers’ Homes In Afghanistan *** Donation Allows Habitat To Build Faster

November 1, 2005

KABUL, 1st November 2005: A group of Canadian soldiers based in Afghanistan has donated US$4,800 to a Habitat for Humanity homebuilding project for schoolteachers in Mazar-i-Sharif, in the north of the country.

The donation will allow Habitat to help the Turabi Savings Group to build three houses each year instead of two.

The Canadian soldiers are part of a military group known as Canadian CIMIC Task Force Kabul. CIMIC stands for Civilian-Military Cooperation.

CIMIC groups work with civilian, government and non-governmental organizations on infrastructure projects such as schools, clinics and wells. They also provide humanitarian assistance.

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Canadian cash to help Afghan teachers: (from left) Father Rory McDonald, Canadian Task Force Chaplain in Kabul with Habitat’s Stephen Kutzy and Chief Warrant Officer Jeremy Pressnell, the team leader of the Canadian CIMIC

The Canadian Task Force Chaplaincy in Kabul contributed one-third of the donation. The remainder of the CIMIC funds were raised through a volunteer Humanitarian Assistance club at the Canadian Task Force’s ‘Camp Julien’ in Kabul; members are Canadian soldiers and civilian contractors.

The Turabi Savings Group is a Save & Build group of ten families; most are teachers at the Turabi School in Mazar-i-Sharif. They have been saving for 11 months. Construction on the first three houses is starting next week.

“Without the donation from the Canadian CIMIC,” explains Habitat’s Afghanistan country director Stephen Kutzy, “we would only have been able to build two houses each year. Now we can build three.”

Kutzy added that the Canadians were familiar with Habitat for Humanity from back home and had confidence in supporting Habitat’s work in Afghanistan even though projects are in the north rather than in the capital area of Kabul.

The teachers’ houses will be simple but decent one-room homes with a small attached hallway, made of a combination of mud and fired brick. .