In 2015, a US Army team was working to strengthen their relationship with the people living in a town in southern Kosovo that had been identified as vulnerable to influence by criminal enterprises and Islamic extremism. The US soldiers understood that the best way to reach the community was to show them that they genuinely cared about their needs and were willing to help meet them. Through conversations with the town’s leadership, the team learned that the playground at the local school was unsafe for children because the hillside above it was constantly collapsing, exposing roots and other debris that could cause serious injuries. The US team then reached out to SoA’s Isaac Eagan for assistance building a retaining wall for the school.
The retaining wall not only improved the safety of the children on the playground, but also
created a lasting positive perception of the US among students, residents, and local authorities.
I recently received an update from the US Army team serving in Kosovo that the wall is still in great condition and is continuing to prevent landslides onto the playground. I am also happy to report that the relationships that were built during the construction of the wall have remained intact.
Before and after pictures from the playground near the basketball court where the retaining
wall was constructed.
A view from the hill above the playground looking towards the school.
Members of the US Army team in front of murals on the retaining wall painted by students at the school.
Strengthening the US-Kosovar relationship is important for maintaining peace and stability in the region. Spirit of America will continue to support the US mission in Kosovo by equipping local first responders, addressing gender issues, and meeting other critical needs as they are identified. Thank you for your continued support!