Earlier this year we told you about one of our projects in rural Tajikistan. In February, the Army Civil Affairs team in country had identified to SoA a need for student desks at a newly built school in the Garm District in rural Tajikistan. Coordinating closely with the team, we provided over 100 student desks within weeks. In doing so, we improved relations between the U.S. teams and their Tajik counterparts, supported education in a remote area of the country, and contributed to stability in a potentially volatile region. Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Garm for the school opening ceremony and see first-hand the positive effects of our work. I’d like to share with you some of the highlights. Seeing proud parents and their happy children eager to begin the next year in a brand new school, and knowing that our efforts contributed meaningfully to the success of deployed troops, are certainly the some of the most gratifying aspects of our work at SoA. After the event, our group was hosted for a generous lunch by the District Governor who took the opportunity to express his gratitude to SoA for “keeping your promise” to support to the new school in his community. “We thank you for coming here from America to help us,” he said. In no small part, the credit for our success goes to our committed supporters whose generous contributions allow us to work with deployed military teams and deliver aid and support to places and people who otherwise could be forgotten. Zack Bazzi Middle East Project Manager
Zack served in the US Army and Army National Guard from 1997 to 2008, completing four overseas deployments to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.