British troops based in the Afghan capital Kabul have spent some of their Easter weekend at a local school, giving out notebooks and pens to the pupils.
Â Men and women from the Kabul Joint Support Unit at Camp Souter met the children at the nearby Qabel Bai school on Saturday 23rd April.
Children of Qabel Bei school
Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Adrian Griffith, Commanding Officer (CO) of the Kabul Joint Support Unit said, â€œThe children are always excited when we visit. They always like to get more than one notebook and often the boys will hide one in their satchel!â€
The school provides lessons for over 5,000 (FIVE THOUSAND) local children, running more than 40 classes per day. Up to 50 children attend each 2-hour class, starting at 06:30am and finishing at 5:30pm.
Lt Col Adrian Griffith, CO of JSU Kabul, with school children in Qabel Bai
The Afghan Appeal Fund has just granted $25,000 for rebuilding work to one of the many classroom blocks in need of repair.
Children at Qabel Bei School
â€œWhen the British camp was set up at Souter around 2002, the area was almost completely empty, â€œ said Lt Col Griffith. â€œNow the area is much more developed. So there has been significant change.â€
â€œBy going into these schools, the local community sees the British Army as a force for good,â€ he added. â€œBy helping the children, we are winning over the parents, and also the leaders of the community.â€œ