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mrt vaccination 250Livestock health & security
A US team counters extremism in West Africa
Pashtun Project 250Blankets for School Children
Help build relationships with the Pashtun community
0605 sew250Independence for Women
Help Afghan women provide for their families
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Bookshelves for an Orphanage

A US team helps its Kenyan counterparts learn how to support their community

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The US Army team based out of Nairobi is working with the Kenyan military to develop their civil affairs capabilities. This is a very important skill to develop, especially as the Kenyan armed forces are key contributors to international peace-building efforts in Somalia. Establishing and maintaining positive relationships with vulnerable communities – a key component of civil affairs work – is invaluable to improving stability in war-torn environments. Indeed, it is important even within Kenya, as this type of outreach develops positive ties between the government and marginalized groups at risk of violent extremist influence.

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Bookshelves for an Orphanage

Repairing Flood-damaged Schools in Bosnia

A US Army team helps its Bosnian partners react to natural disaster

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A few weeks ago, the Balkans were hit by the worst flooding in over a century. Across the region, 100,000 homes were destroyed. Bosnia alone was impacted by 1,900 landslides, and almost two dozen people lost their lives in an event that is estimated to have cost some $2 billion in damages. With government resources severely taxed trying to react to the enormity of the catastrophe, dormant ethnic tensions threatened to reignite unless help was quickly provided.

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Repairing Flood-damaged Schools in Bosnia

Building on Past Success in the Maldives

Expanding a US Army teams outreach to improve education

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The US Army Civil Affairs team has been striving to counter root causes of instability in the Maldives. Despite the Indian Ocean country's idyllic external image, poverty, geographic isolation and illicit activities such as human trafficking have left the Maldivian population vulnerable to negative influences. This reality poses a significant threat to local and regional stability. The team is focused on mitigating these threats through improving education.

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Building on Past Success in the Maldives

Books in English for Vietnamese Children

Help a US Civil Affairs team give children better prospects for the future

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A Civil Affairs team from the 84th Civil Affairs Battalion is working with the US Embassy and an American expat in Vietnam to address the vulnerabilities youth are facing there. One of the greatest challenges that Vietnamese children struggle with is the ability to receive quality education, specifically with regard to reading and writing in English. English language skills are crucial to future employment, and a gap in those abilities significantly reduces opportunities, especially for disadvantaged youth.

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Books in English for Vietnamese Children

Enabling Independence for Women

A US Army team helps Afghan women provide for their families

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A US female Cultural Support Team (CST) recently identified a way to improve the overall way of life for the residents of key villages in Eastern Afghanistan. Improved security in the area has made it possible to start having conversations about economic development that were not possible a short time ago. The CSTs saw the opportunity and took the initiative to reach out to local women to determine what they thought would bolster the local economy. Based on their conversations, it was determined that seamstress training was the most valuable and viable option because the existing market would support the new business. With the help of a professional seamstress, the course was developed and classes were specifically chosen to ensure that proficiency would be achieved. Over two months, students will receive vocational training and guidance from experienced Afghan female instructors on everything from initial fabric measurements to basic business strategies, which will enable them to meet the local demand.

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Enabling Independence for Women

Building Pride and Awareness

US troops help their Afghan partners grow stronger

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In two key locations in Eastern Afghanistan, US teams are working to train Afghan Local Police to provide greater safety and security for their communities. The Afghan men are highly motivated to join the program and take their training very seriously. However, they need a way to distinguish themselves so they can be easily identified by the populace as legitimate security forces.

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Building Pride and Awareness

Supporting the Best of the Best

Helping Afghan SWAT secure their country

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The Afghan Provincial Response Company (PRC) is a highly-trained police unit, similar to SWAT here in the United States. These men, the best of the best of Afghan police, make the highest-risk arrests that ordinary police are not trained or equipped to do – dangerous work that is critical to creating a safe and secure Afghanistan. SoA's Chris Clary recently visited one of the PRC's newest camps with their US mentors in a hugely important area to see if we could help address a pressing need.

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Supporting the Best of the Best

Powering Education

US troops give Afghan students the tools they need to succeed

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Education is critical to the future of Afghanistan. It is the only way to help the next generation move past decades of conflict and extremism. US Army teams working in two important districts – one in the southeast, and the other in the east – are supporting the efforts of local educators to help their students learn. These two schools are unique in a couple of ways. First, they are focused on providing girls with the same access to education that their male counterparts enjoy (one school is all-female, the other is co-educational). Second, the surrounding communities have embraced the schools and have signaled they will protect them from Taliban threat. In rural, underdeveloped areas like these, this is a strong break from the past.

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Powering Education

Radio Builds Communication and Trust

A US team helps the Afghan government talk to its people

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Rugged, mountainous terrain can make communication challenging in Afghanistan. Often, the best way for the Afghan government to engage its people is through radio. In one key southeastern province, the US military advisory team is supporting the Provincial Governor with portable radio stations – simple broadcast setups that will allow him and his staff to reach roughly 85 percent of the population. This engagement, and the important information it will help the government share with its people, is especially critical in advance of national elections in April.

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Radio Builds Communication and Trust

Starting up a Wheelchair Business in Suriname

Help a US team care for the disabled and improve regional stability

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The Humanitarian Assistance Project (HAP) team at the US Embassy in Suriname, a small country on the northeast coast of South America, works to improve regional stability. They are particularly focused on the border area between Suriname and Guyana, a boundary demarcated by the Corentyne River. This region is economically underdeveloped, is inadequately served by government programs, and has historically been a conduit for criminal enterprise and other negative influences.

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Starting Up a Wheelchair Business in Suriname

Essential Winter Clothing for Afghan Police

Help a US Army team's local partners weather brutal conditions

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Reinforcing security in Afghanistan is critical in advance of the presidential elections this spring. Brave Afghan policemen are working diligently to safeguard their communities, prevent insurgent attacks, and set the conditions for smooth elections, but their mission is made far more difficult by brutal winter conditions. US Army advisors working with Afghan Local Police in a key mountainous province north of the capital told us that temperatures there routinely fall into the single digits. The policemen, while highly motivated, lack basic clothing to be able to work effectively in this harsh environment.

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Essential Winter Clothing for Afghan Police

Winter Blankets for School Children in Kabul

Help American officials build relationships with the Pashtun community

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Over the last several months, US military and civilian personnel have been working with Pashtun tribal leaders in Kabul to provide humanitarian and educational assistance for at-risk Pashtun youth from Taliban-threatened districts in southern Afghanistan.

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Winter Blankets for School Children in Kabul

Support for Disabled Syrian Refugees

Help an Army team assist the most vulnerable refugees in Jordan

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Refugees fleeing the catastrophic civil war in Syria are flooding into neighboring countries. The UN estimates that 550,000 Syrians and their families have crossed the border into Jordan alone. Of those half million-plus refugees, 112,000 have been given temporary shelter at the densely populated camp at Za'atari. Za'atari, originally set up in July 2012 to hold 100 families, is now the largest refugee camp in the Middle East.

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Support for Disabled Syrian Refugees

New Desk-Chairs for the Students of Uruzgan University

Help an Army advisor support higher education in rural Afghanistan

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Dan is an Army lieutenant colonel who serves as an advisor to the provincial government in Uruzgan province, a mountainous and rural region in the south-central part of Afghanistan. As part of his outreach to the provincial government, he has been working with the Director of Higher Education, who oversees the local—and only—university in the entire province.

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New Desk-Chairs for the Students of Uruzgan University

Countering Negative Influences in the Maldives

Give tomorrow's leaders the tools to succeed

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The US Army civil affairs team working in the Maldives, an island chain in the Indian Ocean, is striving to counter root causes of instability in the country. Despite the Maldives' idyllic external image, civil and political unrest, poverty, geographic isolation, and illicit activities such as human trafficking have left the Maldives' population vulnerable to negative influences. This reality poses a significant threat to local and regional stability.

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Countering Negative Influences in the Maldives

Playgrounds for Peace in Rural Colombia

Help US Army Civil Affairs teams help local youth build safe communities

SoA Colombia

Colombia has been a long-time hub for narco-traffickers and extremist organizations. In rural communities throughout Colombia, US Army Civil Affairs teams have been partnering with Colombian security forces, local civic leaders, and a local non-governmental organization to support youth empowerment initiatives. Through its partnership with US Army Civil Affairs teams and the US Embassy, Colombia continues to make progress toward peace and reconciliation.

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Playgrounds for Peace in Rural Colombia

Tools and Seeds for Economic Growth in Central Peru

Help a US Army Civil Affairs team help local farmers grow corn, not coca

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The US Army Civil Affairs team in Peru is working with the Peruvian government's development agency to help rural communities emerge from a decades long struggle with violent, narco-trafficking extremist organizations. These violent groups have long imposed their will on local farming families, forcing them to grow coca for illicit international cocaine trafficking and preventing wider economic and social development. Once the epicenter of the global cocaine trafficking network, Peru has become a key economic and cultural partner in Latin America for the United States.

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Tools and Seeds for Economic Growth in Central Peru

Saving New Mothers and their Children

Help lower mother and newborn mortality with birthing kits

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A US Army team in an eastern Afghan province is working with a marginalized minority community to improve the provision of basic services such as healthcare. Afghanistan has one of the highest infant and mother mortality rates in the world, and this community is particularly affected because it lacks access to even basic care. Newborn children and their mothers are dying from easily-preventable complications from childbirth.

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Saving New Mothers and their Children

Building Strong Government

Giving local officials the tools needed to serve their people

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One of the most important districts near the border with Pakistan in southeastern Afghanistan has strong, committed leadership. The district governor and his staff (including judges, police, agriculture officials, and development coordinators) are working hard to serve the needs of the local population, improve security, and stamp out corruption. However, they lack basic equipment to efficiently and effectively accomplish those objectives, especially in a populous district that also serves as a hub for regional security and economic development.

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Building Strong Government

Computer Education for At-Risk Youth in Guyana

Help the US Embassy's humanitarian team support a vulnerable community

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The US Embassy Guyana's Humanitarian Assistance Project, or HAP, is a small team of Americans that engages underserved communities throughout this at-risk South American country. Guyana borders Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname, but most of its people live on or near its Caribbean coast. The HAP team told Spirit of America that many of Guyana's communities are vulnerable to violent extremist organizations and trans-national organized crime syndicates. These communities are especially concerned about their youth being targeted for recruitment by nefarious organizations. Education of their children, they've told the HAP, is very important to deterring the influence of extremism and crime in their communities.

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Computer Education for At-Risk Youth in Guyana

Special Operations Forces Project Fund

Fast and flexible support for local Afghan security, governance, and development

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United States Special Operations Forces will be shouldering much of the load as the United States transitions out of Afghanistan over the next 2-3 years. Since Fall 2011, Spirit of America field representatives have worked closely with special operations troops as they seek to connect Afghanistan's most remote and underdeveloped districts to the country's provincial and central government. Through a program called village stability operations, special operations troops focus on village security by training and advising local police, recommend necessary development projects to USAID, and advise village leaders and elders on good governance practices.

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Special Operations Forces Project Fund

Support Livestock Health & Security in West Africa

A US team counters extremism by helping people help themselves

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The US Army Civil Affairs Team in Mauritania is seeking to counter the influence of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), particularly in the isolated communities of eastern Mauritania, close to the border with Mali. The health, safety, and stability of these communities is currently under severe pressure from multiple threats, the most critical of which is the escalating fight against Islamic extremism in neighboring Mali. The impact of this conflict and the tens of thousands of refugees it has created, coupled with severe long term drought, has created significant food shortages that make this a particularly vulnerable area. The US Army Team accomplishes their counter-extremism mission by providing desperately needed humanitarian assistance to some of the most threatened villages in eastern Mauritania. They're focused on increasing food supplies -- by providing livestock & veterinary assistance -- that will result in more milk, more meat and more income for these poor communities.

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Support Livestock Health & Security in West Africa

Commander Support Program

SOA provides direct, immediate support to our troops

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Spirit of America has personnel in Afghanistan working alongside our troops. Their job is to identify how the American people can help our troops help the local people and to rapidly provide the support our troops need. This is a way for you to directly and quickly impact the success and safety of our men and women in Afghanistan.

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"You can quickly and directly impact the success and safety of our men and women in Afghanistan."


Unrestricted Fund

Provide flexible support wherever the need is greatest

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Donations to our Unrestricted Fund allow us to apply your donation wherever the need is greatest.

Your donation may be used to fund any Spirit of America project and may be used to pay for the organizational/administrative expenses that provide the capacity to do everything we do. Unrestricted donations provide us the most flexibility to direct funds to where they will have the greatest impact.

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"By supporting our Unrestricted Fund, you are supporting all our operations, no matter where the help is needed."

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