Spirit of America's Blog


Bringing Relief to Bosnian Flood Victims

Bosnia was recently hit with the worst flooding the region has seen in over a hundred years. Compounded by steep mountains and narrow valleys, the country has been crippled by a serious of subsequent disasters. Bridges in the central and eastern interior areas of the country were washed away, along with the livestock and many small businesses, putting the already fragile economy in serious jeopardy. Experts estimate unemployment in Bosnia to rise as high as 60 percent in the coming months. Additionally, there have been over 1,900 reported landslides, and as the summer months begin many fear the spread of disease. While many displaced persons have been able to return home, hundreds still remain under the care of the government.


An AFBiH soldier saves a child from the flood waters in the hard-hit town of Maglaj (photo courtesy of AP)

Read more ...

Supporting an Orphanage, Building Skills for Peace


We recently told you about a training event in Kenya, where a US Army team gave its local military partners the civil affairs skills they need to help build peace and stability, both at home and throughout the region. With regional crises such as the conflict in neighboring Somalia, as well as threats from violent extremism within Kenya itself, the ability to create good relationships with vulnerable populations and develop stronger linkages between those communities and the government has never been more critical. This is at the core of civil affairs work.

The Kenyan soldiers, while highly motivated to learn, had never properly cemented their training through practical exercises. This type of real-world engagement would solidify the project assessment, planning, and implementation process in a way that classroom training, no matter how good, just could not. The students identified a place to put into practice what they had just learned – a local orphanage – but they did not have the resources to complete any projects. With your support, Spirit of America was able to fill this gap.

As the trainees went through their assessment, they determined that the orphanage – a center that serves as home and school to 100 local children who have been victimized by violence and poverty – was in need of upgrades to its educational facilities. Specifically, they decided to construct bookshelves to help create an organized, comfortable space in which the children can study.

kenya orphanage

Trainees lay out the SoA-purchased building materials

Read more ...

Supporting Education. The End Game Matters.

During the time of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, formal education for boys was far from what it is today and girls were not allowed to attend school at all. Now, 12 years later, a conservative estimate is that 2 million girls, comprising roughly one third of the total student population, are attending schools across Afghanistan. Here is an update on how a few of those 8 million students are doing.


One of classrooms filled with girls who are attending school in eastern Afghanistan. Donations of school supplies enhance their education experience and encourage them to continue attending class.

Read more ...

Help Army Teams Prevent Conflict in Kenya and Bosnia


Around the world, US teams are working to prevent conflict. They do this by addressing small problems before they become big ones. The US teams are improving education, teaching local people how to solve their problems, and responding to natural disasters.

Here are four ways you can get involved.

Bookshelves for an orphanage in Kenya
A US Army team is training the Kenyan military how to respond more effectively to the needs of local people. This is critical both as the Kenyan soldiers participate in peacekeeping operations abroad and as they confront extremism in vulnerable communities at home. Spirit of America is helping with materials to improve a local orphanage as part of the Kenyans' final exercise. $84 provides all the plywood that's needed and $968 covers all the required materials. Click here to help.

Repairing flood-damaged schools in Bosnia

A Bosnian soldier saves a child from rising flood waters (photo courtesy of AP)

Read more ...

SoA/US Team Help Restore Trust in Yemen

With a story dating back more than a thousand years before Christ, Yemen has long been home to a diverse collection of civilizations. Amidst the rise of Islam in the 7th century, Yemen remained an economic and cultural center and one of the most heavily traversed gateways between the Arabian Peninsula and the outside world. Its chief port, the city of Aden, is built in the crater of an extinct volcano, and believed by some to be the final resting place of Cain and Abel. Yemen's capital, Sana'a, is one of the oldest occupied cities on the planet and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Read more ...

Supporting Youth Sports Leagues In Bagram Afghanistan

The ancient city of Bagram is located 11km south of Parwan province's capital. It is home to one of the largest US bases that will likely be here as long as US forces are present in the country. Because of Bagram Air Force Base's enduring presence, relationships between the local population and US military living here are extremely important. Spirit of America recently had the opportunity to support local youth activities while strengthening relationships between the Afghans and US forces.

chris soccer

Chris Clary, Spirit of America Project Manager, delivers soccer nets to a soccer field used by local children

Read more ...

SOF and SOA - Problem Solving and Meeting Needs

In one of the outlying district where Special Operations Forces (SOF) and Afghan Local Police (ALP) work closely, the police expressed concern to the soldiers that because they work in such remote regions, coalition aircraft may not recognize them when they were conducting patrols by themselves. The team reached out to me and explained their desire to support the ALP by providing them with a way to be easily identified from the air. Here is how we were able to solve the problem they were facing.


The uniform deficiencies were being worked on but as most things do, it was going to take time to get resolved. Every day that passed put the police at risk of being mistaken as insurgents. As we explored options to meet their needs, the idea of providing the ALP with individualized hats came up.

Read more ...

Training for Veterinary Professionals and Rural Herdsmen

Paktika Province is located in southeastern Afghanistan along the Pakistan border. The economy is agriculture-based with over 80% of the population directly involved in farming, taking care of herds, managing land, and related activities. Long considered a backwater province, the Afghan government and its coalition forces partners are actively working to build capacity within the province. Spirit of America was able to fund a two-day training event for Afghan attendees to help achieve that goal.


Afghan men preform an examination during a veterinarian training seminar hosted by the Afghan Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock and US forces

Read more ...

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense or its personnel is intended or implied.