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Spirit of America's Blog

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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.

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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.

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Help Army Teams Prevent Conflict in Kenya and Bosnia

Greetings,

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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SoA Supports Economic Development in Guyana

Recently Spirit of America took a trip down to Guyana to meet up with the US Embassy's Humanitarian Assistance Project team. This team provides humanitarian assistance in support of at risk communities in the country. They had identified a need in a remote village of western Guyana. One of the challenges facing this area is that, with very little government or police presence, it is easy for illegal activities to gain traction. Knowing that criminal networks typically prey on the poor, the HAP team began identifying different means to give people in the community a better option than turning to illegal methods of making money.

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Progress being made on the future site of the new repair facility

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Remembering Memorial Day

Greetings,

America - the land of the free and the home of the brave – has come at a great cost over many generations. From Lexington to Belleau Wood, Normandy to Wanat, some of our best and brightest have given their all.

This Memorial Day weekend, all of us at Spirit of America would like to remember, and express our deep gratitude for, all those who have died in service to our nation and the ideals we hold so dear. The freedom that we, and many others in the world, enjoy today was made possible by their sacrifice.

Memorial day email 2014

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