ISAF soldiers teach Afghans construction skills

Kabul, January 22, 2008 (NATO): ISAF soldiers taught Afghans construction skills during a two-week winter skill labor workshop at Jalalabad Forward Operating Base, Nangarhar Province, recently.

The workshop taught Afghans foundational skills to help them begin to rebuild their country whose infrastructure has been destroyed by years of war. The immediate purpose of the workshop was to teach Afghan contractors and their laborers construction skills, specifically carpentry and masonry tasks.

The workshop increased the construction knowledge of 50 unskilled and partially-skilled Afghans. Local provincial government and Afghan contractors nominated the students to attend the seven-day course that consisted of lectures in job safety, tools and their proper uses, as well as basic carpentry workshops.

The event culminated in the construction of a tool shed, masonry and brick and mortar training. At the end of the course, the students received the tools they used during their classes and a certificate of training that graduates can show prospective future employers.

"I am very impressed that we built the shed," said Babo, an 18-year-old workshop student. "I know some carpentry, but these classes taught more. The Army instructors were very professional at all times."

"This is a great experience for the Afghan community; we were able to learn new techniques on measuring and cutting lumber," said Minur, 19, another student at the skill labor workshop. "I have never worked as a carpenter and I enjoyed learning how to use a circular saw for the first time. I hope that more labor workshops like this are conducted in the future."

This is the second skill labor workshop hosted by Task Force Pacemaker engineers. The first Afghan skill labor workshop was conducted in February 2006.