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KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Maj. Mary Parmenter of Perry, Iowa, left, speaks with U.S. Army Spc. Shannon Drinken of Rice Lake, Wis., outside veterinary training conducted by the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team at a girls' school near the Sarkani District Center Nov. 20. Parmenter is the operations officer for the Iowa ADT and leads the ADT’s female engagement eeam. She arranged to have the ADT's veterinary experts provide the training for more than 30 women of the Sarkani District. Drinken is a member of the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team FET. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – More than 30 Afghan women learned the fundamentals of animal care from veterinary experts of the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team at a girls’ school near the Sarkani District Center Nov. 20.

 

The women and many of their children crowded into a small room for the training session that was a multiunit effort involving female engagement team members from the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team, Iowa ADT and Task Force No Slack, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

U.S. Army Maj. Mary Parmenter of Perry, Iowa, leads the ADT FET and serves as the ADT’s operations officer. She arranged to have the ADT’s veterinary specialists provide the training.

“This training for the women of the Sarkani District came out of a women’s shura we attended last month in Asadabad,” Parmenter said. “Several of the women at the shura told us they really wanted to learn how to take better care of their animals, and the (Kunar Province) director of women’s affairs asked if we could do it.”

One of the women at the shura last month was Sohila. She attended the veterinary training as a representative of the Kunar Province Directorate of Women’s Affairs, and she deemed it an unqualified success.

“Yes, it was a big help for these women, but the people of other districts should have this training, too,” Sohila said. “It would be especially useful training for widows and other women who don’t have brothers or other male relatives who can help them with the animals,” she added. “Through this training, they can increase their numbers of cows, sheep and chicken, which will help provide income for their families.”

U.S. Army Spc. Shannon Drinken of Rice Lake, Wis., took part in the training as a member of the PRT’s FET. She expressed admiration of the instructional skills the ADT’s veterinary experts displayed at the event.

“I was impressed with how patient they were and how well they were able to communicate with the women,” Drinken said. “You could really tell how involved (the Afghan women) were.”

One of the ADT members who conducted the training was U.S. Army Maj. Loren Adams of New Liberty, Iowa, the ADT’s veterinary officer.

“We didn’t present anything too complicated and, honestly, we don’t know how much they learned, because we don’t speak their language,” Adams said. “We know they were excited to get any education, and that really speaks to how little education they’ve ever had,” he continued. “I keep thinking how much more they could learn every day if they could only read, and I’m pretty sure not many women today could.”

Even Sohila, who praised the women’s veterinary seminar, noted the need for additional women’s training. However, Sohila urged the ADT and PRT to provide practical instruction to help impoverished Afghan women earn money.

“This is an excellent project, but once they learn these animal care practices, there should be other projects that are not just agricultural,” Sohila said. “For example, there could be sewing classes and classes on handicrafts so that these women could then provide income to their children in the future.

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Tessa Poppe of Iowa City, Iowa, left, and U.S. Army Spc. Jessica St. John of Ft. Dodge, Iowa, talk to Afghan school girls outside of women's veterinary training conducted by the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team at a girls' school near the Sarkani District Center Nov. 20. Poppe is a security forces team leader and St. John is a security forces member for the Iowa ADT. Both Soldiers are also members of the ADT’s female engagement team, which arranged to to have the ADT's veterinary experts provide the training for more than 30 women of the Sarkani District. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Pfc. Aanye Anderson of St. Louis, left, and U.S. Army Spc. Laurie Dunlap of Sacramento, Calif., pose for a picture while talking to Afghan schoolgirls outside of women's veterinary training conducted by the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team at a girls' school near the Sarkani District Center Nov. 20. Anderson and Dunlap are combat medical specialists assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327 Infantry Regiment of Task Force No Slack. Both Soldiers are also members of the TF No Slack Female Engagement Team, which coordinated with Sarkani District elders to ensure the ADT's veterinary experts could provide the training for more than 30 women of the Sarkani District. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)

 

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Hosai Sediqi, a U.S. linguist, talks with Sohila, a member of the Kunar Province Women's Shura, outside veterinary training conducted by the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team at a girls' school near the Sarkani District Center Nov. 20. The ADT's veterinary experts provided the training for more than 30 women of the Sarkani District. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 November 2010 13:23
 

    

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