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Nizhanchuisk Orphanage graduation ceremony includes Manas Airmen
Airmen from the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, attended a Nizhanchuisk Orphanage graduation ceremony May 25, 2010, to recognize the 4th Grade students who were moving on to a secondary school/orphanage after a successful school year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Carolyn Viss)
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Nizhanchuisk Orphanage graduation involves Manas Airmen

Posted 5/26/2010   Updated 5/26/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Carolyn Viss
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs


5/26/2010 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- Airmen from the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan, attended a Nizhanchuisk Orphanage graduation ceremony May 25, 2010, to recognize the 4th Grade students who were moving on to a secondary school/orphanage after a successful school year.

The Airmen were specifically invited because the Manas Area Benefit Outreach Society has been providing humanitarian assistance since the end of 2006.

"We have helped out in almost every way the school has asked," said Staff Sgt. Nicole Curran, the current MABOS focus group leader for Niz Orphanage. "We re-did the playground area, and have brought clothes, shoes, coats, hats, and toys, among other things.

Over the winter, Transit Center Airmen bought six space heaters for the school to use in the classrooms, and recently Sergeant Curran helped to organize the renovation of the school's infirmary, with the help of Master Sgt. Freddy Andrews and his team of civil engineers.

"The most recent renovations that have been done for the school are in their dormitory building," said Sergeant Curran, who has been involved with Niz since she deployed here in January. "He is also working on giving a new roof to the orphanage as well as replacing the sink in the washroom for the children."

After almost six months of collaboration, seeing the 10- and 11-year-olds graduate was a great experience for Sergeant Curran and the other Airmen who attended.

"Their graduations are like nothing I have ever seen before," she said. "They do all kinds of performances that pay tribute to their culture, which is just amazing."

The highlight for her was being given the honor of saying something to the children at the request of the principal. She wished them great success in their every endeavor, through an interpreter.

"To know that (Airmen from the Transit Center), MABOS, and I all specifically have made such an impact on their orphanage and on the children gave me one of the most amazing feelings in the world," she said. "It's the whole reason that I volunteered - to know that I'm making an impact on children's lives."

As Sergeant Curran redeploys and a new focus group leader begins to interact with the principal, assistant principal, and students at Niz Orphanage, she's certain the Transit Center will continue to be able to help with things they need.

One challenge the Transit Center regularly overcomes is getting the donations that are needed for certain projects, since there are specific rules about which funds can be used for what projects, said Capt. Tom Mulka, the MABOS president.

"That's why we rely so heavily on the donations from friends, family, and Americans throughout the world for our humanitarian assistance projects," he said.

MABOS is the Transit Center's primary non-profit, private organization, dedicated to helping the people of Kyrgyzstan.

"I hope that in the future we can continue to help the children there and over time make their lives much easier," Sergeant Curran said. "Even the slightest improvement is significant to them, and it means the world to me that we're able to help in the ways we've been able to."



tabComments
5/27/2010 5:44:06 PM ET
Nicole is my eldest grandchild and there are no words I can use to express my pride in her and my love. She is strong kind and everything anyone could ask for. Way to go NicoleGrammy
Joan Domingue, FL
 
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