Military Matters: Local Students Meet Afghan Students

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The world is getting smaller every day thanks to technology.

The humanitarian group Spirit of America is trying to use that technology to make the world a better, more peaceful place to live.

"We really want to give students on both sides of the world a chance to interact and kind of see how similar they are and how different and just kind of get a feeling for each other outside what they see on the news," said Rachael Kleinberger of Spirit of America.

That's where its "School Partners Afghanistan" program comes in.

Using video-teleconferencing, students in America are meeting students in Afghanistan - more or less - face to face.

For a group of Sackets Harbor High School students, meeting the students at Howz-e-Madad school in Kandahar province was an eye-opening experience.

"We learned about another school and a different community very far away from here, very different from anywhere else that we've seen or been around," said Zachary Allen, a senior.

Many were surprised at just what they learned.

"Just seeing like how they live and how they're just like us.  They're all shy to get in front of the camera and talk and they all do the same things like playing sports and stuff that we do," said Noel Burnett, a senior.

And that's the whole point.

Spirit of America works side-by-side with the U.S. military in Afghanistan to try to make the future a peaceful one.

"It's kind of hard to hate someone when you know that you have so much in common with them," said Kleinberger

Sackets Harbor is one of a handful of schools in the area taking part in the program.

Watertown, Carthage and Indian River students are expected to have their first meet-and-greet sessions in the next few weeks.

While you're here, check out our Military Matters Calendar of Upcoming Events.


If you have a story you think we should be covering for Military Matters, email Katie Alexander at kalexander@wwnytv.net.

Saturday, December 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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