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Afghan kids’ delight with Bournemouth soldier’s gifts
12:06pm Wednesday 5th September 2012 in News
A BOURNEMOUTH soldier has started giving out toys and pens to Afghan children in Kabul.
Lance Corporal Alex Dobbins and a colleague give out teddies, clothing and colouring books that have been donated from the UK.
Alex, 22, from Moordown, said: “They go down a storm – within minutes we’re surrounded by children everywhere!
“By the look on their faces these children have never had these things before.
“Some of them are forced into work very young and it’s a poor area.”
Alex serves with Aldershot-based 251 Signal Squadron, which can be used to support Government departments.
He is currently deployed with an American personal security team in the centre of Kabul.
Alex started the small project along with a friend, and the items are donated through a welfare group called Sending In The Forces.
Only around one third of Afghans can read and write and the life expectancy at birth is 48, according to Unicef .
Alex and his friend stop their vehicle in the streets and hand out the gifts.
He said: “Giving out small items like this doesn’t sound much but there are children out here that have nothing.
“They are prepared to fight to get to the front of the queue.”
He added: “Every time we drive down the street they recognise the vehicle and shout our names.”
Alex, a former St Peter’s pupil, is on his first mission to Afghanistan and is due home by early February 2013 at the completion of a six-month deployment.