In the world’s toughest places, we provide what America’s troops and diplomats say is needed to help local people.


Sign up to learn more. 


Maliks and Masonry

Just to recap ahead of some major updates on the stonemasonry training, the project started on March 3rd in a village called Gohindagan. Thirty trainees were introduced to the trainers by their maliks (village elders). On the first day, the trainers and the project manager faced some challenges in organizing the trainees.

There was some confusion among the maliks of the villages providing trainees about matters like the daily schedule, but ARESO's project manager managed to quickly cut through the initial confusion and put things on track.

Masonry update_toby

Afghan masonry students at work

The most significant order of business was to decide the daily schedule. Each training day would be six hours long, and run from 8:00am to 2:00pm, with no lunch break. Individual trainers would focus on groups of 9-10 students.

ARESO's project manager organized the remainder of the day as an orientation: trainers were introduced to trainees, maliks and other villagers expressed their full support, trainees received their stonemasonry toolkits, safety items and other materials were issued, and then things quickly moved into lessons on the fundamentals of stonemasonry. Towards the end of the day, the trainers had a surprise for their students: they were instructed to start the excavation work on their first project. For the rest of the training day, the trainers kept a watchful eye on the trainees, who quickly discovered that ARESO's philosophy is all about learning by doing. 

Toby Bonthrone
Afghanistan Field Rep

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense or its personnel is intended or implied.