Kabul, March 2013. Why we are in Afghanistan? Do we make a difference? Read Gregory Boltyansky's testimonial. He is a Programme Officer with EUPOLs Training Component: "As a Canadian police officer I feel it is a tremendous honour to be granted the opportunity to partner with Eupol in mission. Assisting in police reform within Afghanistan is a life changing experience which I will share with my family, friends and colleagues for many years to come. During my time here I have had the opportunity to mentor and advise senior level police officers within the Afghan National Police (ANP), while also providing logistical support for the Police Staff College and Crime Management College.
While mentoring several officers at the Colonel level I was fortunate enough to assist in developing one of the first community based policing initiatives designed to reach out to children who are in need. The community policing plan is meant to be lead by the Afghan National Police while being supported by Eupol. As this is one of the mandated priorities of the Ministry of the Interior and a primary Eupol mission goal, I am excited to be a small part of its inception. The project will see Afghan National Police interact on a frequent basis with children who are housed in prisons along side their mothers as well as attending orphanages and shelters. Our hope is that the time spent with these children and youth will plant seeds of change that will grow long after we have left. These small gestures of kindness will help take us one step closer to a more positive perception of police by the Afghan people, while also continuing the process of change in the minds of the Afgan police on how they are to treat those they have sworn to serve and protect.
I am frequently asked if I think we are making a difference in Afghanistan and if this is worthwhile endeavour. In the words of someone far more intelligent than I "I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act". In my simple view of the world, the effort to attempt a change for the good (however small it may seem at times) is always a worthwhile endeavour.