Radio Prague’s Christian Falvey interviewing aid workers and soldiers on Afghanistan trip


Regular listeners may have heard an interview on Monday with Radio Prague’s Christian Falvey, who is currently on a reporting mission in Afghanistan. He has mainly been doing interviews with workers from the Czech NGO People in Need, though he has also been talking to some of the hundreds of Czech soldiers stationed in the country. On Friday morning Radio Prague spoke to Christian about what he had been up to in the last few days.

“As I told you last time we spoke I was headed to the south of Mazari Sharif and we ended up in a very, very steep and very remote valley with Tajiq and Hazari villages, where People in Need is doing various projects. I told you a bit about the school and the clinic there, and you’ll hear more about that in the reports to come.”

Tell us Christian, where are you right now?

“Right now I’m at the NATO base in Kabul at the airport, where the Czechs have a contingent. The chemical unit is based here, they have an air traffic control unit. The logistics for all of the Czech army activities that are taking place in Afghanistan right now are handled here, which is the complete flip side of the coin of course from what I’ve seen in the last week in the villages with a humanitarian organisation. The Czech Republic doesn’t have a combat force in Afghanistan…”

So what are the Czech soldiers doing there?

“The main thing is what’s called the national support element. It’s the logistics facility for all of the Czech troops in Afghanistan, working in any kind of area. That’s the main thing that’s based here at the airport. Another thing is the famous chemical unit, which is very much sought after in all kinds of situations, like in Afghanistan. Then they have training for helicopter specialists and an air traffic control centre, where they have meteorologists and that kind of thing.”

How much longer are you yourself staying in Afghanistan?

“I’ll be leaving tomorrow, actually. I’m going back to the People in Need office in Kabul after I finish up here. And I’ll be talking to some more of the Czechs and Czech-Afghans, as they call them – those are Afghans who studied in Czechoslovakia or the Czech Republic. Tomorrow there’s also a training course for local teachers who are working with People in Need, so I’m going to be attending that.”