On October 20th, 2011, Acting Head of
Mission Philip MacKinnon and Detective
Ken Brander, a member of the Edmonton
Police Service, donated 11 Kobo e-readers to
a group of students of the School of
On October 20th, 2011, Canada’s Acting Head of Mission Philip MacKinnon and Detective Ken Brander, a member of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS), donated 11 Kobo e-readers to a group of female students of the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA). Each e-reader comes with 50 classic books pre-loaded, which will greatly increase the number of books available at the SOLA library and allow young Afghan students to perfect their reading skills.
The funds to purchase the e-readers were raised by Detective Brander’s EPS colleagues including a group of dedicated resource officers, local business, friends, and family, on behalf of Ross Sheppard High School in Edmonton, Alberta.
“This donation is a testimony to the close relationship built between SOLA and one of the classes at Ross Sheppard High School in Edmonton,” said Detective Brander. “The two schools have forged a friendship, they have skyped together, and have built a relationship which the students and faculty intend to carry forward in years to come.”
Chapters-Indigo, Canada’s largest bookstore, also donated screen guards for each e-reader and a gift certificate for C$300 to allow the students of SOLA to download new books.
“These e-readers will be a great addition to our library,” said Shabana Basij-Rasikh, the head teacher at SOLA. “The future of Afghanistan lies in the leadership of our young Afghan students and any opportunity that we get to help our students is appreciated.”
Detective Ken Brander has been serving in Kabul since February 2011 as part of Canada’s engagement in police reform in Afghanistan. As part of this mission, Canadian civilian police officers are training, mentoring and advising Afghan National Police (ANP) members to build their capacity. Canadian civilian police officers participate in the development and delivery of training programs, promoting the establishment of accountability and civilian oversight mechanisms, and advancing institutional reform and capacity building within the force.
During his assignment, Detective Brander was assigned to the Afghan Threat Finance Cell. In this capacity, he mentored an ANP Financial Investigations Team on high-level threat and corruption finance investigations and acted as a training coordinator to identify the skills and competencies required of a financial crimes investigator.
“My assignment in Afghanistan has been extremely rewarding,” said Detective Brander. “It has been an opportunity to make a contribution of lifetime and I hope that our small donation today will help these young Afghans pursue their dreams.”
Detective Brander’s assignment in Afghanistan is coming to an end. He will be returning to his family and friends in Edmonton next month.