KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (NNS) -- The "Shebees", a women's mentoring group established by personnel from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 18, built bathroom stall partitions and donated female items Oct. 24 for female wounded warriors aboard Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan.
The restroom, which was originally for males, was converted to a female restroom and was in desperate need of privacy stalls.
"The lock wouldn't always work and sometimes the females would get walked in on," said Chief Information Systems Technician Teresa Alvarez, Third Naval Construction Regiment (3NCR) data processing chief, and a member of the Shebees. "There were already two toilets in the area; we just needed to put up walls and doors."
The partitions were pre-fabricated by NMCB 18 personnel and were taken to the site the morning of the project. Since only a few of the women had actually used power tools before, NMCB 18 assigned a project manager to walk the Shebees through the steps of putting up the partitions.
"Many of us belong to fleet ratings, so this was our first time building," said Chief Intelligence Specialist Gaby Buitron, NMCB 18 member and Shebees president. "It was an empowering learning experience. The project went great, and we all agreed it was the most fun we have had since we have been here."
The fact that the project specifically helped out the female wounded warriors was a major source of motivation for the girls to don the hard hat.
"We were so excited about this project and helping other women that we are researching a fundraising event," said Buitron. "One idea the Shebees have come up with is to hold a 5K run to spread the word about ovarian cancer."
"I'm excited about the opportunities the Shebees are providing," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Sandra Uptagrafft, 3NCR. "I've always liked teaching and helping others better themselves, so when I heard about this organization, I wanted to be a part of it."
The Shebees started off as a mentorship program, and has grown into something much greater.
"I believe this organization will help women create a bond, help their self esteem, motivate them and help them build a delightful relationship even through trying times in Afghanistan," said Yeoman 2nd Class Michelle Trinidad, NMCB 18.
For more news from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 18, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/nmcb18/.