Lifestyle has changed after the completion of a well and water standpoints

The construction of a well and water stand points completed through the project for improving the water and sanitation environment in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. A handover ceremony was held to mark the occasion. Commemorative turbans and tools needed to maintain the well and solar panels were gifted to members of the Well Management Committee (WMC). From now on, WMC will take the lead in managing and operating the well, using the maintenance fees collected from the residents.

The construction of these new facilities has brought a positive impact on the lives of the villagers. The residents used to travel to streams and wells far away from their homes (often 3 km or more) many times a day. They would spend most of the day to secure water they needed for living. Since it’s common for children and women to fetch water, they couldn't go to school or had no choice but to sacrifice work or household chores. One of the villagers used to go to an unsanitary water source about 5 km away every day. She was delighted that the new water standpoints in the compound would increase her free time and would enable her to focus on the cultivation of agricultural products.

Children are now able to go to school and mosques, and have time to play cricket or volleyball. Some of the adults say, “We now have time to work in the city and can bring food to the table for our families”, and “We can focus on household chores, childcare and breastfeeding.” Some people can now make an income from home gardening, livestock or handicrafts.

Additionally, diarrhea has been reduced thanks to hand washing with safe water and soap with a proper hygiene knowledge. It has become possible to take measures against Covid-19 at home. Some people even feel that they have become healthier by the improved hygiene environment. The internally displaced people in the village with limited personal belongings expressed that the water tanks distributed by JEN helped them to secure safe water at home.

Previously, the water sources were so far away that there were various difficulties to the lives of the residents. However, the construction of a well and water standpoints has given them more time to spare in their daily lives. The better hygiene knowledge has improved their health conditions as well. Many possibilities have seemed to arise, which will lead to their independent future.


Solar panels that generate power for pumping, and the completed water reservoir


Training for maintenance of a well and water standpoints


Voluntary cleaning activities by WMC

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

“I’ve never used soap in my entire life.” <A participant’s interview>

Mr. Samar Ahmad[Male, 43 years old]

Location:Guldara Village, Chaparhar

“For the first time in my life, I heard about using soap for enhanced sanitation from the hygiene specialist. I have never even thought of using one in my entire life before.”

We interviewed Mr. Samar Ahmad, the head of the family of 13, wives of 2, sons of 6, daughters of 4 living in the neighbourhood of JEN’s project site for constructing a solar-powered pipeline providing clean water. Mr. Samar Ahmad was also keen on gaining new knowledge through the hygiene education sessions provided by JEN in September 2020.


Mr.Samar Ahmad on the interview. March 24, 2020

Mr. Ahmad: “I now have become aware of a method for water purification, critical times throughout a day for handwashing, various types of hygiene (personal, environmental and oral) and food safety.”

Q: “I heard you have never heard of soap, is that right?”

A (Mr. Ahmad): “Well, I knew about soap but I have never used it before because I wasn’t aware of its priority for enhancing our hygiene situation, and we couldn’t afford it. Although, ever since we received the hygiene education and the kits, we equipped ourselves with a new daily routine, and started using soap every day ”

Q: “I understand that poverty interferes with your affordability of soap. Would it be financially difficult to prioritize soap?”

A: “I don’t think so. For now, we use things in the hygiene kits that JEN gave us, which include 5 bar soaps, a nail clipper, 3 tubes of toothpaste, 6 toothbrushes, 3 toilet paper rolls, 2 boxes of tissue, 2 towels, a pack of sanitary pads, and 21L water tank. Even after we use up the soap, we’ll buy more because it certainly taught us the benefit of using one. Using soap in hand washing significantly reduced the likelihood of catching diseases and experiencing diarrhea caused by unfiltered water. We now confidently know that some health issues were related to unsanitary surroundings”

Diarrhea and diseases caused by contaminated water have been very common among people in this region as they had no custom of using soap in their daily lives traditionally. These problems have made it difficult for children to go to school and for adults to go to work.


The net over dishes prevents insects from spreading diseases.

Mr. Samar Ahmad: “I’m really grateful for the people in Japan for providing us hygiene education and the kits, and ensuring our access to safe drinking water by laying out pipelines and water standpoints per compound. We can save so much medical cost since we don’t get sick as much as we used to.”

“I would love for JEN to host livelihood support programs with human resource development in the future so that more people can become qualified for various employment opportunities. Thank you for your swift response.”


A new standpoint built in front of Mr. Ahmad’s house.


A newly constructed toilet.


The house of Mr. Ahmad’ family.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Progress of the water and sanitation project in Chaparhar district

The water and sanitation project in Chaparhar, Nangarhar province, which we started in September 2020, is close to the finish line. Here is an update on the project.

We construct a well, a water reservoir, and water standpoints through the project. The quality and the safety of water drawn from the well has been confirmed, and the water reservoir construction will be completed soon.

The residents can access safe drinking water easily upon completion of the water standpoints and the placement of pipes to connect between the standpoints and the reservoir.


Water reservoir will be ready soon!

Hygiene education is one of the main components of the project. We delivered lectures on the importance of public hygiene, which has not been taken so seriously in this region, and the necessity of proper hand washing with soap, which has become more important than ever under the Covid-19 pandemic, with respect for Afghan cultural background. We also handed a hygiene kit which includes soaps, toothbrushes, water tank, etc., to each household so that the people can put our lecture into practice.


Hygiene kits for practicing what the people learned are waiting to be delivered.


We handed the hygiene kits after the session. Participants checked inside the bags.

There were four sessions in the hygiene education course. Even before the completion of the course, we could see the change in the awareness and action of the people. Many people told us that they started cleaning up their premise or building a toilet.

We will finish this project by April. We will report the situation after the completion of the project on this website.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Conducted the Monitoring of Winterization Support

At the beginning of December, JEN distributed winterization relief supplies to 78 households who lost their house due to the heavy rain and flash floods in Eastern Afghanistan. One week after this, we visited 25 households who received the supplies to see if they had any problem or question on the use of the supplies. Sandali, one of the distributed items, is a heating material used with charcoal. At the distribution venue, JEN had explained the proper use of Sandali to avoid getting burnt or causing fire. This time we confirmed their ignition procedure and checked whether they understand it correctly.



We were able to confirm that all the households we visited utilized the supplies and were satisfied with these qualities.

These days, the minimum temperature in Charikar has been below the freezing point. JEN hope this project supports those who lost their house to survive the cold winter and to reconstruct their lives.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Dream Bags Project Amid COVID-19 crisis

JEN rushed the preparation of Dream Bag distribution because schools could be closed again anytime due to COVID-19. The distribution of 6241 Dream Bags was successfully completed in 5 days, between November 3rd and the 5th.

There had been some pupils who feel tiresome to go to school again due to the influence of the first shutdown of schools. However, after they heard about Dream Bag, they became active when they participate in classes and happily asked their teachers “When are the Dream Bags going to arrive?” .


A JEN staff explaining pupils how to open Dream Bags.

During this year’s Dream Bag distribution, JEN also conducted hygiene education, namely a proper way to wash hands, emphasizing the importance of such hygienical actions.


One scene of Hygiene education

Pupils were very happy to receive Dream Bags. They showed the contents of Dream Bags with each other.  Some pupils painted pictures as a sign of gratitude and friendship for Japanese children who sent Dream Bags.


Pupils receiving Dream Bags


Pupils when they opened Dream Bags

A second-grade girl who loves painting happened to receive a Dream Bag that contained 24-color-crayon and a stuffed toy, and was so excited. She told us so happily, “My dream is to have crayon that is available in various colors. I will use the stuffed toy and stationery that I received with my sister who I always play together. But this crayon is my treasure. I will draw pictures using this crayon throughout the winter vacation.”


Pupils showing pictures that they drew using the color pencils came with her Dream Bag.

A message of a JEN Afghanistan staff

Those pupils who received Dream Bags this time live in one of financially difficult areas in Afghanistan.  In this area, people sometimes cannot afford the costs of minimum necessity of pencils and notebooks for learning in school.

Despite such circumstances, pupils who received stationaries and toys told us “I want to be a math teacher for my country” and “I will study hard and will be a doctor.” Parents also commented “I could not continue my study because of poverty and civil war. So, my dream is that I let children go to school and live better lives.”

I think education is necessary for their dreams to come true. I am sure that the promoting education will help their dreams to come true and as a result, brings a peaceful future.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Dream Bags have arrived again at the town of Charikar!

Dream Bag project: JEN has been working on this project since 2005 in Parwan province of Afghanistan.

Dream Bags filled with toys and stationeries from Japan have arrived again at the town of Charikar in Parwan province!


November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Study of means of livelihood in Afghanistan

 JEN developed women empowerment project for Eastern area of Afghanistan, especially Jalalabad and surrounding area. This program aims to offer opportunities for education for female students, and to create means of livelihood for educated women.


 Means of livelihood of educated women will become clear through detail study of livelihood. JEN focuses on choosing means of livelihood in private sector that actively involves in educated women. JEN believes that connecting means of livelihood with private sector raise productivity and sustainability.


 JEN will employ one local livelihood specialist in order to conduct a detail study in cooperation with private sector. The executors of private sector include practitioner of small business and industry, women entrepreneur, public officer, and staff of humanitarian organization.


 JEN will pay attention to following two points with regards to choosing means of livelihood of educated women.

  1. Opportunity of means of livelihood is culturally appropriate
  2. Women entrepreneurs have proved it and have been successful


 JEN will learn valuable things from experience of successful local women entrepreneurs, and will cooperate with them to follow their means of livelihood, business type, and model case. Details would be discovered after detail study, but choice of means of livelihood includes training of information technology, business design and its operation, offering trained labor force to local industry, management of education academy and provision of related equipments.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Interview of a Girl Who Received a “Dream Bag” and Her Parents

 In April of 2019, we conducted distributions of “Dream Bags” in the Parwan province of Afghanistan.

 We were able to interview those who received the “Dream Bags” following the distribution process.



 Caption: A second grade girl who received a “Dream Bag” with her dad

 This girl`s father works as a sales representative at a store in Charikar Market. Much of the villagers struggle from poverty, and he says that he is one of them.

 “I receive very little pay and therefore, have a hard time supporting my family, which includes buying my children the necessary stationary and materials for school. Additionally, I must borrow money from my friends and family members in order for my child to go to school.

 I want my child to study a lot and become someone who can serve their country. I believe that both boys and girls should receive equal education and think that not letting girls attend high school is a bad idea. I currently own a small plot of farm land close to the village, but if I ever need the money to continue sending my daughter to school, I will sell it without any hesitation.

 Today, my daughter received a “Dream Bag”, and her excitement could be put in to words. She has always liked to study and go to school, but this will definitely make her like it even more.

 I know that Japan is an extremely safe country and have heard that the people are very generous and friendly. I vividly remember the time I met the Japanese staff of JEN 10 years ago at a meeting in Charikar. On behalf of my child, her classmates, and all of Afghanistan, I want to thank the country of Japan and the children who participated in the making of the “Dream Bags” for not forgetting about us.” He said.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Interview to the children who received ”Dream Bags”

We interviewed the children who received ”Dream Bags”.
Please click the play button and see their interviews.


▼Interview to Ahmad


▼Interview to Azuna



November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Art and Culture of Afghanistan (Part 2)

 Regardless of the current security and safety situation in Afghanistan, the Afghanistan people continue to pursue traditional practices between their various daily responsibilities. ‘’ATAN dance’’ is one tradition that is performed at times of celebration. Not only is this dance famous in this particular region, but is also well-known in the Pashtun region of Pakistan. This dance is typically performed at events such as weddings, engagement parties, college graduations, and other types of celebrations.


 Caption: The JEN team tried it out.

 The dancers form a circle and dance along to the sound of drums, a rebab, a harmonium, and a small drum called tabara. The dance usually starts off slow, and the tempo increases as the dance progresses. Traditionally, those who perform the dance should grow their hair out. This is because the dance involves moving one`s head, and the movement of the hair indicates the tempo and rhythm of the dance. However, it is not a requirement for every dancer to grow their hair, as there is an alternative way to indicate the tempo and rhythm; clapping their hands with each step.

 Both men and women perform this dance, but due to the local social customs, women are not allowed to dance in the presence of a man. Therefore, women dance in an all-women group when no men are around. Because this dance is performed or practiced on a daily basis, most people know the basic rules of ‘’ATAN dance’’, but actually performing the dance requires a bit of practice. Students living in lodging accommodations live far away from their families, so they typically perform the dance to have fun and not get homesick.


November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |