02/15/2018

Returnee’s situation after returning home

Name: Eyleas Khail
Age: 30 years old

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Since 1988, we had lived in Pakistan as refugees. Life was going well there, but we came back to Chaparhar district, Nangarhar Province.

We cannot go back to our own house due to lack of money. We are right now in Chena village living in a rental house. My sons are not going to school because we need to work and pay for the rent of the house. My daughter is not going to school, either because the existing school is so far from my home.

Every morning, I and my sons went to town to find any work but unfortunately, we could not find any jobs. After for a few days, I contacted my neighbor to find any work. He said I should prepare one wheelbarrow for selling vegetables in town. At last, we found one but did not have enough money for purchasing it and again I went to the neighbors to lend me some cash for a new wheelbarrow. I bought a new one and am getting income from that. But I cannot do the business alone because I have a kidney disease needing some rest at home.

Right now, we expect a better life as we are going to have safe water from the well  constructed by JEN. We really appreciate this NGO. But we still need school buildings and shelters. We hope for more support for returnees from this NGO.

[Eyleas Khail’s family is using this makeshift latrine at their home]
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[Eyleas Khail and his family live in this room]
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[Eyleas Khail with all of his children]
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February 15, 2018 in Afghanistan |

Government Middle School Speen Qabar in Bara Khyber agency

In Pakistan, little by little people are returning to their homes following
the mop-up campaign against the armed groups. Look at the details here.

With the help of JEN’s supporters and the Japanese government JEN is working
on a livelihood improvement program, targeting the repatriated inhabitants of
FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Area) Khyber Agency.
This program focuses on breeding livestock.

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Tehsil Bara Khyber Agency is one of the most affected areas by militancy. There were many schools,  but the education facilities were not enough before people’s displacement. Students’ furniture, water and sanitation (WASH) facilities were lacking. Therefore parents didn’t send their kids to school, and the enrolment rate was low.

When the situation became worse, people started moving to settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and  temporarily dislocated persons (TDPs) camps mainly in Peshawar. Humanitarian organizations were working in the education sector inside those camps. Transitional shelters with proper WASH facilities in schools were installed, and awareness campaigns were carried out by organizations regarding the importance of education for both boys and girls. With all these efforts, the TDPs slowly came to know why education is important for  future success and peace.

After the situation became normal, and people started to move back to their places of origin, the scenario was totally different there. Many houses, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure were destroyed due to war in their areas.

One of the examples is the Government Middle School Speen Qabar. The building is totally destroyed, and now they don’t have permanent structure. Before people’s displacement, there were around 900 students.  After people’s return to the area in 2014, UNICEF provided shelter classrooms and temporary tents for classes, but the school is still deprived of basic facilities, such as electricity, water and toilets. Due to lack of facilities, children have to study in open air areas and disturbs their education once it gets rain. The number of students still remains 600.

A school teacher during our interview said, ”there is a change and people have started to know about the importance of education, but the lack of facilities again is affecting for the education. It is intense need to provide proper buildings with full facilities.  People raise new hope and that hope is incomplete without education and good education is impossible without facilities.”

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February 15, 2018 in Pakistan |

02/01/2018

Cultural Heritage in Peshawar

In Pakistan, little by little people are returning to their homes following
the mop-up campaign against the armed groups. Look at the details here.

With the help of JEN’s supporters and the Japanese government JEN is working
on a livelihood improvement program, targeting the repatriated inhabitants of
FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Area) Khyber Agency.
This program focuses on breeding livestock.

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Peshawar is one of the historical cities of Pakistan having several cultural heritage places. The cultural heritage indicates the fantastic art work in terms of construction. The historical profile of the city dates back to the 3rd century BC, which makes it one of the oldest existing cities of South Asia. It reveals the rich archeological signs of Peshawar. These cultural heritage places are located in 10 km distance from JEN field office.

One such heritage place is called “Gorkhatri”. It is a typical Mughal sarai (guesthouse) built in the Mughal Era by Jahan Ara Begum, a daughter of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, in 1641. It is a refreshed yet complex compound, spread over an area of 90 Kanal (45,527 square meters). She renamed it as 'Sarai Jahanabad', constructed a mosque and had dug wells up with stairways inside them, allowing people coming from long distance to either drink or fill their pitchers of water.  The compound used to serve as a safety inn for camel caravans loaded with merchandise. There are two main gates on its western and eastern sides, each with double-storied pavilion and a 10-room apartment.

[The Gorkhatri (guest house)]
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Sethis Mohallah is another place in the heart of Peshawar city. It contains seven houses including the famous “Sethi House”, a cultural heritage, built by the Sethis family. These unique houses are a blend of the art and architecture of Ghandhara and Central Asia cultures. The first was built by Haji Ahmed Gul in 1884.

[Sethi House Balcony Windows]
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[Sethi House First Floor]
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It is located close to the Ghanta Gar (clock tower) in Peshawar old city. The Ghanta Ghar was constructed in 1900 and was open to the public. It’s 85 feet tall and give an attractive historical look as a cultural heritage. The ‘Sethis’ were traders, who had business in China, the sub-continent, Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia, with trade centers at Mazar Sharif, Tashkent, Bukhara, Samarqand and other cities in the Asia region. In the Sethi House, merchandisers used to exchange currency.

[The Ghanta Gar (Clock tower)]
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It is constructed from wood and took thirty-five years to complete.

[Street in old Peshawar city where the Sethi houses are situated]
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【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.
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February 1, 2018 in Pakistan |

Capacity building of school management committee

School management committees (SMCs) are an integral part of  a school for continuation and strengthening its activities. In each year, JEN trains SMCs to build their capacity. Members of the committees are reminded of the responsibilities of SMCs. JEN also conducts meetings with SMCs from time to time. These meetings are conducted in the presence of Directorate of Education (DoE) and Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) representatives.

[SMC meeting in Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School.]
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[ SMC meeting in Togh Berdi Girls High School ]
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One of the main responsibilities of SMCs is to make sure that hygiene education and disaster risk reduction (DRR) education, which JEN supported the schools in conduction, are continued. SMC members are trained for this purpose.

[JENstaff member the meeting with SMC members of Togh Berdi Girls High School.]
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The second most important role of SMCs is facility maintenance. During SMC training, it is mentioned and discussed, and the SMCs are required to take the responsibility of maintenance of their facilities because they are the real owner of the schools. Short trainings are conducted to build capacity of SMCs about the use of facilities and how to take care of them. They are also instructed on fund raising, connecting themselves with communities, finding needs and making plans for repair and maintenance of school buildings and facilities.

[Training on facility maintenance of SMC members of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School]
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Regarding DRR, SMCs are asked to make comprehensive DRR plans. This time, they were asked to also include community people in their plans. In this way, comprehensive community DRR is expected with schools as focal points.

[SMC members of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Boy’s High School discussing their DRRE plans]
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【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.
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February 1, 2018 in Afghanistan |

01/11/2018

Rehabilitation of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School

Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School is located in Charikar city as capital of Parwan Province and there was no building for the school. The students study in Mir Abdul Karim Boys High School’s building instead. They were facing many problems: the school didn’t have any chamber latrines or washrooms and each month, female teachers and students were absent for 4-6 days during their periods. There wasn’t any storage for drinking water and the surrounding wall was not high enough to fend off disturbance from outside.

In 2016, we conducted a survey about the construction of six classrooms, six-chamber latrines and a washroom, a water reservoir for drinking water and a surrounding wall. On the day of our survey, the administration of the school, teachers and students were very happy and helped us. We started construction of the above facilities on 1 July 2017 after engineering design stages. During the work, the principal and female teachers visited the work site for evaluation and appreciated our work, especially the construction of six-chamber latrines and washroom. In addition, the engineering teams of Parwan Directorate of Education, Directorate of Economy and other government offices highly evaluated the construction work.

The constructed latrines and boundary wall are expected to facilitate and motivate female teachers’ and students’ keeping going to school without disturbance or anxiety during their periods and outside them. The water reservoir will provide them with access to safe drinking water. This comprehensive rehabilitation of the school facilities also anticipates increase in students’ enrollment and attendance.

Parimah, the principal of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School, says, “Due to periods, female teachers including me and students used to be absent from school for 4-6 days and came back when they became alright. So there was so much absenteeism.Now all of us will perform our daily work without any problems. Representing all female teachers and students, I appreciate JEN for their support.”

[Parimah, the principal of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School ]
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[Constructed six-classroom building]
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[Constructed water reservoir]
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[Constructed six-chamber latrines with washroom]
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[Constructed brick masonry boundary wall]
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【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.
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January 11, 2018 in Afghanistan |

Nutrition and Profit from Cow’s Milk

In Pakistan, little by little people are returning to their homes following
the mop-up campaign against the armed groups. Look at the details here.

With the help of JEN’s supporters and the Japanese government JEN is working
on a livelihood improvement program, targeting the repatriated inhabitants of
FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Area) Khyber Agency.
This program focuses on breeding livestock.

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Livelihood support is the major subject of JEN’s ongoing project for returnees in Khyber Agency, FATA. JEN’s female beneficiaries take care of their livestock at their homes through feeding, watering and milking. Mrs. Shaista Gul is one of them. She has two daughters and two sons. Three of them are going to school and one is just two and half years old who stays at home with her. Her husband works as a laborer on daily wages.   

In an interview with JEN’s staff, she said, “We spent all of our resources on the reconstruction of our house. It affected our budget especially for the food and nutrition. In the past, we used to rear goats at home with a little milk production. Now my family has got one cow from JEN which gives around three liters of milk a day. Most portion of the milk, around two liters, we use at home. We make yogurt and butter and also my children drink some milk. I also sell one liter of milk to my neighbors and earn around one hundred rupees from it. Though it is difficult, I try to save the profit from the milk selling to meet some of our needs”.

The rehabilitation phase is ongoing in all FATA and Khyber Agency and situation is improving gradually. Her husband who is a laborer continues working in Khyber Agency or Peshawar to help in livelihood of his family and the cow is also supporting it and in his family’s nutrition.

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【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.
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January 11, 2018 in Pakistan |

12/21/2017

All programs of 14 years completed

JEN Sri Lanka Office will finish all of our programs  in Sri Lanka at the end of December 2017. JEN’s activates have been continued for 14 years since 2004 to support Tsunami affected people while the civil war was continuing. We came until today as we were supported by blog readers and supporters.

Through our programs of emergency response for Tsunami etc. as well as returnees’ support of the civil war, Sri Lankans kept making effort to be independent and development themselves to live better. This is because positive participation by people who joined JEN’s programs, cooperation with  the Sri Lanka government, patience of JEN’s national staff and back-up by JEN’S supporters.

We faced a lot of difficulties too. JEN’s staffs argued among themselves to discuss which projects were the best for participants’ independence. Sometimes, we needed to have long discussions with the government to decide what/how JEN should support those people. To bring up the participants’ motivation was also difficult because of poverty and further anxiousness. But everyone got over it to pay all their effort to make it happen.

[JEN’s staffs]
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In Sri Lanka, it is forecasted that climate change might continue. We hope the people who have learned with JEN can use obtained knowledge and cope with difficulties.

Once again, thank you for your 14 years’ support!

[By all staffs of Sri Lanka, Kilinochchi Office and Colombo sub-Office]
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December 21, 2017 in Sri Lanka |

12/14/2017

Entrepreneurship Training for Youth

In Pakistan, little by little people are returning to their homes following
the mop-up campaign against the armed groups. Look at the details here.

With the help of JEN’s supporters and the Japanese government JEN is working
on a livelihood improvement program, targeting the repatriated inhabitants of
FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Area) Khyber Agency.
This program focuses on breeding livestock.

**********

With the help of JEN’s supporters and the Japanese government JEN is working
on a livelihood improvement program, targeting the repatriated inhabitants of
FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Area) Khyber Agency.
This program focuses on breeding livestock.

JEN conducted a three-day entrepreneurship training for the youth groups in the project area. The objective was to engage the unemployed youths in economic activities such as income generation. This kind of training was the first ever one as informed by the youth groups and village elders in the target area.

Before the training, JEN staff carried out screening to select the suitable youths. In the process, 20 youths were selected for the training. Since this activity was new for youth members, they showed a lot of curiosity in the beginning of the training.

[Youth group members screening]
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The training focused on improving business knowledge of the youths, how to develop linkages with local market and how to generate income from selling milk from our beneficiaries as well as other available local resources. Some of the youths already had some experience in small scale businesses before their dislocation from the area such as selling eggs, vegetables  and small livestock.

They actively participated in the training. The training facilitators found them interactive during the training. They asked different relevant questions during the session and the facilitators answered their questions.

[Youth group Training]
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From this training, JEN aims to encourage the youths to start entrepreneurship as an income generating activity. In the current situation, the government is not able to accommodate the huge number of youths in jobs. On other hand, the private sector could not grow due to the long emergency situation in the area.  Although the private sector has started blooming, it will take time to develop.

In this way, they can earn more profit than from jobs as well as they can accommodate several unemployed youths with them. Entrepreneurship has huge potential in many of the untapped areas and sectors in the region.

JEN staff ensured the youths that they would guide them in every step of their entrepreneurship journey. JEN will conduct a refresher training in 2018 to strengthen their capacity.

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.
DONATE here

December 14, 2017 in Pakistan |

Eid ul-adha celebration in Afghanistan

The celebration of Eid ul-adha is one of the holiest celebrations in the Islamic religion. Meaning “feast of the sacrifice”, Eid ul-adha lasts for four days and dates of the holy celebration are determined each year by the Islamic lunar calendar.

Eid ul-adha is celebrated worldwide among Muslim communities. Eid ul- fiter and Eid ul-adha are the greatest celebrations in the Islamic religion that command such widespread worship and celebration. The Muslims celebrate Eid ul-adha for honors and willingness of prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son to show submission to Allah’s command.

Just when Ibrahim was about to kill his son upon Allah’s command, God put a sheep in his place. Muslims use Eid ul-adha to celebrate Ibrahim’s complete obedience to the will of God and this is a reminder of their own willingness to sacrifice anything to follow God.

The holy festival also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

People send Eid cards to each other at this time. Muslim people also dress in their best clothes and attend a prayer service at their mosque. Some Muslims sacrifice a cow, goat or sheep in honor of Eid ul-adha. They eat meat as their basic meal and divide the meat of their sacrifices between families, friends, and the poor people. Muslims also give money for charity on this occasion.

[People sacrificing a sheep for Eid ul-adha]
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[Families celebrating Eid ul-adha together]
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[Eid ul-adha table with dried fruits and various candies]
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【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.
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December 14, 2017 in Afghanistan |

12/07/2017

Final Workshop_Creating Hazard Map

It has been 8 years since the civil war was over in Sri Lanka. You can still see the impact of war especially in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka where the front line was located. For the past 5 years, JEN has been supporting the local people to rebuild their lives, and 2017 is the final year for these projects. The final project focuses on disaster prevention and mitigation in order to develop the local people’s knowledge of how to recover from a disaster by themselves.

JEN Sri Lanka Office held the final workshop. The workshop’s content is creating hazard map by each household of beneficiaries.

In the workshop, they reviewed the leaning from the last workshop which includes what kinds of disaster occur in Northern Province of Sri Lanka, checking the last time homework: where is the toilet, doors and evacuate roots in your house, and then introduced created Community Disaster Management Committee. After the review and introduction, all participants started creating the map.

Each participant confirmed his/her house in the village map, and then wrote participants’ houses, their neighbours’ houses, schools, religious buildings or any other public spaces, and shops. Moreover, they wrote down the wells, open channel and water reservoir tanks which might cause of disaster.

[Creating colourful map by participants]
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After creating the map, the resource person explained using the map, which roots should use the evacuation once disaster occurs; where you should evacuate your cattle and so on.

[The resource person explained importance of creation of hazard map and preparation by household level for disasters.]
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In the wrap-up time, randomly selected participants pointed their houses in the map and explained evacuation roots. In addition, some participants answered whose house they are, which JEN’s staff asked. All of them are correct! Villagers know their village well. The resource person emphasized repeatedly, “The government cannot response all disasters. The most efficient way to reduce disaster damages are preparation by villagers as well as helping out each other by villagers.

Through total 5 workshops, participants learned preparation for main disasters which related to direct impact on agriculture, such as drought and flood. Disasters are always around of us, and occur anytime and anywhere. We hope the participants, entire community and the government continue to make efforts to disaster prevention and disaster risk reduction.



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December 7, 2017 in Sri Lanka |