04/23/2015

Rara festival

JEN participated Rara festival in Leogane, and promoted hand washing activity. 

Rara festival is the second biggest religious and cultural event in Haiti, followed by carnival, and held it every region. It is not a day event but it takes place through lent. Musicians play drums, trumpets, bamboo horns and dancing with a member of group. It can be seen small parades throughout every city. Leogane is the best known for its Rara in Haiti, it had a big festival on 5th April this year.

【Parade of Rara festival in the center of Leogane】
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【Woman dancer in the parade】
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Parade started from 6:00 evening and run until the next morning. Even though most people left the event because there was a heavy rain at midnight, many visitors crowded around the main street around 8:00 at night, and enjoyed seeing performance.

Our theme this time was “Rara is my culture, treated water + washing hand is my health”. JEN rented a stand and conducted hand washing promotion activities. We shared importance of hand washing with visitors and provided quiz regarding water and sanitation for children. When the answer was correct, we presented water purification tablets. In addition, we gave an opportunity to practice hand washing by using hand soap. Our keyword of participation in RARA festival was Haitian culture, water and sanitation. For JEN, it was great time since we interacted with many people and shared importance of water and sanitation.

【JEN’s banner 「Rara is my culture, treated water + washing hand is my health」】
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【JEN staff supports a child to wash her hands】
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【JEN staff who participated in hygiene promotion activity】
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April 23, 2015 in Haiti |

Bannu city and IDP’s absorbing pattern in the area

Bannu city is the headquarter of Bannu Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Bannu is an oldest city founded in ancient times. However the foundation of the present Bannu was placed by Lieutenant Herbert Edwardes in 1848. Due to its geographical location and proximity to Afghanistan Bannu was once a British military base used for action against Afghan border tribes. Bannu has borders with east of Khost province of Afghanistan, 35 km east of North and South Waziristan, 127 km south of Kohat and 143 km north of Dera Ismail Khan.

[Ancient wall of the city]
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The inhabitants of Bannu are called “Bannuchi” and they speak a specific dialect of Pashtu language however other languages like Urdu, Saraiki and Punjabi are also spoken and understood by the locals. The population of Bannu is mostly Pashtuns. The Bannuchi tribe dominates the city and other main tribes are Wazir, Mehsud, Dawar, Marwat and some Bangash. The people of Bannu due to extreme love with their city term Bannu as BanniGul (Beautiful as flower).

Due to its closeness to the NWA a large number of IDPs migrated to Bannu after start of the operation of the law enforcement agencies of Pakistan against the armed militants since June 2014. About one million people fled NWA and reached different parts in KP province. About .8 million people settled in Bannu with host community, in rented houses and in the tent villages. With influx of such a large number of people the population of Bannu has become almost double to its original size which has adversely affected the whole district. IDPs in the area are compelled to live in a state of deprivation in different parts of the city.

Agro-ecologically Bannu can be divided in two different parts. One part is comprised of agriculture lands with plenty of water and good irrigation system and the other part consist of deserts and barren lands with some vegetation which is mostly dependent on rains for production.
The IDPs are also distributed according to the above said pattern of agro-ecological conditions i.e. those IDPs that have large number of livestock settled in the arid portion because they free their livestock in the morning in these barren lands with fewer vegetation where they feed for the whole day and come back at the evening to their homes. The owners of the lands do not prevent the IDPs from grazing their livestock in the fields because their land is not productive.

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Those who have small number of livestock are settled in the irrigated part of the Bannu. These IDPs do not free their animals rather they keep them in their houses and stall feed their livestock at homes because the local people in irrigated portion forbids IDPs from freeing their animals because there remains the risk that the animals may harm the crops of the local.

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April 23, 2015 in Pakistan |

Continue work being a mother

Mothers will understand well my article.

When I was leaving for my maternity leaves I decided that I will join office after 3 months.
That time I was not conscious of feelings being a mother.
I left office on 28th of November in my 37 weeks of pregnancy and I gave birth after 3 weeks on 15th of December. I came back to work at the end of March, just 3 months after my delivery.
After time passing the affection gets closer and closer, and at the time you can’t live without your baby.

The time comes to join the office and my 1st day was so disturbed.
I cried in the office washroom as much as I missed my baby. But beside of missing my baby I started work. I wasn’t able to sit on the desk because I want to become busy and avoid thinking about baby.
I received a duty from my supervisor to search a file in the cupboards of office and stock room.
I get busy with that but my eye was on the clock that when I will see my baby.

My colleagues are so supportive they permit me to visit my baby and feed her.
When I reach to see her she was sleeping and I came to know that she slept to missing me and cried a lot. The time was so hard I wept too and come back to my work. But still I want to continue my work as I wanted to be a part of my esteem organization, to be a professional lady beside of housewife.

I couldn’t eat well, I couldn’t sleep well, and I couldn’t concentrate well at my work. I resolute to give up and stay with my baby, it was difficult time and to carry on wasn’t feasible any more.

But somehow the second day was a bit change from the 1st one, the 3rd day was then change from the 2nd day and slowly I get better once decided that I can see my baby 2, 3 times during my work.

This is very difficult to work for 8, 9 hours then go home and to begin with your schedule in your home with taking care of baby as well.
And this is so funny then you are waiting for night hours to get rest and your baby is asking for milk 

Some time I feel that I am going to be crazy, but still the feelings are so strange I feel happy to become a mother and also to continue my work.
If I can handle this then I think every lady can manage. There are many working ladies who spend life like me to do job with babies.
My office, my colleagues give confidence to me, support me and my feelings.

I wish all sectors become cooperative with mothers.

Humaira Wahab
Administrative and HR Assistant

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April 23, 2015 in Afghanistan |

04/16/2015

Handing over ceremony

We could complete our project at Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi District in north funded by Japan government on 21st March with 3 weeks extension.
At the end of the project, we hold handing-over ceremonies to officially hand over the provided items. This ceremony is one of the turning points of “self-supporting livelihood” as JEN’s concept.

This ceremony is prepared and managed by beneficiaries independently. So the ceremony has deferent colors depended on the project sites.

[Ceremony Kilinochchi]
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The method is traditional based on Tamil, it seems this is affected by Hindu. For example, lighting candles by guest, decoration of venue, painting a red point on forehead, etc.

[Dance]
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From 22nd March, we start a new project in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi District funded by Japan government again.

Administration and Finance Officer: Tomoo Nasuda



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April 16, 2015 in Sri Lanka |

Volunteers Mix with Locals in Disaster-stricken Areas

JEN has been involved in wide range of activities including helping victims make a living and restore their communities since right after the disaster in the Oshika Peninsula, the city of Ishinomaki. Its activities to restore communities have been conducted mainly in the Ohara district located in the middle of the peninsula.

Two thirds of the people in the district were left homeless by the tsunami, forced to live in shelters. With another third of them escaped getting their houses destroyed, the difference in living conditions once drove the two sides even too further. The united efforts together by the people to resume their traditional festival, however, were able to lead to overcome the difference, the people working to settle in a higher ground together.

【Volunteers and locals rallied before the Ohara Community Center】
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On March 29, about forty people from the district and volunteers from outside participated in housecleaning the Ohara Community Center and other facilities. The center was affected by the tsunami but restored by the help of the volunteers across the country, and has been provided free of charge for volunteers in the peninsula where no accommodations were available after the disaster. The local authorities have planned to demolish it at any time in point, but it’s still a vital space for the community to maintain connections among people because no new alternate spaces haven’t been built.

【Bedding and tatamis were aired out.】
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The participants are divide in to three groups to share the cleaning work; the Ohara Community Center, a conversation lounge attached to temporary quarters, and other places including a park, a small library, and a bus station.

The first group was assigned to the Ohara Community Center and gave a thorough cleaning even to places that are usually neglected, airing out tatamis and bedding, cleaning overhead lights and swabbing floors, wiping windows and screens. So the center looked so good that the locals hardly recognized it, one of them saying “Did we have this bright a room?”

【They cleaned rooms from ceilings to floors.】
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The second group worked on fixing fences and then getting walls and playground equipment painted, the third cleaning air conditioners, fans and windows. After completing their assignment, the second and third group started preparing to serve “Okuzukake”, an Ishinomaki’s specialty dressed in a sauce made from arrowroot starch, for lunch with help from women taking shelters in temporary quarters.

【They prepared lunch at a conversation lounge.】
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The volunteers and the locals had cheerful chatting over lunch, enjoying eating rice balls, “Okuzukake”, and marinated wakame seaweed. One of the volunteers expressed his/her impression saying “Having contact with you, I’ve realize it’s because you have the mentality to cherish a spirit of mutual assistance that you can be positive even in tough living conditions.” A word of thanks from the locals was that, thanks to help from volunteers, they have been able to face difficulties after the disaster, and they are very happy to see the volunteers again this time. The day’s activity was over after the participants shaking hands each other. The locals said “Come visit us again!”

【The volunteers said good-by to the locals with a handshake.】
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JEN is committed to continuing help people live a forward-looking life.

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April 16, 2015 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Tragedy of Halabja

In March and April, there are many anniversaries in Kurdistan. One of its anniversaries, 16th March, is Halabja chemical attack.

On the day in 1988, over 5,000 people were killed by chemical weapon in Halabja located in South east of Kurdistan.

Since then, even now 15 years after tragedy, people have lined up in the road and taken a moment of silence at 11am on 16th March. During the moment of silence, even cars stop and just sirens wail.

People in Kurdistan know much about atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which is considered as the same tragedy as Halabja. When I lined up, I was asked whether Japanese people take a moment of silence on the day of atomic bombings.

Except for in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and schools, it doesn’t seem that there are many people praying. Around 70 years have passed since the end of war. War or atomic bombings seem like a long time ago for us.

On the other hand, after Halabja chemical attack and even now, people in Kurdistan have been suffering a lot. They would keep praying on the date of Halabja chemical attack which epitomizes the hardship which they have experienced.

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April 16, 2015 in Iraq |

04/09/2015

Post Distribution Monitoring for the Voucher Distribution Project

As JEN’s winterization item voucher distribution project came to a completion, JEN’s staff conducted a post-distribution monitoring survey targeting 93 families out of the 293 families who received the vouchers. Post-distribution monitoring allows JEN to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the project and sheds light to the impact of the assistance. This was particularly important to JEN, as this voucher distribution was the first time JEN participated in cash assistance projects.

Overall, the reception by the IDPs for the voucher project was very positive. All 293 families who received the vouchers used all of their voucher amount. The most popular items were blankets, kerosene and winter clothes. Some families bought multiple heaters to keep their homes warm. Most of the families went shopping 1-3 days after they received the vouchers from JEN in the middle of February. All 93 families interviewed said that the items selected and the timing for the voucher project was appropriate.

Talking about the items, 89% of the families asked aid that the quality of the items was good, but over 50% of the respondents reported that the price of items were a little too high for the amount of vouchers received.

Finally, 22% reported that the assistance helped them significantly and 77% reported that the assistance helped moderately. As a result of the winterization assistance, 88% of the families were able to stay warmer and 76% of the families reported that their health conditions improved.

From the vendors’ perspectives, they were happy that the voucher assistance projects increased the number of IDPs visiting the store and they would participated.


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April 9, 2015 in Iraq |

World Water Day event

Does everyone know ‘World Water Day’?
It is a day to think about importance of water resource with global population. ‘World Water Day’ is marked on 22 March every year. In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March as ‘World Water Day’.

At the moment, JEN Haiti engages in water and sanitation project. We took advantage of this opportunity, and hold an event concerning water and sanitation in 2 areas on 23rd March.

In the event, we conducted hygiene practice such as fetching water in a hygienically better way, protection of water, treatment of water by using water purification tablets. We also interacted with local population through musical chairs, question and answer regarding water and sanitation. Many people from adults to children participated in the event. It was a good time as we enjoyed, danced and learned.

【Hygiene promoter explains how to treat water by using water purification tablets】
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【Inhabitants enjoy musical chairs】
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Haiti is said a country that has majority of cholera patients in the world. As main reasons, it is considered that limited people have access to clean water and appropriate sanitation facilities (*1). Moreover, hygiene promotion is necessary to continue constantly because it has been seen that people do not often take an action, even though they have correct hygiene knowledge. 

JEN supports to be able to maintain public water facilities in the long term by local committees. We also conduct distribution of hygiene knowledge by hygiene promoters. Through this event, we continue to support the activities so that more people can get a better understanding of importance of water, and they practice for it. 

【People practice hand washing】
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【Participant answers the question】
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(*1) United Nations Support Plan for the elimination of the transmission of cholera in Haiti 2014-2015 (United Nations in Haiti, 2014).




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April 9, 2015 in Haiti |

Current situation of Flood Affected People in Punjab

At the end of March, JEN team visited Muzaffargarh, a district in southern Punjab to carry out post distribution monitoring. JEN had implemented an emergency non-food items distribution project there for flood affected people in December, 2014. It was satisfactory to note that project beneficiaries were utilizing non-food items provided by JEN.

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The positive aspect of the target area was that wheat crop was ready for cultivation. The beneficiaries were happy and they were hoping to fully produce the wheat crop as it provides bread to them until next season. They had sowed it last year in very difficult conditions when floods severely damaged their houses and standing crop of paddy. The beneficiaries were enjoying the spring weather and they were playing some local games with zeal such as “Bull Race”. 

JEN team however noted some negative aspects of the beneficiaries’ lives. The most significant was their low progress in terms of early recovery in houses reconstruction and the looming risk of another flood due to heavy late winter rains. Pakistan stands in the list of countries which are being/will be affected mostly by Climate Change. The beneficiaries were still reconstructing their houses mostly by their own resources and their progress was considerably slow.

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The history of floods in Pakistan in recent years is very scary where floods continuously damaged human lives, livestock, standing crops, infrastructure and public properties in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
It is now time for the government and humanitarian community to think out of the box and just not respond to the crisis but rather design a longer term development plans in Disaster Management. It will help reduce the risks of people being affected by floods every year and will ensure an active anticipated humanitarian response.




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April 9, 2015 in Pakistan |

Improving the Parwan 100 beds Hospital by providing equipments

Mostly people in Parwan have economically difficulty and cannot afford to bear the expenses of the private clinics. Most of the people try to go to the government hospital for their health problems. Due to lack of proper funds and over crowdedness, the Parwan main hospital faces difficulties to accommodate all the patients especially children. Most of the patients from all over the Parwan province came to Parwan 100 beds hospital for the treatment. As children are more susceptible to the diseases so JEN focused more on child patients. In 2014 JEN facilitates the hospital by providing 10 children beds to the hospital by the support of KIWANIS fund. Apart from that JEN provided family planning training to the selected 15 midwives.

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By providing more beds, patients can now avoid bed sharing which helped in prevention of diseases transmission between the patients. Eventually it helped in reducing the child mortality ratio and improvement in mother health in the province.

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But still there is a need for further support to the hospital especially the children ward. This time JEN decided to provide 20 children beds and 27 chairs to the hospital by the support of Felissimo earth village fund. Beds will be provided to the children ward to facilitate child patients while chairs will be provided for the persons who are attending these child patients. Apart from that an 11 days training on IMCI (Integrated Management of Child Illness) will be provided to the 24 doctors from all districts of Parwan province regarding the issues of child patients which will help in reducing the child mortality ratio.

JEN is committed to bring the positive changes in the lives of the local people of Parwan province. All of the efforts show that it will bring improvement in the health condition of the community. By providing these facilities to the Parwan 100 beds hospital, the hospital can accommodate more patients in a better way.

Hanief Khan,
Senior Programme Assistant,
JEN Afghanistan Programme.


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April 9, 2015 in Afghanistan |