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08/31/2006

Past through the Mountains...

    More than 6 months have passed since the mighty earthquake hit. Mohammed (male, 56 yrs old), a victim of the disaster, told us what it was like when the quake first struck.1_12

    "I was taking a bath at the time the earthquake hit, it was a little before 9 in the morning. The ground suddenly shook, and I scrambled out of the bath through the bathroom window.

    After making sure each family member was safe, I rushed to school where my children were. But since we have many children, enrolled in different schools-boys/girls schools, elementary school/junior high-I decided to start by looking for my youngest son, and hurried my way up the mountainous paths.

    Although some had minor injuries, all my children were safe. I believe it was Allah that saved us."

August 31, 2006 in Pakistan |

08/24/2006

The 249 Classroom Tents

  12_2  On the 30th of April, we held a small party with the local staff to celebrate the successful completion of our mission in Bagh.

    From January to the end of April, we assessed the damage of 198 schools, and put up 249 school tents. It felt as though those 4 months came and went with the wind.

    The harsh weather of the winter, heavy snowfall, rain, hail, landslides occurring from melted snow, fear of rock falls, and last but not the least, the precipitous mountain paths...The "198 schools, 249 tents" is a milestone achieved against the severe weather by all of the JEN staff. It was not an easy path.

    The laughter of the children whom returned to school, the villagers' broad smiles and words of appreciation-nothing can be a better reward for us.

August 24, 2006 in Pakistan |

Blackout

    The biggest problem in Baghdad today, is electricity.2_18

    Electricity often goes off for long spans of time during the hot of the day; just as you think it has been on for 2 hours, it is followed by a sudden 4 hour blackout. Many houses have generators of their own, and those who don't rent them from others, usually paying them worth 7 hours of electricity per day.

    The current temperatures in Baghdad hover around 45 degrees, but in August, the hottest month of the year, they hit as high as 60. Needless to say, an air conditioner-or fan at the very least-is absolutely necessary to get by. Most households within Baghdad have one or the other of the two, but during blackouts they have no choice but to rely on generators.

    The sweltering summer is approaching, yet again.

August 24, 2006 in Iraq |

Vegetable Growing and Nutritional Improvement Program

1_25    In April, with the kind support of Ajinomoto Co., Inc., we began a nutritional improvement program through vegetable growing. This program targets female tsunami survivors who lost their houses and consequently moved to cultivated land further inland called "resettling areas."

    The project not only involves guidance to vegetable growing utilizing environmentally friendly organic farming techniques, but also social workers as well. They provide nutritional guidance and counseling; healing the victims' broken hearts whilst improving their nutritional situations. It has proved to be a great success among the participants, as they are able to acquire not only new agricultural methods, but also accurate knowledge about nutrition at the same time.

     "I lost my parents, and 2 children to the tsunami. I used to love gardening, but after the tsunami ripped through my house and ravaged my garden, I was devastated and could not bring myself to do it anymore. After moving to this new place, and through participating in this program, I became able to grow okra and beans in what used to be an empty garden. The program has helped me a lot. Now I look forward to meeting my friends in the nutrition class. I learn a lot of new things everyday; for example, what kinds of foods I should eat if I want to prevent illnesses-it is all very enjoyable."
-Nasreena (33 years old)

August 24, 2006 in Sri Lanka |

Tractor Unloading

1_17   On the 4th of May, a day in the midst of 'Golden Week' for Japan, JEN tractors arrived in the Eritrean village of Goluj. The 2 tractors were loaded upon a truck, and made their way to Goluj over a 2-day, 450-km, 2000m-altitude trip. 2_8

    As if to answer the question that had just popped up in my mind-"So they've made it to the village, but how are they planning to unload those tractors?"-the truck made its way towards a dried up river by the village edge. This river at best is slightly damp during the wet season, and thus in the dry season, is completely dried up. When reversing the truck into the 'river'...bingo!

3_1   The deck was exactly the same height as the riverbeds. Quite a remarkable feat, don't you think?

August 24, 2006 in Eritrea |

Initiation of emergency assistance for Lebanon

123_6     JEN will send thee staff to begin emergency assistance for refugees and Internally Displaced Persons caused by the conflict between Lebanon and Israel since July 12.

    Four weeks having passed since the outbreak of the conflict, and it is estimated that the number of domestic refugees in Lebanon are about one million and that of refugees escaped overseas are about 220,000. There are too many refugees to support in Lebanon, so those who don't have relatives can rely on are forced to live under harsh conditions.

    One staff will have for Lebanon on August 10 followed by two more on August 11. They are planning to distribute emergency aid supplies such as sanitary goods in Mont-Liban in the mountainous area north of Lebanon. Although many people escaped, there are not enough organizations that provide humanitarian assistance. There are many refugees in Mont-Liban, therefore, they are in need of various types of aid such as food and housing.

    JEN is also considering commencing assistance activities in Syria, where it is said to that 200,000 refugees have flowed in Syria the beginning of the conflict. There is possibility that support areas and contents change depending on the local situation.

Dispatched staffs
Cyril Cappai (Chief of foreign division, from France)
Toshihiro Yuasa (Program officer, from Hokkaido)
Olivier De La Motte Saint Pierre (Program officer, from France)

    JEN is collecting fund-raise for the emergency assistance. Please contribute to help the refugees. Thank you for your cooperation.

Account number: 00170-2-538657  Account holder's name: JEN
Please write "Lebanon" on the space for correspondence
If you are considering of a contribution through Japan Net Bank, click ⇒ here

August 24, 2006 in Lebanon |

08/21/2006

Delicious Rice, Delivered to Your Doorstep!

Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction & Village Development SupportPhoto_2
The Chance to have Iketani & Iriyama grown Koshihikari Rice

Koshihikari rice grown with much care and attention, using springwater from the hills of Iketani & Iriyama. We will deliver them, freshly milled, right to your doorstep.

■Price
Yearly Contract: Monthly delivery between 2006.10~2007.9 (total 12 times)
3kg x 12 months = 36kg (Yearly Contract Amount: 31,000 yen including shipping)
5kg x 12 months = 60kg (Yearly Contract Amount: 45,300 yen including shipping)

Non-Contract Purchases
3kg (2600 yen including shipping)
5kg (3800 yen including shipping)

The shipping costs shown above covers the South Tohoku, Kanto, Shinetsu, Hokuriku, and Chubu areas.
The below areas will be charged an additional fee as follows:
Hokkaido: 545 yen, North Tohoku (Aomori, Iwate & Akita): 105 yen,
Kansai: 105 yen, Chugoku: 210 yen, Shikoku: 435 yen, Kyushu: 545 yen, Okinawa: 1,045 yen.

For further information concerning costs, please download OkomePrice.pdf

■Subscription

Please download the application form from 「Moshikomi.pdf」をダウンロード , and fax it to the below number after filling it out. We will then inform you where to make your payment. Payment is required in advance. We will consider the contract complete once we have confirmed the payment. Please be aware that due to limited supply, there may be shortage of stock.

■Inquiries
Niigata Prefecture Tokamachi Regional Development Committee (Ito)
FAX: 025-759-2558
TEL: 080-6608-2558(Japanese only)
Hours: 10:00~18:00 (Accessible on Weekends and Holidays)

August 21, 2006 in Niigata |

08/17/2006

Landslide

Pakistanstaff0607272 The rainy season has set in.  Heavy rains have been hitting everyday over the JEN’s Field Office in the Province of Bagh.  The rainfalls bring frequent landslides and hinder access to mountainous areas.  JEN’s staff removed together with local people a large mass of soil that had blocked roads to our operational field.

 

To see the situation, the staff took a five-hours drive to an isolated camp of victims of last earthquake.  A landslide deprived twelve lives including children in the camp.  Witness says that a huge flood of earth erupted and swallowed the camp violently.  Rocks and earth avalanched in the village as high as more than one-meter.  Facing the rage of the nature, the staff could do nothing but pray for the souls of the dead.  Pakistanfield_car060727

August 17, 2006 in Pakistan |

Cheer from Villages

2_32 JEN organized a study tour for the second time to our operational field in Sri Lanka.  We received eighteen people: participants doubled compared to the previous tour last year.  Victims of the tsunami survived the emergency period and have silently made a first step towards reconstruction of their normal life.

A village of Hambantota expressed a warm welcome by special ornaments of vivid flowers and leaves and fantastic smile of children.  Participants then visited a village of Siribopura.  The village is a resettlement area where victims of the tsunami have just started their new livelihoods leaving from temporary shelters. 

Participants planted bananas and mangoes together with local people.  After having a good sweat in the farmland, village women kindly invited to teatime with handmade sweets to chat over their lives after the tsunami.Photo_48

A village woman smiled: “It is a great pleasure for me to participate in JEN’s gardening projects.  I enjoy cooperating with village people.  Now I restarted my life, yet economically still difficult.  International aids disappeared as time goes by after the tsunami, one year and eight months have passed.  Still, JEN stays with us – I am happy to see our garden to grow.”  A participant added: “I came to encourage victims, but their smile cheered me up indeed.  My experience with people in Sri Lanka will stay in my mind.  I would come back to see fruit of bananas and mangoes that we planted together.”

August 17, 2006 in Sri Lanka |

08/03/2006

Seasonal Foods

1_18   The markets in Pakistan are overflowing with all kinds of in-season vegetables and fruits. Cucumbers, okra, melons, and watermelons can all be bought at reasonable prices.2_9

    Freshwater fish that local children caught in hope of extra pocket money, can also be seen as a "summer food" in the markets.

    In Bagh, where our projects are ongoing, we enjoy such fresh foods as noted above-all curry flavored. Even sweetfish, which in Japan would be broiled with salt, then have some lemon and soy sauce sprinkled over it, in Pakistan they are simply fried-curry flavored.

    The spice and oiliness are, at times, a little too much for the Japanese stomach, but it is such foods that help us survive the 50℃ heat.

August 3, 2006 in Pakistan |