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Practical Arabic?

20061206_leban_jpf_distribution_bei Starting from December 1st, a large-scale demonstration to demand change of the government was held several times by the anti-government, pro-Syrian party.  The location where JEN has its office is very quiet, but in the downtown district where the Prime Minister’s office is located, a lot of people have put up tents and stayed there for a number of days seriously protesting against the government.

The local staff is teaching me Arabic, and in the vocabulary that he teaches me, words reflecting the current unstable political environment have been increasing, for example:

Al Muza-hara: protest action, demonstration
Qutir, Jaishu : lots of military people 

If I were to study Arabic using the standard textbook, I would not have had a chance to learn these words. 

This gives me a somewhat complicated feeling…Staff2

However, as of now, the demonstration has been proceeding in a peaceful way, and as I watch it on the TV, it even looks like people are only having a festival.

December 28, 2006 in Lebanon |


Img_0448_2 We would like to thank everybody for supporting our Eritrea project, which spanned over five years. We have reached our goal in the country, and are completing our missions here.

   With the eruption of the border dispute between neighbouring Ethiopia in 1998, many people fled as refugees to Sudan. Peace returned to Eritrea in 2000, and more than 200,000 refugees were able to return to their native country in the four years that followed.

JEN had been conducting support to encourage the independence of returnees since 2002. Most returnees settled in the Goluj along the Sudanese border, an area suited to agriculture thanks to its rich soil. The people were distributed land by the government, and were expected to become independent by producing food for themselves and their family.Gergef_poultry_4

However, due to losing their husbands to the war, or from separating with their Sudanese husbands and returning alone, there were many female heads of households. In order to support their independence, JEN supported the formation of two poultry associations and three tractor associations, as well as provided the respective equipment to each of the associations and conducted the necessary technique and association management trainings.


Goluj_tra_ii_discussing_on_the_future_pl   Currently, the poultry association has become independent through the income obtained from selling eggs, and association members are allotted money each month. The members of the tractor association are using the tractors not only to cultivate their fields, but are also lending them to non-members and thus are contributing to the benefit of the community as a whole. According to a survey JEN conducted this year, various problems unique to returnees have been solved, and they are now being able to lead lives at the same level as people who have been living there for decades. Therefore we concluded that we had reached our initial goal of supporting the independence of returnee female heads of households, and decided to withdraw from Eritrea.Goluj40_2

We give our sincere thanks to all who supported us through the project. We will withdraw from Eritrea, but are currently considering another country to support in order to continue our support to Africa. We ask you to continue your kind support for JEN’s Africa programs.

December 28, 2006 in Eritrea |

A Special Day

Local staff is making a sneeze. 

“Bless you!  Have you got a cold?” 

“Thanks, but I must not catch a cold – at least today!” 

“Something special today then?” 

“Eh well… my wedding anniversary,” he replied with a shy smile.


Photo_49 “A husband forgets such anniversaries while his wife is looking forward to – that always happens not only in a soap opera – still you are a perfect mate, lucky your wife!”  “Oh no, my PC helps.  Important anniversaries pop up automatically on my desktop a week before each – our wedding, our first date, and our engagement… quite a good number to input.”


Love grows after marriage – an Arabic saying that he strongly believes in.  He married one of his relatives.  Without having asked her out before, he directly asked her father for a permit to propose to her. 

He has been happy at home for ten years with his wife, her handmade cooking and their children.  Here is a sweet wedding, love, and happiness in Arabic style!

December 28, 2006 in Iraq |


Japanese Ambassador visited JEN’s Field in Lebanon

20061214_lebanon_jambassador_voisit01_1 On December, 14, His Excellency Mr. Yoshihisa Kuroda, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Embassy of Japan in Lebanon, visited JEN’s operational field in the southern part of the country.  The Ambassador was appointed in Lebanon only three weeks ago.  He arranged the visit upon his arrival in order to see emergency situations in the South.

JEN received the Ambassador at our field office in Marjayoun in the Southern-East Lebanon.  First, the staff briefed him about JEN’s operations in the village of Debbin.  In Debbin, JEN distributed sanitary goods and tools for construction in September and October.  In the meantime, JEN formed a tool management committee in the village so that local population could manage construction kits by themselves.  

Next, the ambassador visited Debbin to see around bomb-destroyed buildings and JEN’s activities to reconstruct livelihoods from debris.  He had a talk with local people and witnessed how people appreciated JEN’s contribution in the village.  The vice-president of the municipality expressed his gratitude to JEN’s operations.  In addition, members of the tool management committee said that the committee helped people collaborate tightly to reconstruct the village.20061214_lebanon_jambassador_voisit20

JEN would continue our projects of reconstruction in close cooperation with the Japanese Embassy.

December 21, 2006 in Lebanon |

After Two Years – a Victim’s Remembrance

Photo_52 Wasanti lost her husband and her house at the same time at the Boxing Day tsunami. She currently participates in JEN’s gardening projects. 

“Two years having passed since that day, few international relief agencies remain in my village of Hambantota now. I resettled in a new house with my family, but our life remains severe, as I am only a widow without any income… JEN’s gardening projects have helped me a lot both financially and psychologically. I hope more and more families participate in the projects as we do, which are very beneficial indeed.”

December 21, 2006 in Sri Lanka |


Our Support Activities started at a place near the border with Israel

20061206_leban_jpf_distribution_ait  On December 4th, with the support of the Japan Platform, the distribution of tools to remove debris started.  We were distributing the tools to villages in need of such tools based on our needs assessment targeting about one hundred villages and cities of the Southern part of Lebanon.

One of the villages where we distributed the tools was Aita Ech Chaab.  This was the city with the heaviest damage from the conflict.  The central village office was a small room in a prefab just like a barn, and there was a large tent outside the office.  Important village meetings were held in this prefab. 

While reconstruction efforts are currently underway at a rather accelerated pace in many Southern cities and villages, the village of Aita Ech Chaab continues to have a lot of debris and destruction.  JEN immediately established a tool committee consisting of key persons from leaders of the local community and local agricultural cooperatives.  After doing this, JEN distributes the tools to the Committee, and the local community is mainly in charge of managing tools.20061204_leban_jpf_distribution_q_3

It is expected that the central government will distribute cash for the restoration of housing to each family residing in local communities in the Southern part this weekend.  The local community leaders at Aita Ech Chaab expressed their gratitude to JEN that it was able to distribute the tools before people got cash for the housing restoration.

December 14, 2006 in Lebanon |

After Two Years – Christmas is coming

Photo_51 While Christmas is coming soon, another important day is approaching in the coastline of Sri Lanka – the 26 December, the memorial day of the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004. 

Instead of colourful Christmas illumination, people in the village of Hambantota silently decorate their houses with yellow leaves of coconuts as a sign of mourning for victims.

December 14, 2006 in Sri Lanka |


Snow Busters 2007

  Snow clearance volunteer and homestay in Niigata!

Let’s think about boosting the village economy.Snowbusters3_035_1


Jan 19(Fri), 2007 – Jan 21(Sun)     (2 days and 3 nights)

Jan 26(Fri), 2007 – Jan 28(Sun)     (2 days and 3 nights)

Feb 2(Fri), 2007 – Feb 4(Sun)     (2 days and 3 nights)

Feb 9(Fri), 2007 – Feb 11(Sun)     (2 days and 3 nights)

Feb 16(Fri), 2007 – Feb 18(Sun)     (2 days and 3 nights)

*The activities may be changed, according to the weather or other conditions. P1000653

*Please bear the cost of the traffic expenses to the field.

*You can participate by car. (Helping to drive the other participants is welcomed)

Accommodation: Homestay at houses in village of Iketani, Niigata

Maximum of 8 Participants /each

Participation Fee: 2 days and 3 nights (including 4 meals)/\6,000(First day, dinner will not be provided.)

What to bring: gloves (waterproof), long boots, outfit for cold weather (waterproof), towels, change of clothes, copy of insurance card.

Please ask if you need boots.

Deadline of applicationUntil spaces are filled.

     How to Apply:20062173_1


Download an application form and send it to us after filling it out. (FAX, mail, e-mail are available)

     Spaces may have been filled. Please call us before you send an application.


We will then inform you where to make your payment.


After we confirm your payment, your application is determined.

     Meeting Time19:30 of each start date (Friday)

We will wait for Hokuhoku Line arrive at 19:25 (from Echigo-yuzawa to Naoetsu)

If you are late, please contact us.

You can see the time table of Hokuhoku Line  http://www.hokuhoku.co.jp

     Breakup Time12:00 of each end date (Sunday)

The times may be changed. We offer courtesy car to Tokamachi station.

Meeting Place/Breakup PlaceTokamachi city, Hokuhoku Line, Tokamachi Stations West Gate. (Hokuhoku Lines west exit, JR Lines east exit)

*If traveling by car, please park in the parking place of west or east exit and come to the Hokuhoku Lines Gate.

*We are also seeking experienced volunteer registrations in snow clearance for urgent heavy snow. Please let us know if you are interested.


JEN Tokyo, Kakizawa

TEL:03-5225-9352  FAX:03-5225-9357  E-mail:info@jen-npo.org

*Niigata project is operated by Niigata cooperation of Tokamachi-shi regional development executive committee.

December 11, 2006 in NiigataVolunteer Infomarion |


Three pillars

060915jpf3_hygiene_kit_01  In Haberi, only 23% of schools have sanitary accommodations available and only 28% can provide clean and safe water to drink for children.

Shortage of these may cause the spread of diseases like cholera or Delhi belly among the children. And even if schools have these facilitates, if the children do not know how to use them, sanitary conditions would not be improved.060915jpf3_hygiene_kit_02

JEN had Three pillars: temporary lavatory, water supply system, health education, assortment of hard version and soft version activities. We will provide safe and clean education environment for 13,000 children through these activities.

December 7, 2006 in Pakistan |

Reconstruction in the South

Taibe3 Four months having passed since the cease-fire, reconstruction is moving ahead at a fast pace in the South of Lebanon. Still, the war scared towns and cities all over the region – thousands of bullet marks on walls, half destroyed buildings, as well as a bridge exposing its skeleton – in consequence of previous bombing campaigns.

In such war-torn situations JEN is visiting cities and villages to explore needs of populations. However, it takes extra efforts to get to areas to which access is hindered because of slow progress toward removal of duds and reconstruction of roads. When we visited a marginalized village, even a main road to the municipal hall was blocked under dud-removing operations. A detour was stopped as well for pavement construction. We necessarily asked workers to suspend construction for a while on our way to and from the municipality. Upon our arrival to the hall, the leader warmly welcomed us as any other international aid agencies has not come to his village. 20061204_leban_jpf_distribution_khiam2_2 

JEN would continue efforts to render assistance to such marginalized villages in the South of Lebanon.

December 7, 2006 in Lebanon |

Before After

We are repairing three primary schools and one junior high school in Baghdad. After the repayment has finished, schools become amazingly beautiful as if it was reborn, bathroom especially.Photo_14

In Iraq, water line and sewage treatment equipment has been destructed and some schools do not have bathrooms available. Muslim has a passion for cleanliness; they have to pray with their body clean. It must be hard for them to co-op with dirty bathrooms.

One of the schools JEN had recovered, bathrooms for teachers had been destructed because of war, therefore teachers had to go to the neighbours to use bathroom and felt inconvenient. Some girls were reluctant to go to school because of dirty bathrooms. When JEN recover these bathrooms, we use tile that easy to clean up.

Our desire is make children can concentrate on study without quibbling.Photo_15

December 7, 2006 in Iraq |