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Heavily Viewed Billboards, Part 1: Job Advertising Information

Jpf200705_3 A few days ago I have arrived in Sudan, and the search for new staff began. 

In Japan, we would normally inform applicants of this via phone, mail or Internet.  However, exchanging information in Southern Sudan, which lacks regular telephone and Internet services, is quite, in fact almost, 180 degrees different.

The billboard in front of the UN Office is the most popular, and therefore it will be used.  The process begins by placing a job advertisement on this billboard.  Those searching for jobs come by everyday to check the advertisements. 

When they find an advertisement they like, they tear off a strip of the ad containing the job information and return home.  So, we keep making and posting new ads on the billboard.

Once the selection of applicants has been completed the most suitable candidates are called in for an interview.  Again, to do this, we will inform the candidates who are to be interviewed via a notice on the billboard advising of the interview date and time. 

Using this process the candidates will come in for an interview as per the notice.  The billboard is extremely valuable in that it allows us to communicate effectively with people.

May 31, 2007 in South Sudan |

A Food Story

Shiensokuho_food_1_kahuta_office_haveli__1 When talking about Pakistani food many Japanese people tend to think of curry. However, since there are several ethnic groups in Pakistan, food varies from region to region.  For example in the North Western region, where the Pashtun (Pathan) group live, the food is not spicy and includes stewed mutton and tomato.  Whereas in the South Eastern region, where the Punjab people live, the food has plenty of spices and is very hot, like Kema curry well known by Japanese people.

Here in Havaili where Jen’s office is (Kashmir State - Bagh Province), the food is mainly spicy, similar to Punjab food. However, unlike the menu you see at restaurants, beans and taro potatoes are the main ingredient because people do not really eat meat here.Shiensokuho_food_2_renkri_pain_degwar_ha_1

For Muslim people, serving a meal to their guests is a matter of great importance. When working in the field, local people sometimes serve us food. When we are very busy we try to refuse their invitation by saying, “I really appreciate it but I must get going to the next place….” to which they reply “never mind, come!”, so we are forced to give in to their invitation! This is just another demonstration of their warm hospitality.

May 31, 2007 in Pakistan |


Home sweet home... but...

It is three years since Badwan, a Jordanian staff member, started working at JEN’s office in Amman. As he had previously worked as concierge at a high-class hotel, he is very considerate of and communicates well with people. As well as this, you can often see his sentimental side. For instance, when we reminisced about the international staff that used to work together in the office, he was moved to tears. In both of these ways, he is valuable for JEN. 419_1

He has a good wife who likes cooking and they have six children meaning he leads a full and happy daily life. However, when he talks about his home, Palestine, which he strongly longs to return to, his face is clouded. It will be a long time before this dream comes true.

Badwan says that he is happy to work as one of the members of JEN to support people, who are in vulnerable situations. In our small office in Amman, we work hard to try and contribute to developing the conditions of education in Iraq, with the co-operation of field staff like Badwan.

May 25, 2007 in Iraq |


How children play.

524_1 Let’s have a look at how children play while they are at school.

Boys are big fans of playing soccer. There are lots of soccer fans in Iraq, and the Japanese animation “Captain Tsubasa” is a big hit. The story’s hero is Tsubasa, whose name translates into Majid in Arabic.

What girls enjoy the most is skipping. Playing tag and hide-and-seek are really enjoyed by both boys and girls.

There are other fun games that seem popular, such as “stand and sit” which is played in the classroom among all students. Similar to the Japanese “hata-age” (raising the banner) game - raise red, raise white, don’t raise white! - the teacher calls out “stand, sit, or don’t sit!” and doing the actions determines the winner.

We asked our field staff members about how Iraqi children play, and they feel that the children spend all their free time just as Japanese children do.

Safety inside schools is barely maintained, but with the security situation worsening and upsetting the children, this might be the only place where they can enjoy themselves.

May 24, 2007 in Iraq |


What I see at JEN's office...

I come to the JEN office as a volunteer twice a week to help produce the English version of the website. Doing this I have come to learn and understand the work of JEN in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigata and The Sudan. Watching the team members prepare to leave and begin a project in The Sudan left a big impression; the support and team effort of the entire office were evident and it made me realise just how important teamwork can be. I, along with the rest of the office, wished them all the best as they set off with rucksacks containing all they had to survive with over the next few months.

I observed the same mutual efforts and support as the JEN office busied itself to organise the stall for the recent Earth Day held in Tokyo. Collecting books for "Book Magic!", advertising and organising the volunteers were big jobs, moving the equipment and setting up the stall just as important! Teamwork was obvious again and I saw all members of the office participating in one way or another.P1040591emily_2 

Everyone has a smile and a greeting as I enter the JEN office, no matter how busy they are, it is because of this that I really enjoy coming here and being part of their team!  - Emily P

May 10, 2007 in Volunteer Infomarion |


Coexisting with Wild Animals

Photo_78 The resettlement area where JEN is currently operating to support the tsunami victims has been made by clearing an area from the jungle. One issue that concerns the beneficiaries of the vegetable garden project is that water buffaloes, monkeys and elephants often eat all the vegetables and fruit.

It is not unusual to come across 3 meter long snakes or huge 1 meter long lizards from the nearby natural wildlife park. Also monkeys frequently take the fruits from the trees in the garden of JEN’s Hambantota office, and wild elephants are often spotted foraging for food at the garbage dump near the resettlement neighborhood.

However, if we think about it, we realize that the land taken for the resettlement works was once

these animals’ natural habitat, and thus they are also tsunami victims. That people are dying from

elephant attacks is a serious problem, but it is important that we consider good ways for humans

and animals to coexist.

May 3, 2007 in Sri Lanka |