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09/30/2007

School construction work started!

Photo_3 JEN started construction work of the Cobra School and Chubakhshi Rabat School in August.  We also made a construction ceremony when we started foundation construction work for Chubakhashi Rabat School. 

The ceremony turned up to be a big event attended by people from local government, TV broadcasters from the Parwan state, school related personals, and moreover by almost all the people for the community!

Your image of the school may be different from the ones we are building.  Over 500 students were studying under the heat and packed at a leased half-broken earth-made house from the foundation of the school in 2006.Photo_5  

The construction of the school, therefore, is a big event for the community with enormous joys and expectations. We learned that form the smiles of children we met which lead more efforts and ties to staffs of JEN and school administrative committee.

September 30, 2007 in Afghanistan |

09/27/2007

Completion of the Livelihood Support Project for Tsunami Affected People

We completed the project for supporting tsunami affected people in Southern Hanbamtota on September 22. We started supporting the people to recover their lives with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from last October.

With this project, we provided vocational training; children activities and physical counseling at 13 different resettlement places.  We remember joyful and unique people, such as those who voluntarily organized people and those who showed us their appreciation.

JEN provided social workers, instructors and counselors to one resettlement place over the last 2 months, and we were able to build up trustful relations with local people. Although local people came from different villages in some places, gradually we could experience people pulling together, connected through the project.

The survey after the vocational training recorded that the people have been receiving good harvests or earning money through making fishing nets by using the new knowledge and techniques learned from the project.

With the completion of the project, we have concluded the contract with local staff that engaged in this project for more than 2 years. We very much appreciate their contribution knowing that we could not achieve such a success without them, and we wish them continuous success in the next association.

Thank you very much to all of you for your long support.

September 27, 2007 in Sri Lanka |

The Economy of Juba: Part 2

Last week, we reported that the majority of goods in Juba are imported from Uganda, which has its border with Sudan in the south.   Because of this, the prices of goods go up as we go from South to North.

Our project location, Lainya, is located south of Juba, and Terekeka, is located north of Juba.  Therefore, the prices of goods go up in the order of Lainya, Juba, and Terekeka.  For instance, the price of a bottle of Coke will cost two Sudan Ponds (SP) at Lainya, while three at Juba and four at Terekeka. 

However, there are some exceptions such as sheep and goats.

Since people at Terekeka earn their livelihood by nomadic herding, there are ample sheep and goats in the place.  Therefore, sheep and goats can be bought at around 60SP in Terekeka, but in Juba, these cost 100SP on average at Juba.

September 27, 2007 in South Sudan |

09/20/2007

Autumn Appetites - Apples -

Photo_2  Summer temperatures of over 40℃ are finally over and autumn has arrived in Pakistan. In grocery stores, autumn fruits such as apples, grapes and pomegranates replace summer fruits such as mangos and peaches.

Chanjal, Haveri, where JEN will start a new project to rebuild schools is famous for its apples. When we visited the project site, children gave fresh apples to us.July07pkbedhimotawaligpsbookmajic

But the autumn is very short. Winter is right around the corner once it is November. Although this is the third winter since the earthquake, due to the significant delay in the reconstruction projects, children are still studying outdoors, in tents or temporary shelters.    

JEN continuously supports children, including supplying sweaters for the winter.

September 20, 2007 in Pakistan |

To the paradise filled with roses

Kabul_office_rose It may surprise you, but Afghanistan is famous for its roses. On the contrary, thinking of Afghanistan, you might picture war-torn images of the country. However, in the summer season, if you visit someone’s home around the city of Kabul and look in the garden you will find the most beautiful roses.  You can enjoy roses in our small garden as well! It is a relaxing moment to find oneself in the garden, reading a book or drinking a cup of tea in the pleasantness of evening time, since normally it is hard to get out of the office due to security reasons.  Prior to the Soviet Union invasion, Afghanistan was once said to be like a paradise for tourists from South-Asia with true Afghan hospitality and beautiful gardens filled with roses. It is a great pity that now there is such a long way to go to get back this reputation due to the worsening security of the country.  JEN will continue to contribute our efforts to rebuild this peaceful paradise through our educational support programs.

September 20, 2007 in Afghanistan |

The Economy of Juba (Part 1)

20070905_sudan_jpf_lainya_01_2 In Juba, the prices of goods are rising.

The reason is roads.  The majority of goods in Juba are from Uganda, which has its border with Sudan in the south.   In a wet season like now, the road condition gets worse due to series of rains.  This prevents large vehicles such as trucks from using main traffic roads.  Therefore, we can see a severe shortage in the supply of goods, which in turn results in rising prices.

The county of Lainya, where JEN has its project sites, is also along one of the main traffic roads.   Because of the bad road conditions, accessing the project sites has become increasingly difficult.

As you can see in the picture, a large number of large trucks are making long queues.  Sometimes we meet a driver whose truck has been stuck for more than two weeks.

20070911_sudan_jpf_lainya_01_2_2The government is trying to cope with this situation by making efforts to pave the road, but because of the weather condition, this seems to be in a deadlock.

We hope that the road condition will improve as soon as possible for the benefit of the stability of Juba’s economy.

September 20, 2007 in South Sudan |

09/13/2007

The construction of a training facility in Batticaloa

Puliyankandaladi_village8 As a part of the project, we were scheduled to provide occupational training (fish net making) in the Vakarai area (the Northern part of Batticaloa). However, due to the Tsunami damage and continuous battle, appropriate facilities for this training does not exist. Accordingly, we are planning to build a prefabricated training facility.

However, there is a physical distribution problem.

We arranged for a big track and a small track with a crane to deliver building materials of which there was 5 tons each for 10 different villages. Although vendors were reluctant to accept the order from us due to the bad access of each site, we were able to start negotiations with an experienced vendor for the building materials in the Batticaloa area.

Broken_village_by_war Although it has already been 6 months since refugees came back to the village in Vakarai (*), it will take some more time for full-scale recovery. We very much appreciate your continuous support.

(*) Going back to other areas has been delayed for 3 months.

September 13, 2007 in Sri Lanka |

The Puppet Show

20070906_sudan_jpf_terekeka_jonkok_ With regard to the sanitary education that we are currently implementing, we are trying hard to make the students learn about sanitation through fun.  One effort is the puppet show.

The dolls that are used in the show are hand-made by the teachers themselves using sponges of mattresses and old clothing that they can get from nearby places.  The same is true of the story; the teachers create their own story based on the experiences learnt from the students, and focus on the points where the students seem to understand least.

20070907_sudan_jpf_terekeka_kowori_ Since the puppet show is somewhat special and not usual here, not only the students, but also people from the community enjoy watching the show.

By doing these shows, we believe that the important messages regarding sanitation will be spread to the community with the school being the distribution core.

September 13, 2007 in South Sudan |

09/06/2007

A life saved by sports

20077wcrp A life saved by sports

We hosted a sports festival for the children affected by the earthquake in Bedhi, Haveri. This was the first sports festival since the earthquake and was well attended.

The last sports festival in the Bedhi area was on October 7, 2005, the day before the earthquake. The sport was volleyball, same as in this sport festival. The winner in 2005 was Mori Maidan High School. This high school decided to make October 8th a holiday to celebrate their victory, by coincidence, the earthquake happened on that very day. The first shake completely destroyed the school building, but fortunately, no one was hurt thanks to this holiday. Therefore, the sports festival in 2005 really saved so many people’s lives.  

20077wcrp_2 Below is a message from the Principal of Mori Maidan High School after the 2007 sports festival:  

“Since the earthquake, we were too depressed to do class or sports. And today’s festival brought back to us the joy and importance of sports. We will train everyday and prepare for the next sports festival.”   

September 6, 2007 in Pakistan |

The Fashion of Mundari Women

20070829_sudan_jpf_terekeka_01_2_2  Mundari women living in Terekeka county, unlike others who live in the South of Juba, still enjoy daily dress ups wearing traditional clothes, as most of them spent their days inside Sudan, even while internal conflict was taking place.

For instance, the cloth that they wear is a mixture of bright and unique colors such a red or black, and they wear skirts with various patterns.  On their elbows and necks, both men and women wear black rings made of rubber, and they wear colorful earring made of beads.  Also, all of the babies have a “V” shaped character carved intentionally into their forehead, and at the age of ten, all children’s lower front teeth will be removed.  Because of these physical characteristics, it is easy to distinguish Mundari people from other people. 

In other parts of Sudan, with the end of the internal conflict, they are observing a return of refugees. 20070830_sudan_jpf_terekeka_01_2  As a result, less and less people now are capable of maintaining traditions that have been passed over generations after generations for a long time.  While peace has returned to Sudan, it is sad to see that the traditions are now disappearing.

September 6, 2007 in South Sudan |

Cactus for Food

96_low During summer season, I can see a fruit in the vegetable shops in Jordan. This fruit is unusual looking as can be seen in the photo. This is a “Cactus-Pear” which is a type of prickly pear. When I pick it up, I felt a pricking sensation, giving me small splinters in my finger.

I have seen a man on the street wearing tough gloves, cleaning and peeling the  “Cactus-Pear”. Now I can understand that this is a necessary service for customers. In supermarkets, the “Cactus-Pear” is seen on the shelves both peeled and packaged.

The “Cactus-Pear” has many seeds inside. Maybe I can say it tastes like a sweet watermelon. The pain in my fingers lasted for a while. However, it was interesting to find a new food.

September 6, 2007 in Iraq |