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01/29/2009

My 3 years with JEN, Part II

090122_20081114jpfassessmentchong_2  I am enjoying my work with JEN, because all of my officers listen to our suggestions and opinions, and they try to share with us everything they know. We are free to use our own ideas for the project. If we make some mistakes during the implementation of project, instead of getting upset, they give us suggestions on how to improve our skills and how to avoid from those mistakes again. In my opinion, it is the best way to learn something.

Although, sometimes it is tough to work because of the difficult areas, less sleep, no food etc, it is kind of sacrifice for the people in need, so we put aside our personal problems. This spirit motivates us to work harder and harder.090122_20081117jpfassessmentkaanb_2

Currently, we are working in Baluchistan for the earthquake affected people. This area is totally different from Kashmir in terms of culture and living style. Kashmir was close to Indian Border but it was ceasefire with India, so no worries about any war within. Also, people in Kashmir were not such conservative like those who in Baluchistan. For example, there were no walls around the houses in Kashmir, and the operational area in Kashmir was not so far from our residence. But in Baluchistan, things are totally opposite. The operational area is located near Afghan border, which is always in a tense, which causes us to take extra caution. On top of that, the project area is 110 km away from our residence, it means that we have to travel 220 km back and forth every day. The people here are very religious and conservative. They have big walls around their houses.

090122_20081116jpfassessmentkaanb_3 We mobilized and respect the community's culture, rules, and regulations in our mind. This way, we'd be accepted and appreciated by the community. And that was perhaps the reason why JEN was the first INGO which was allowed to enter the area by the community in the early days of earthquake. Not only that, we were even invited to take the photographs of inside their houses.

Community participation with JEN looks quite good, too. Our work seems to  be appreciated by not only the local people, but also local Government authorities. DCO (District Coordination Officer) invited JEN staff for lunch at his residence, the other day. As a result, our project in Baluchistan was featured by several Urdu newspapers.

090122_20081201jpfassessmentpinak_2 I would like to thank our supporters and hope all of our projects around the grobe in the future will run smoothly, same like the project in Baluchistan. 

January 29, 2009 in Pakistan |

01/22/2009

My 3 years with JEN

Img_4056_low_2 I am Azmat Ali from Pakistan. I started to work with JEN since October 15th 2005, after the massive earthquake in Pakistan. Previously I was working with international organizations. At the time I joined JEN, I just completed my one and half year diploma course in Japanese language.

After the earthquake, I wanted to go to Kashmir or NWFP as a volunteer for rescue work. Then, I got a phone call from my friend who was working with JEN already as an interpreter that JEN is seeking for the staff. I thought it is the best and organized way to work for the people in need. So, I contacted JEN and went for interview, and then JEN selected me for the post of field officer.

I was so much impressed in Kashmir, after spending 1 week of work with JEN. The scope and environment of work were totally different from the other organizations, which were working in the same area for emergency relief. The international staff with whom I was working was very professional and hard working. They didn’t care about the time, food, nor weather, but their mission was very clear that just to provide assistance to the people in need as soon as possible. Img_3951_low_2

Img_3750_low_2 I was working with the field staff, but at the same time I was also in touch with the Staff working in Islamabad office. I was wondering if the Japanese female staffs in Islamabad were working until 3 am or not!!! So, after experiencing all those things, I also tried to work like them. I don’t know if I am succeeded or not... But I am still trying my best.

to be continued...

January 22, 2009 in Pakistan |

01/08/2009

Children of Baluchistan

090108_shakeel_khan_low_2 During our mission in Baluchistan, we observed that many children of our beneficiaries help their fathers in their businesses, especially in the shops, in the public transport and for taking care of their apple farms.

We met Shakeel Khan. He is helping his father's fruit shop. He said that it is the only shop his father owns and the only source of their income. He is the eldest son of his father, age of 11 and he has 2 sisters and 1 brother.

Every day after he returns from the school, he goes to the shop to help his father for selling the fruits. He said his father wakes up very early in the morning and goes to the fruit market to buy fruits to sell for the day. Father definitely needs some rest in the afternoon, so he sells fruits on behalf of him from the afternoon till the evening.

We asked him about his studies and homework. He said he brings text books with him to the shop, so that when there is no customer, he can study and do the homework. He said that he loves sports and he likes cricket by all means, but he doesn’t have a time to play because of the shop. Instead of playing sports, he said that he enjoys his work in the shop. On Sunday and other holidays are the exceptions. He enjoys playing cricket with his friends in the morning time.

Shakeel said that his house and his school were both damaged by the earthquake, but he is not so scared of it. Although his brother, 2 sisters and mother are sleeping in the tent provided by JEN, his father and himself are sleeping inside the partially damaged room due to the earthquake. However, in order to rest well, they keep the door open and sleeping near to the door, this way, even though another earthquake occurs, or increase the scale of earthquake, they can run outside immediately.

January 8, 2009 in Pakistan |

Sri Lanka in New Year 2009

090108_20081210_chenna_cultivation_   Greetings from Sri Lanka new year 2009. JEN in Sri Lanka wishes all the best for a happy and prosperous year. There was a massive operation by the Sri Lankan Army that brought Kilinochchi back to the government’s rule. Kilinochchi is located in the Northern Sri Lanka where anti-government armed force placed its headquarters. We will continue watching the security situation and remain prepared for any immediate assistance required  by the local people.

  The IDPs in the Eastern part of Sri Lanka, for whom JEN has supported since last year, still face tough times. Food supply from international organizations ended six months after their return. The Government’s capacity to feed them will not  last long. Many of them eat only once a day. They are presently having a  hard time getting food until they harvest their crops,.This will happen at the end of this month,  when they can gather food from the seeds they planted  at the beginning of rainy season.

  JEN now works on the second round of agriculture recovery assistance in which we distribute plant seeds when they harvest corn.

  JEN will keep helping those people left behind with lasting assistance, andcontinue to remain ready for possible future needs at any time that require an immediate move.

January 8, 2009 in Sri Lanka |