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02/26/2009

Rooster Flying, not fighting

Dsc06490_resize_2   Nowadays we are conducting interviews to children and communities for the upcoming projects. We see some interesting things every day.

  There are a few questions about children’s entertainment and sports activities in our interview sheet. We have received the same answer from every child. They say "No proper playground, No sports items". After receiving those answers, we urge them to tell us the proper answer, because it is impossible to see that all the children in one village will be living without any entertainment or sports activities.

  In the end, children who were gathering around our vehicle brought us somewhere. What we saw was... a little far behind their houses, where many children gathered in a plain small ground and some of them were playing marbles (small balls made by glasses). There were some competitions going on among the children. Every one was playing with concentration, it was encouraging to see that earthquake didn’t affect the children mentally and they are still enjoying their free time. Dsc06486_resize_3

  At the other corner of the ground, we saw some children playing wtih a strange game. They were throwing something weird... We know that rooster fighting was an popular entertainment in the ancient time of Indus Valley Civilization by 2000 BC and still popular in many Asian countries and some Latin American countries. But, the sport in District Pishin was not what I know, we moved forward to the children and saw naughty game I have never seen. It was Rooster’s long jumping competition. Have you heard of it?

  Many children were standing in line holding their roosters. They look serious. Moreover they were throwing their roosters in the air after the whistle, and the winner is..... the rooster which touched ground the farthest. How cruel is it!?! Children were enjoying it a lot, same as we were enjoying the ancient sport. I asked an older boy if their parents know about it? He said "Of course NOT! We are catching our roosters in the evening before they go back to the home. And coming to this ground to play with it." I asked how they thought about this cruel game. He said they don’t have foot balls, cricket, balls, volley balls, that’s why they are playing with this. They made a compromise in their way. I asked if they have foot ball, bats and balls, will they stop to playing this game or not? The boy replied "Yes! we stop to play this rooster jumping."

  Later I was thinking, Whether or not, Let them play or make them play with the so called proper toys, that is the question..

It is difficult to decide.

Look forward to hear your opinion at info@je-npo.org,

Thank you.

February 26, 2009 in Pakistan |

02/19/2009

I have participated in the second session of Snow Busters 2009!

090219_img_1026_low_2   This is Domestic Department’s Intern, Emika. 

  It was my second visit to Iketani. For many years I had been living in Cairo that when I went for the first time in September, it was like an adventure more than a volunteering trip. It was my first time going into a farming site so far into the mountainside. As expected I missed the train, got lost in no-human station, and ended up being late. Despite these difficulties even reaching to Tokamachi station, my time at Iketani had been a memorable one.

  For the first time through JEN’s activities, I was given the opportunity to experience and face the issues of Japan. As I returned to Tokyo last year, I had been quite down realizing the disparity between the images of Japan I had when I was in Cairo and the reality. The sight of culture and tradition disappearance, the lack of Japanese identity in people shocked me. But Iketani was different. The motivation and the movement of the wide network of people along with JEN to face the issue of depopulation and rice prices at Iketani very much moved me. Iketani have awakened me and gave me the power to become more positive living in Japan. I became determined to work together with the people involving in Iketani to make my country a better place by preservation of tradition and reformation.090219_img_1229_low_2 

  Many of the participants at Snow busters second session were repeaters. Some were third or fourth time visitors. I feel that there is something that every participant has towards Iketani like myself. I hope through this energy of people involved in Iketani, there will be some changes and improvements made on such a precious area of Japan.

February 19, 2009 in Niigata |

Importance of winter clothes

090219_20081203jpfassessmentmanga_2   While we were busy in the distribution of Non Food Items and erection of the tents in District Ziarat and Pishin, we came to know that JEN’s donors in Japan provide some more funds for the neglected people who are the earthquake victims in Baluchistan. We had to research and decide in the field at the point - almost, that what would be the best usage of that fund.

  After looking around and monitoring the situation for almost 15 days, we observed that there is a huge need of winter clothing for the people, especially women and children. People are very poor in the area and they didn’t have good warm clothes even before the earthquake. But their houses were livable before the earthquake, so they could manage the cold weather without winter jackets. The earthquake made the things worst for them; they not only loosed their houses but also their beddings, clothing and kitchen items.

  Many Organizations are working in the area but no one thought about the importance of providing the winter jackets to the children. They gave priority to provide the shelters and foods to the affected people, which are of course the basic need after any disaster, but at the same time we should not forget the importance of winter clothes. The weather in the earthquake affected areas will remain cold until April and the people don’t have proper clothing to fight with the cold. It is making their lives more difficult.09021920081126jpfassessmentsamand_2

  Thanks to our supporters and JEN Tokyo HQ who took the initiative to provide winter jackets to the children. The winter jackets will not only keep the children safe from the disease which cause due to cold, but also they will wear it for their schools, which will open in the first week of March. It will be nice to see the children wearing Jackets.

February 19, 2009 in Pakistan |

02/12/2009

The Certificate; Completion and Success

090212_20090124jpfgascylinderdist_5   When we arrived to the earthquake affected areas for the first time, we saw the situation was very bad due to the desaster. People were panicking and running towards relief trucks here and there. Many organizations were distributing their relief items and tents on the main roads. But those items were not enough to meet their needs, because 1) the weather was already too cold and 2) the tents which they were receiving were not well equipped for the winter. But as it was an emergency, NGOs were distributing the available items stocked in their warehouses as soon as possible.

  JEN started the distribution mission from the village Choongi Bala. Houses were damaged; people were living in the normal tents, children were shivering with cold at night. After JEN distributed NFIs and erected Winterized tents, people relived that they will have some normal place to live at least, in the coming winter season. After we completed the first distribution, the villagers had prepared their traditional lunch of Laanday (Dry meat of sheep) for JEN staff. At that time, as it was soon after the earthquake the people were in deep trouble and we didn’t feel good to eat lunch there, but we were compelled to eat as per their tradition. 090212_archand_27012009_13_low_3

  After 2 and half months when we completed the last phase of distribution (wheel barrows) in the same village, the villagers again prepared lunch for JEN staff, the food items were the same but our feelings and beneficiaries feelings were different then the last time. Our feelings were nice because we could see that villagers are now in their normal life. They are still living in the winterized tents and shelters, but they are comfortable at night, their children don’t get sick anymore due to cold. In many villages the supply of Electricity and Natural gas has repaired, and where ever the supplies are still not working, they have the heating and lighting facilities provided by JEN.

090212_for_pr_report_10low_3   When we were leaving the village, an old man stopped our vehicle. He smiled, thanked and prayed for us. I discussed with my colleagues that the smile of this old man is the certificate of our project completion and success.

February 12, 2009 in Pakistan |

02/05/2009

Balochi Traditional Dresses

090205_balochi_shoes_low_2 Balochistan is very famous for its traditional items, like Shawls, Bugti Shawlar and Kamiz, many kinds of Balochi Shoes and traditional decorated caps. All those items are hand made and showing the rich Balochi culture.

Traditionally, female member of family are doing embroidery on shawls at home. After the completion, sold to the big markets. It is a source of their income. The best available shawls are worth Rupees 2000/- which is equal to 25 USD.

Bugti Shalwar and Kamiz is the dress of Baloch tribe. All the people here are wearing it. Bugti is also the name of a famous Baloch Tribe. It needs a lot more amount of fabric to make this Shalwar and Kamiz, compares to common Shalwar and Kamiz of Pakistan, Baloch people also wear big turbans on their heads with this dress.

Balochi Caps are also one of the main components. Rich people matches the color of the cap with the color of their clothes. It applys very beautiful embroidery on the cap with the small pieces of glass. Those are available in the market and the rate is between 320 Rupees (4 USD) to 1500 Rupees (19 USD). 090205_caps_shop_low_2

The main interesting outfit for men is Balochi Shoes, which are available in many designs and colors. It is indeed very comfortable and stunning. There is a big market for these locally made shoes in Quetta. People are making the shoes in their shops after measure the size of customer's foot.

There are also many ready-made shoes, but they are not as comfortable as made on order according to the size of foot. Soles of the shoes is made by strong rubber tyre, and other part is made by Sheep’s leather. Because of its strength, it is ideal to walk on the tough terrains and mountains.

JEN staff is using these shoes for the field by all means. 

February 5, 2009 in Pakistan |