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Feces on my face

090514_dsc02424   JEN organized a ground-breaking ceremony at Somba Primary School on June 10th where we have been assisting their school building construction.

  The construction had started before that day, but people from the Bari tribe, who were among the indigenous ethnic groups in Southern Sudan, suggested JEN to organize a traditional ceremony as something special for the construction workers. Local tribe chiefs, staff from the Education Ministry of the Government of Southern Sudan, and a representative from UNHCR, which is JEN’s partner in the project, all joined the ceremony. 

  The ceremony was held to make awareness how to ensure the safety of the construction workers and the health of the people involved, and it involves animal sacrifice. JEN contributed one goat, corn powder, cooking oil, salt, tomatoes, and a barrel  of locally brewed alcohol as the Bari people are well-known as heavy drinkers!

  Soon after being handed over the goat and other food stuff, the local chief inaugurated the ceremony by offering the animal in sacrifice. He took all the blood from its neck and seeped it into the ground. He also took its feces and urine, add cooking oil onto them and mixed them before placing them on the school building site. Local women kept shouting loudly throughout the ceremony, so as every creature on the ground could hear.   

  Later the tribe chief stopped in front of me, and uttered an incantation. I closed my eyes to listen to it. I opened my eyes when I felt something warm put on my face to find he was putting the sacred feces and urine on me! 

  A government officer told me that the feces on my face would guarantee my safety and good health. Would this animal poo bring me luck? I must admit I was in shock, I was out of my mind while attendants gave their speeches. All I could remember was the unusual smell!.

  It was such an unexpected experience that I was totally at a loss. Gradually, I became happy that my good health was now guaranteed.

June 25, 2009 in South Sudan |


Brave Lady of Swat

090625_brave_lady_of_swat1_low_2 I started to work with JEN as one of field assistants from last week. I am from Swabi and before I was working with a local organization. I found it very interesting to work with JEN, because I have chance to talk with community directly and I can know about their problems directly. During the assessment in UC Narai in District Mardan , I visited a school where a few IDP families were living in the school building; the situation there seemed getting worse. They told us that they feel us like angels, which will be supporting them in the future.

There I met a woman who leaded her family. She said that she has 7 children and her husband is disable who can’t earn enough money. They had a shop in Swat where the center of the conflict.  That shop was the only source of their income and after becoming IDPs, no more income for them. 090625_brave_lady_of_swat2_low_2
She told me her good experience after coming in Mardan. “When I realized the life condition which was getting worse in Mardan, I thought to start some work to support my family, but I didn’t have any resources to start work. I contacted the local families. One lady asked me if I could sew women’s clothes. I replied yes, so the lady from the host family gave me her personal sewing machine, threads and needles. I started to make the clothes of local women and they paid me enough money. I am very happy because many ladies in the village are contacting me to make their clothes. Now I can buy food for my family and medicine for my husband. It is all because of the kindness of local families, who helped me a lot. Without their help, I was unable to use my skills to earn money. “

=== Emergency Assistance in NWFP ===

JEN has started its emergency assistance in the area of NWFP,


=======  For People in Pakistan  =======

June 24, 2009 in Pakistan |


The “Needs” discovered from the survey

090604_no1h_71   At the moment, while reconstructing the school at Paruwan province,  we are also conducting the survey for the next schools reconstruction.

  What JEN focuses on now is the water supply and sanitation situation in each school. Local staff members are interviewing over 60 schools and surveying the surrounding villages to see the sanitation situation. Presently, we have covered 80% of the area.

  JEN learned from the survey that lot of toilets at schools only had plain holes without sewers. Schools annexed to Mosques rarely have toilets with a water system. However, with an even higher need are schools in tents where children studying there have to relieve themselves in the open field.

  The number of children at school who receive safe and clean water from spring water and hand pump wells is extremely low. Most children at school drink water drained directly from a flowing canal which has not been treated preoperly. For this reason, children suffer from diarrhea.

  The teachers at school, parents and leaders of the village would like to provide safe and clean water for their children.

June 18, 2009 in Afghanistan |

[BREAKING NEWS] Water Supply Program Start Tomorrow

090618_water_truck_bowser_sample_lo - JEN’s Humanitarian Support in Northern Sri Lanka -

  JEN's emergency mission in the Manic Farm located in Northern Sri Lanka, for the people evacuated in the camp, to supply water starts tomorrow, June 19th Friday.

  Eighteen water supply vehicles with 7,000 litter tanks are ready for the operation in the North, two will go on duty tomorrow.

[Photo: JEN’s water supply program uses this vehicle model]

  JEN’s ultimate goal is to support a safe living environment for the people in the IDP camps of Vavuniya District by delivering water when they face serious water shortages. 

  Your warm assistance will surely add value and make a difference in JEN’s assistance. 

June 18, 2009 in Sri Lanka |

This River is coming from my home

180609_idps_living_outside_camps__2   The conflict between militants and Pakistani army is ongoing in NWFP of Pakistan. Swat is one of the battlefields.

  The people of Swat who grown up with enjoy drinking fresh and cold springs and glacier water. They were eating balanced diet in Swat which contains fruit, milk, meat and other important items. It is one of the reasons that their average quality of life is richer than the people living in the cities or downhill areas. 

180609_idps_living_outside_camps__5   Swat is high altitude area, so it is always pleasant in the summer. Thousand of tourists from the other cities of Pakistan were coming with their families to enjoy the wonderful weather, long glaciers, beautiful lakes and vast green valleys.

  There are several rivers and streams in Swat, which extend the beauty of this area. The water of those rivers and streams is coming down to Mardan and Swabi , where JEN has started the support, and it is used by the people of Mardan and Swabi for farming and drinking.

  An old IDP man who lives along the river said

“whenever I see this river, it makes me sad and happy.” 180609_idps_living_outside_camps__6

He also said

“This branch of river is starting out from the glaciers of Kalam (swat) which is my hometown. People were using this water for farming, drinking and taking bath in our hometown, I miss my hometown. However, I am happy because I can still use this water here in Mardan although it is 100 Kilo Meters far from my hometown. It is not clean for drinking, but still my children and other people can use the same river to take a bath and at the same time it irrigates thousands of acres of fertile soil of Mardan and Swabi.

=== Emergency Assistance in NWFP ===

JEN has started its emergency assistance in the area of NWFP,


=======  For People in Pakistan  =======

June 18, 2009 in Pakistan |


BREAKING NEWS: Humanitarian and Emergency Aid Start in Vavuniya

090618_water_truck_bowser_sample_lo   JEN has started its operation in Vavuniya District in the Northern Province.

  The civil war that lasted a quarter century finally came to an end last month. National flags flapped at every part of Colombo which showed the people’s delight. There were several large-scale commemoration parades also seen on the major streets in the city the other day.

  There still are, on the other hand, approximately 260,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Vavuniya District of the Northern Province who evacuated from the battle field in the same province as JEN reported in the previous flash report. JEN didn’t miss a moment to start its assistance to supply water for the IDPs in the refugee camps. JEN would like to express its gratitude to huge contributions from individual supporters and backups of the Japan Platform.

  JEN’s rapid assessments have so far found IDPs are overflowing in every camp. They are having severe shortages in water, food and other goods for their day-to-day lives. JEN will keep providing them with access to water, that is one of the basic requirements to improve the hygienic condition in the camp. While the refugee camp is a bridging place for them before they return home, JEN believes that securing a good life quality in the camp including proper water supply helps remove their anxieties.

  Your contribution is always welcome to save their lives.

  Click here to use your credit card for contribution.

June 11, 2009 in Sri Lanka |

Volunteers for restoration project of the old abondoned house, Urgently Wanted !!

090611_img_2348_low An old house in Iketani will be soon revived!

  Tokamachi Regional Development Planning Committee is currently renovating an abandoned house located just below of the Iketani Branch School where the Village Revitalization volunteers stay when the activity is held.

  In the future, the trainees for successors of the rice farmers( or specialist for Agriculture) will stay at this house.  The committee is planning the usage of the house which is not only for village revitalization volunteers but also for ordinary visitors when varieties of village events are held. Although the house was abandoned when the earthquake occurred, they have managed to sustain the building as the villagers have continued snow-shoveling of the roof in the winter and so on. 

There are many beams in the house therefore it is strong.  The house is made in wonderful taste like that of the Old Houses in Niigata, snowy region.  The committee wishes to complete the finishing phase of the renovation, such as the rendering of clay wall, papering sliding doors (SHOJI) and coating using the efforts of volunteers. 

If you are interested in the Old House Renovation in Iketani, please do not hesitate to contact to Tokamachi Regional Development Planning Committee or JEN (info@jen-npo.org ). (Reecruitment is open until July 2009)

June 11, 2009 in Niigata |


About JEN shelters

090604_no3_img_0171s_low   Thanks to the kind support from the Japan Platform and JEN's Supporters, JEN has completed the distribution of the shelter kits (a set of parts for a temporary house) to the sufferers whom lost their houses due the gigantic Cyclone. There are at least 50-plus NGOs which either distribute or construct shelters in the disaster area; however, JEN have distributed 4,500 sets —the largest figure amongst them.

  Shelter kits are made from materials which are familiar to villagers, such as bamboo, wood and dani (nypa), so that they can fix and repair them easily by themselves. The size of our shelter, that is 15.7m2, was decided based on the size of the other houses in the villages, number of family members whom survived and the opinions from the villagers. JEN have listened seriously to the villagers voice and have put huge efforts on deciding the size with careful consideration as to not to stress the villagers.
  In addition, JEN has strengthened the buildings by introducing methods which were new to this area. The first method was a braced frame — a method to connect pillars in x-shape. This method was not used in the village, although it can be found in modern cities such as Yangon. Second, the buildings were strengthened significantly by making the walls double-layer and stabilizing the foundations of the pillars with bricks, sands and cement. Our shelters kept steady even during the strong winds and this helped us gain trust from the villagers.

  Taking this opportunity, JEN would like to thank those that made a donation; JEN could not have carried out the support and aids on a large scale like this without your warm support. However, even though one year has passed, the conditions in the disaster area are not easy. Therefore, we hope for your continuous support in the future.


Reporting seminar re JEN Myanmar mission

June 19th, 2009

For more details


June 4, 2009 in Myanmar |

Generation Gap and Culture Gap

090702__low_2   Iraq, Jordan and other Arabic states generally regards honor and dignity of the“family” as the most important value of society. According to Iraqi staff, those who were recognized as refugees by the legal process and migrated to liberal western states suffered from a lot of mental stress.

  Most Iraqi people are devout Muslim. The relationship among their family is recognized as the most important thing. Muslims live based on Islam. For example, Muslims consistently pray 5 times a day and never drinks alcohol.

  If those who have Islamic value, living in western states, not all Iraqi people, but most of them must live in the place where there is no school and shopping center with equipment for praying. It is very difficult to keep their Islamic living practice because work and study prevent them from going to Islamic religious service on Friday (holiday in Islam).

  This causes a generation gap mentally between parents who try to keep their Arabic culture and children who go to school in a new environment and have friends there. It frequently causes social problems, too.

June 4, 2009 in Iraq |