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11/26/2009

Rains and landslides

261109_091116_additional_informatio It’s rainy season here in Indonesia. The rainy season starts from September to February in West Sumatra, though rain continues throughout the year. Previously it didn’t affect the people lives; however, people are in much trouble with rains this year. It is because their houses are damaged and destroyed due to earthquake and still they don’t have proper shelter to live in. Tents cannot sustain longer with the rain. That is why not so many organizations didn’t distribute tents to the affected people.

The rain affects for the humanitarian agencies to reach to the far areas to help the people. Many villages are still unreachable by the public transport because of landslide occurred by the rain. People have to walk for many kilometers for the markets, hospitals and other facilities.

261109_101109_assesment_batang_piam One other hand, some of the people take benefit from the limitation of transport. Those people are the bike owners. The bikes are used as taxis to cross the location with difficult and narrow landslides. Surprisingly, the fare is very expensive. Once JEN staffs wanted to go to a village which was 2 KM far from the slide, they asked bike owners about the rate. Their demand was 70000 Rupiah (7 $) for just 2 KM. This facility is very expensive for us, but sometimes it is convenient for the villagers, especially for old people, women, children and sick people.

November 26, 2009 in Indonesia |

Rains and landslides

261109_091116_additional_informatio It’s rainy season here in Indonesia. The rainy season starts from September to February in West Sumatra, though rain continues throughout the year. Previously it didn’t affect the people lives, however, people are in much trouble with rains this year. It is because their houses are damaged and destroyed due to earthquake and still they don’t have proper shelter to live in. Tents cannot sustain longer with the rain. That is why not so many organizations didn’t distribute tents to the affected people.

The rain affects for the humanitarian agencies to reach to the far areas to help the people. Many villages are still unreachable by the public transport because of landslide occurred by the rain. People have to walk for many kilometers for the markets, hospitals and other facilities.

261109_091116_additional_informat_2 One other hand, some of the people take benefit from the limitation of transport. Those people are the bike owners. The bikes are used as taxis to cross the location with difficult and narrow landslides. Surprisingly, the fare is very expensive. Once JEN staffs wanted to go to a village which was 2 KM far from the slide, they asked bike owners about the rate. Their demand was 70000 Rupiah (7 $) for just 2 KM. This facility is very expensive for us, but sometimes it is convenient for the villagers, especially for old people, women, children and sick people.

November 26, 2009 |

A former mine-detector dog at work

091126_dsc00384 Let me introduce a dog, who used to detect and remove mines, as a member in the JEN Sudan office. This dog  has shown her remarkable capability as a guard.

Her name is Kim, a former mine detector, and used to belongin an American company named "RONKO" in the mine detecting business. .  She was probably born in Europe (perhaps Belgium), and chosen as a mine-detector dog, thanks  to her intelligence and amiable nature. She underwent a special training for 2 years and was brought, together with other mine-detector dogs, to Africa, several thousands miles away from her home country.091126_dsc00389

Food supply to Kim offered by "RONKO" is lessening recently, but she still works very hard for JEN, both as a guard and as a moodmakerto cheer up JEN members. In addition, it seems that she doesn't confine her job to a guard only recently.  We can see her work at a desk, as shown in the picture.

At present, 4 people including the local staffs, live and work in the office both day and night.  Office staffs have to keep mental stability to achieve hard work every day, under circumstances where security is not fully assured.  Therefore, Kim's role to cheer up staff members is indeed very important.

November 26, 2009 in South Sudan |

Literally the “Harvesting” Festival

091126_006 On November 7th, a festival, called the harvest festival, was held in Iketani, and approximately 70 people participated.

This festival is to celebrate the annual local harvest. Started in 2005, the year after the Chuetsu Earthquake, people commemorate the harvest of rice from September to October. Before the earthquake, people from big cities seldom visited Iketani, so at that time only the local farmers held this celebration, called nojin (farmers) festival or Iro party meaning the celebration of rewarding people for their dedication and services, after harvesting rice.

091126_017
As usual, we celebrated this year’s harvest with food raised with nature’s blessings in Iketani, and this was literally “a festival to celebrate harvest.” JEN volunteers cooked carp that were caught in a local pond and gathered persimmons. Cooking raw carp was my first time, since I grew up in the urban area. 

What I tasted through this festival was not just fresh meals but meals with new experiences!

November 26, 2009 in Niigata |

11/19/2009

A prayer toward Mecca

091119s Muslims have a duty to pray five times a day, a  service  called “Salat”.

While those who have time go to a nearby Mosque every time to pray, the majority of people pray in quiet places in their house or office using a mat specially made for praying purposes. Wherever they are, they always pray facing the Kaaba in the Saudi Arabian Mecca.

JEN’ local staff also start washing their hands, legs, and faces when they hear an announcement from the Mosque or an alarm set on their mobile phones that signal that it’s time to pray.

How do those who move around a lot know the direction of Kaaba?

091119s_2 The answer is in the prayer mat. The mat comes with a disc that has numbers written on it. You simply have to turn the mat around to set the compass needle to each country’s designated number (Jordan ‘s number is 225).

I am impressed by the massive scale of Muslim praying all over the world toward one place, all at the same time.

November 19, 2009 in Iraq |

Constructing Schools

091119_mraarahimi_and_mr_feda_muham Hemayatul High School located in Charikar province of Parwan District began its construction from April and is scheduled to complete by mid December.
More than 95 percent is complete and soon the construction for coating the building and electrical wiring will start.

The photo taken in October shows the President Rahimi of Afghan-American Company on the left, in charge of the construction of schools, on the right is the engineer Feda Mohammed. Rahimi President spoke;

091119_h_installation_of_isogam_is_ More than 70 percent of the people in Afghanistan are illiterate. Without a decent education, there will be no development in this country.

I myself received a scholarship studying engineering at the University of California, received a master's degree in Urban Design at Oxford, United Kingdom. When Afghanistan was a communist country, I was teaching at a university in Saudi Arabia as an associate professor.

Afterwards, I returned to Afghanistan to rebuild the country, and established the company I am working for right now. So far, I have constructed hospitals and agencies residence, and other than that built schools and houses. I will continue constructing as much schools as possible to contribute to the country.

H_isogam_on_the_roof_is_completed Construction work creates employment. Presently, this is the most important thing for this country. "

November 19, 2009 in Afghanistan |

11/12/2009

Unusual excuse to avoid a meeting

Hello everyone. My name is Philip and I have just transferred to the JEN office in Juba from London England.

One of my first assignments was to visit our school building project sites and meet with the local community leaders. As JEN is working hard to make sure our projects will benefit local people for a long time, it is very important to make sure that they are involved in all decisions and participate as much as possible so that they feel the school really belongs to them. But for me, this means lots of meetings.

091112 In Sudan, we must expect the unexpected to happen. So when I arrived at the village for the arranged meeting, I was not completely surprised when some of the people were absent from the meeting. However, when they told me that the reason was because they had gone to battle my mouth must have been wide open in astonishment! In fact, they had simply gone to protect the area where their land borders another community, as there had been some disagreements between young people from the neighbouring district. I am pleased to say that nobody was hurt. However, when I had arranged the meeting, I had not expected to see bows and arrows. Indeed, it was the most unusual reason for cancelling a meeting that I have experienced so far.

At least our job here is Juba is never boring.

November 12, 2009 in South Sudan |

First Time in Four and a Half Years

091112_img_4865 I have visited the Iketani Branch School, in Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture, since July, 2005. Since the Chuetsu Earthquake in 2004, JEN has walked together with Tokamachi City, Niigata Prefecture in order to revitalize Tokamachi, by taking measures for depopulation, and sustaining the village. From right after the earthquake to three months later, I was in charge of Niigata, and this visit was the first time in four and a half years. The Iketani Branch School has greatly changed.

As the fact that Iketani has been welcoming volunteers for five, there are more dishes, slippers, food, stationeries, and sleeping bags, along with many other things, to accommodate for more people. For volunteers coming in winter, there are also many electric blankets. 

091112_img_4936 There are many volunteers participating, and most of them arranged their schedules to visit Iketani not via JEN but directly with the Tokamachi Regional Development Planning Committee. I visited several project sites of JEN in places like Afghanistan and Sudan from 2005 to 2009, but never once did I feel that project site of JEN is as self-sustainable as Iketani, Niigata.

The entire five years have passed since the Chuetsu Earthquake, and the projects in Niigata will continue to change. The continuous improvement in the project in Iketani is due to volunteers and advocates for Tokamachi Regional Development Planning Committee. Then, what supports such people? I really would like to find an answer during working as an officer in Niigata.

(Program Officer of Niigata: Wakano)

November 12, 2009 in Niigata |

11/05/2009

Being Helped While Helping

I came to Myanmar as a program officer to help people suffering from the damage of the Cyclone. However, after a while, I realized that I was the one who have been actually helped by the people of Myanmar.

There is a villager who is continuously caring for us since last June. In the beginning, I was quite suspicious about his kindness. I was thinking that there must be something hidden behind his kindness. Now more than a year has passed since then; however, even now, he always gives us his hand to JEN when JEN is faced with difficulties.

He never gains; rather his is sacrificing both his time and money for us. Thus, I came to realize that in this world, there exists a person with absolutely no greed who can truly devote himself for others. Now I feel shameful and regret that I had been so suspicious about his kindness. I could never thank him enough.

Needless to say, it is not only him that offers such selfless kindness. JEN’s activity is supported by kindness of many local villagers. Since JEN owes so much to locals, it is difficult to pay back everything JEN owes, but JEN will try our best to pay back as much as we can for the people of Myanmar.

November 5, 2009 in Myanmar |

To all of you with our sincere thanks

Today, I would like to share some photos of Aghan children that just arrived from the field.

 The photographs below were taken during the distribution program of 16 schools in Parwan Province of Charikar District that began from September, and within the same District an orphanage that finished the reconstruction in October.

 I would like to express our special thanks for your support.

091105__63_parchi_11_g2_03db2009 A photo of the girl’s school.

The girls from the second grade class of Pachall elementary school.

Suflab, 8 year old boy from the second grade  of Da mullah yusof elementary, 091105_suhrab_grade_2_age_8_da_mull .

This school does not have their own school facilities, so they are borrowing one part of a mosque to study. He says that he likes this classroom.

091105_orphanage_hand_over National Charikar orphanage

Approximately 150 children live in this orphanage. Behind the children is a warehouse where they can store equipment and household goods. The renovation and reparation of the canopy was completed in mid-October.

November 5, 2009 in Afghanistan |

JEN organizes workshop events on hygiene.

091105 The school renovation and hygiene project for 17 elementary and junior high schools in Baghdad enters its final stage, which has started in March 2009 supported by our supporters and government of Japan.

Now, JEN’s Program Officer is organizing two-day hygiene workshops in each school. The workshop teaches how to build and maintain the students’ health in the long term by using the renovated brand new hygiene facilities that connect to public water supply system.


091105_2 On the first day, school teachers from each school are taught basic knowledge on hygiene, infections like cholera and H1N1, and importance of cleaning.

On the second day, a teacher conducts hygiene education for students, following review of the first day. Thanks to teachers’ endeavor, the class sometimes includes practical training of how to brush their teeth and to wash their hands using the hygiene goods that JEN gave out.

The teachers who attended the two-day workshops will each conduct hygiene education in their classes.

November 5, 2009 in Iraq |