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01/27/2011

The other side of the most popular zoo animal

When we visit the project sites in Batticaloa District in the Eastern Province, we sometimes encounter a herd of wild elephants on the highway that runs through the woods. All the cars stop and people just watch the elephants from a distance. Like many Japanese people, Sri Lankan people also love elephants and elephant show is one of the favorite attractions in zoos. But such a popular animal can also be a menace to the villagers.

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Ms. Sooriyakumari (38 years old), one of the returnees to the Northern Province, told us about some elephants she had encountered in the middle of the night.

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That night, several elephants suddenly came to the village and ate from the banana trees planted around the wells repaired by JEN. Elephants can be fierce animals when there is more than one of them. Ms. Sooriyakumari and her children huddled together in fear. Her husband, Kandeepan, went to seek help from the neighbors and managed to chase away the elephants by making loud noises with cooking pans and buckets. But unfortunately, the banana trees were badly damaged.
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This is what is happening all over Sri Lanka. When the people clear the jungles to construct houses and grow crops, the elephants who lived on that land escape deeper into the woods. But the papayas and bananas grown by the people are also the elephants’ favorite food, so they often come out to the villages.

 Elephants are losing the habitat because of development but the people need to clear the jungles to live.

 The refugees returning to the villages are struggling to rebuild their lives back together. JEN will support them but we also hope that the elephants and humans can live together in harmony.

January 27, 2011 in Sri Lanka |

Brick man of Grangoave in Haiti, Ti George

George Zephyr is 50 years old man and he is also a father of 8 children. He is a man of Haiti with strength and proud. It may be felt wander that he has a nickname of “Ti George” (“Ti” means “a little”, by the way) but it is very suit him because the adjective of “a little” before his name is very familiar just like himself! 8months has been passed since we saw him for the first time, and he always show smile on his old and being brown face even though he is in hard situation.

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His work is making bricks, and it is one of the hardest works in hot whether of Haiti. Besides, it can not say that work is good for earning money. He spends at least 10 hours to make a sand move with his assistant. This step is necessary before mixing sand, water, and cement to adjust solidity. They do not have useful machine so they just use a handcart to bring sand and cement and a bucket to bring the water. All they have is human power and passion for their work

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Next step is mixing completely by their handwork. The brick can not be made if this step is not good enough. Besides, they have no machine to forming brick so they use only their old tool and muscle.

 

The new brick which form precisely and being compressed are dried by sun, but these are moved at least 4 times to dry enough. Main Street of Grangoave does not have enough space. Besides, they have distribution problems too, so they need to bring bricks again to make 25 bricks pile.

 

The price of a pile is 0.625 dollars, and the team of Ti George can make only 250~300 bricks per day. It means they can expect to earn maximum 187.5 dollar per day but the cost of raw materials are taken away so their benefit is not corresponded to their effort.

 

In order to buy 150 bricks to repair a well in Leogan area, constructing staff of JEN visit his bricks at 6:30 AM in every morning, and Ti George always be there with strong muscle and smile!

 

In last Jury, I made one decision as humanity support engaged person. The decision is that we order the bricks to local bricks maker, not manufacture of bricks in capital of port-prince It means JEN choose Ti George as bricks supplier. He is the most proud person in my point of view. I hope their team gets more valuable works, and they and their families spend their life well.

 

January 27, 2011 in Haiti |

Success in Morobo district

Students of the school which is located far away from central part of  Morobo  have problems in securing safe drinkable water.
Morobo district belongs to Green Belt of Central Equatoria State
and is relatively rich in green and water in South Sudan. However, there are many cases that undrinkable lake water is used for drinking in communities.

Richard Modi and his brother go to school always with little 1-2 liter water bottle. When they share this water with their friends, they have to draw new water from water source, which is far from their school and is not safe enough to drink.
Because of this undrinkable water, Richard’s young brother often get sick or have diarrhea.

JEN has been improving the access to safe drinkable water for children in Morobo district from 2009 supported by Japan Platform, supporters like you and people in communities.
We had already bored thirteen wells in elementary schools in Molobo  and we are now digging two more wells.

John Moro said, ‘Our life got better thanks to the wells. Before wells had been bored, we needed to spend almost all day to obtain drinkable water. ’

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People in Dudulabe community also feel glad because the new well had bored few days ago. Darios Mawa, who is bringing up six children, told ‘The things what JEN did for our community is satisfactory enough for us. Not only the well was founded, we are also participating in the training of wells management. Now we don’t have to worry about ensuring drinkable water and also about accidents of the well because we had acquired the technique of repairing it.’

The wells repairing training offers chances for people in communities to think about the value to work cooperating each other, as well as technical knowledge of wells management.

(project officer/ Elizabeth)

January 27, 2011 in South Sudan |

01/20/2011

We wish you a wonderful year 2011.

As you might know, Muslims give prayers five times a day (please check our blog entry in October 8th, 2009 which explains the timings). Announcements, called adhan, are called out from each mosque to tell people the time of prayers. The adhan is not recorded, but a person recites it every time.

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Words of the adhan are the same in every country and region, but there are differences in how they are delivered. Here in Amman, you can hear the calls of adhan from mosques here and there at exactly the same time. There is also a radio program which announces the timing of prayers, and it starts at exactly the same time as well.

On the other hand, outside of Amman City, the timings of the voices are slightly different. There are some mismatches, as if when listening to a troll. Can you tell why?

I’d like to explain the reason for that in the next report. Don’t miss it !

January 20, 2011 in Iraq |

News of JEN ‘s supportive activities in Pakistan

JEN started supportive activities for farming.

In District Charsadda UC Nisatta where JEN is doing supportive activities, People live on the income which they earn by exporting bitter gourds to Dubai.

JEN is going to assist the local people to support themselves again by way of distributing the seeds of bitter gourds. 
 
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Views of bitter gourd farm in Shah Pasand village

This photo shows the lot  where the damage from a flood was  small.

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  Makers of corrugated cartons in d Shah Pasand Kalay village .

Bitter gourds are exported packed in these corrugated cartons.

Mr. Ibral sitting with his colleagues(left).
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They export bitter gourds from the district of Nisatta

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They make the frameworks for cultivating bitter gourds using wooden sticks and wires.

Farmer Younas Khan is explaining how to make the frameworks for cultivating bitter gourds in
the district of NIsatta.

The frameworks for cultivating bitter gourds are being made for the next season
in Shah Pasand Kalay village.

January 20, 2011 in Pakistan |

Learning from communication

“We have our teeth treated when we get cavities; we drink medicine when we get sick.”
We often hear comments like this when we interview teachers, parents and children.

Even when children enjoy studying in a safe school, it would be difficult for them to concentrate in class if they have a sore tooth or continuous diarrhea.

JEN hopes to assist improving the sanitary conditions of entire communities through teaching children methods of healthcare.

In 2010, our target locations were Baghdad city, Anbar (which neighbors Baghdad), and Babil.We installed and repaired toilets and water facilities, and also held a workshop on sanitary reform. In the workshop targeting elementary school teachers, held in October and November, thoughts, requests and suggestions were actively shared among the participants and also JEN staff. During this workshop, we heard many comments that the teachers wished to hold such workshops on a broader basis, meaning that they were eager to share the experience with other schools, parents of their students and the whole community as well.

We also received suggestions on the teaching material from the teachers’ point of view. It is very important for us to look back on our activities, so that in the near future, the teachers themselves would be able to conduct health education in a more effective way.

In December, JEN expanded the area of activity to Kirkuk and Diyala. We have now taken on school renovation and hygiene education in five provinces in central and northern Iraq. We have been able to learn many lessons from our activities in 2010, and are looking forward to making use of the experience in our new projects.

(Excerpt from Newsletter No.44)
 

January 20, 2011 in Iraq |

Challenge brought me to JEN

110120_m_shahid_khanMy name is Muhammad Shahid Hahn. I am an assistant for Admin and Finance officer in Afghanistan.

Today, I would like to introduce myself.

I was born in a small town called Tiratol Prefecture, a mountainous area of the northern part of Pakistan in 1984. During that time, my father was working in Mardan, the second largest city in KPK of Pakistan and our whole family moved here. After I went to school there until 2003, I moved to Karachi, the economic capital in Pakistan, and I got my degree in IT. It was a very special period of my life to encounter people from different back ground.

After that, I returned to Mardan, received my MBA at the local university. When I was in Mardan, studying there in 2008, the Pakistani military began striking the armed insurgents in the Northwest tribal area. Consequently, this caused thousands of families to refuge to the local capital of Peshawar or within Mardan, some families stayed with host families, and moreover some stayed at IDP (Internally displaced persons) camps.

I began supporting these people as a volunteer with my friends after the class
for the IDP. That time, I happened to meet people from local NGO in the camp, and start working for Admin and Finance assistant..

This NGO was my first experience in this field of work and became the turning point for my career. April 2010, I began to work for another group in BASHOL one of the area of FATA (Federal Administrated Tribal Areas). Since this is one of the area, occupied by the armed insurgents, it is one of the toughest field to be based in the world. The experience brought me the confidence to work whatever the situation would be.

Currently,  I am working for JEN. The work environment and the teams are wonderful and would like to work long as possible.

January 20, 2011 in Afghanistan |

01/13/2011

Turning over a New Leaf also in North

A Happy New Year! Although the new year in Sri Lanka starts in the middle of April, many people enjoyed themselves, setting off firecrackers at midnight on January 1, or making kiri bath, traditional milk rice for breakfast on January 1.

At the end of the year, one project has completed in a northern part as well as in an eastern area. Since June last year, we have collaborated with Japan Platform to reconstruct and clean wells, distribute agricultural materials and supplemental food in Vavuniya North, and clean wells in Vavuniya. We have supported people returning to the rough villages after the conflict.

The last activity was to distribute injectors for pesticide, one of agricultural materials. In January, when rainy season is almost finished, people start to take care of rice plants and grains using the injector. When distributing the injectors, an engineer from manufacturer has a lecture in order to use injectors safely. We hope they use the injector safe and long.

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The new project started on January 1, reconstruction and cleaning of wells in other areas in Vavuniya. We are supporting people who came back in July last year. Since there were long, furious battles in front in the area, many wells are damaged. We are continuing the project until May so that people can easily access life water and come back to the normal life.

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January 13, 2011 in Sri Lanka |

National Election 2011

2011, this year, would be historically important year for Sudan. There were 2 large-scale wars since Sudan had been independent from the United Kingdom (Egypt)  in 1956. During the wars, it is said that there were 2millions of dead and injured, and over 4 millions of internally displaced persons who evacuated from damage of the conflicts. Moreover, there were refugees who had evacuee life outside Sudan.
 

In 2005, politicians of Southern and Northern Sudan reached a peace agreement which mentioned that they would have national election to decide whether Southern Sudan would belong to the North or been independent.

Southern Sudan started a national election from January 9th.  If the turnout rate is more than 60% and separatist and independent obtain more than half of votes, Southern Sudan will be independent. People in Southern Sudan were highly motivated for the election as they legally got an opportunity for their independence which they had been seeking for.   

Whichever Southern Sudan is independent, or belongs to Northern Sudan, there are large number of issues to solve for both governments. They have to solve important issues such as oil resource related issue and border of North and South related issue etc.

JEN will continuously supply  the supports which let people in Southern Sudan be self-reliant with more long-tern purview in 2011.

January 13, 2011 in South Sudan |

Tap, Tap

Public transportation in abroad is very interesting. The pictures on old vehicle are showing the culture and custom in that place. At the same time, the name of public transportation is also interesting for foreigners. For example, a bus was called “angkot” in particular region in Indonesia, “Matatu” in Uganda, “Flying Corch” in Pakistan, and “Tap Tap” in here, Haiti.

 

People in Haiti deeply believe god, and they like music very much, so on the body of vehicle, the picture of Christ, or favorite soccer player like Kaka and Maradona, or famous singer like Bob Marly, Shakira, Tupac, and Snoop dogg. 

The other aspect of Tap Tap is that no payment is necessary most of the time unless passenger has large size of luggage if passenger rides on the roof of bus or hangs on the pole of bus.  It is very risky but people do not care about that risk.

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It can often be seen the view that passenger eat something or have that bag by one hand even though they hold the bus which is running by 80~90 km per hour by the other hands. One of the passenger sit down the edge of the roof and take the nap. A vendor of the bus sale is holding the bus and sales the goods to passenger of Tap Tap. Such a vendor can ride the bus for one section of bus line.

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National route 2 which continue from port-au-prince, capital of Haiti, to Miragoane, Jakmel, and Leogane is always crowed by Tap Tap. The driver of Tap Tap never cares about traffic rule, and music is played loudly in bus. The road is destroyed by earthquake, and that additional damage is given by rain and flood. This makes many traffic accidents and its victim in every month.

 

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JEN perform the activity in Leogane and some of staffs live in Port-au-prince, so they need to use Tap Tap to come to office in Leogane. The fee of Tap Tap is cheap but it takes long time to reach Leogane. Staff in Port-au- Prince get their house out at 4:00 am and arrive office at 8:00am. We hope that people are safe including JEN’s staff, and the road and traffic system are fixed by government.

 

 

January 13, 2011 in Haiti |

Year 2011; New Era for the people of Sudan

Year 2011 would be historically important year for Sudan.

There were 2 large-scale wars since Sudan had been independent from the United Kingdom (Egypt) in 1956. During the wars, it is said that there were 2millions of dead and injured, and over 4 millions of internally displaced persons who evacuated from damage of the conflicts. Moreover, there were refugees who had fled outside Sudan.
 
In 2005, politicians of Southern and Northern Sudan reached a peace agreement which mentioned that they would have national election to decide whether Southern Sudan would belong to the North or been independent.

Southern Sudan started a national election from January 9th.  If the turnout rate is more than 60% and separatist and independent obtain more than half of votes, Southern Sudan will be independent. People in Southern Sudan were highly motivated for the election as they legally got an opportunity for their independence which they had been seeking for.   

Whichever Southern Sudan is independent, or belongs to Northern Sudan, there are large number of issues to solve for both governments. They have to solve important issues such as oil resource related issue and border of North and South related issue etc.

JEN will continuously implement the support which let people in Southern Sudan be self-reliant with more long-tern purview in 2011.

January 13, 2011 in South Sudan |