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06/30/2011

This is how school is being constructed

  
                      

This is how the workers are constructing the stone construction of the wall around the water tank at Hajan Middle School in Saran district. They are mixing mortal to coat it on the stone.

                       

Next, the expert workers are laying the brick up to 1.4 meters as in the design.

                        

Here, at Hajan Middle School, this is how the toilet which is one of the hygiene facilities is being constructed. It is made of stone and aligning the wall height equivalent.

                     

JEN’s engineer, Ajumar Paktiwal; He is testing the ready mixed concrete slump. He has confirmed that this concrete is optimal for this construction.

                       

The ready mixed concrete is for Engineer Mummad Shaheed Middle School to add new classrooms. The workers are working on the compaction work of the concrete. They are vibrating the concrete to remove air bubbles, which gives certain strength.

                      

This is the task of curing concrete. After this process, the strength of concrete, durability and shape is retained. JEN is conducting this kind of construction daily so that the children of Afghanistan can spend a safe and confortable school environment.

June 30, 2011 in Afghanistan |

Success Story of a Victim of the Flood

Charsadda District is an area with affluent soils. Three rivers flow in the area and are important resources for irrigations. People grow various vegetables such as sugarcane, sugar beet, tobacco, wheat, corns, okra, tomatoes, cabbage, egg plants and spinach.

For the past five years, they especially produce a lot of balsam pears. Balsam pears are sold not only at the market in Pakistan but at the international market including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Afghanistan.

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Gul Mast, 30, who has been a farmer for more than 20 years in Tajakay village is also producing a lot of balsam pears for business. He started to grow balsam pears using wooden frames with his brother in 2006. Using wooden frames enhances productivity.

The Gul family used to sell vegetables at local markets or to retailers in urban areas. Meanwhile, wholesalers come to the markets in Charsadda District and they shipped vegetables from the farmers for exporting. The wholesalers exported balsam pears to the United Arab Emirates. Gul had sold the vegetables to the wholesalers for a year, but started to think he wanted to launch a business and export balsam pears to all over the world. When Gul talked to his brother about his idea, they reached an agreement. They started to get necessary information for the exporting business such as license and requirement and finally launched their business. In 2009, they started importing balsam pears.

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Gul and his brother collected balsam pears from the whole area as the other wholesalers did. They let 10 or 15 of their employees collect and package vegetables and Gul and his brother do the ratings.

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However, Gul said that the flood last year devastated lands of Gul’s family and other partners, which he was hardly able to earn his living. Under such situation, he said that JEN’s assistance made the land recover to the level of growing vegetables and that he was able to get seeds of vegetables he had originally grown. Moreover, he said he appreciated JEN’s agricultural training of before and after harvest which led him to cut drastically ineffectiveness of production.

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Gul started exporting in June 2011. Up until June 19, he wholesaled 3,150 kilograms of balsam pears and exported 21,550 kilograms to Dubai. He said that the export and wholesale at the local markets would last until October this year. He hopes that the business year will be much better than before and he plans to build a storage and a cabin for ratings.

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June 30, 2011 in Pakistan |

Anbar Province, a treasure house of history

This time, I would like to introduce Anbar, one of the states where our project sites are located.

Anbar, located in western Iraq, is the largest state in the country, covering 32% of the national territory. It shares borders with Jordan, and has cities such as Ramadi, Anah and Fallujah.
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The word “anbar” originally meant “warehouse” in Arabic. Around the third century, Christian Arabs who lived in southern Iraq, sometimes called Mutherids, used this area for storing military items and food. Such history gave the state its current name.

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For the Sassanid Empire (3rd-7th centuries), Anbar was an important location to prevent attacks from the Roman Empire. The capital of Abbas Caliphate (8th-13th centuries) was actually located in Anbar, until Al-Mansur, the 2nd Caliph, moved it to Baghdad in the mid-8th century. Anbar lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Euphrates River, which flows into the Persian Sea.

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Countless people went through the state, and in the course of such history, many temples and palaces were built. You can see remnants of the ancient times from the historic ruins.

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June 30, 2011 in Iraq |

06/23/2011

Mother and the well

One day, we met an old woman with a bucket full of wet clothes gazing at the excavation site. She was Ms. Erpirai, 70 years old, living in Koduwamadu village.

“Every evening, I go to a distant place to bathe and do my laundry. But the water over there is very salty; and I am so old it is tiresome to walk 500 meters, or even a kilometer if the nearest place is dried up. I am so grateful that a freshwater well will be constructed here. I will be able to do other things with the time I had been walking to and from the old water site.”

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Sure, Amma (This is how we address mothers), the well will be ready soon. But this is a well meant for agriculture. It can also be used for laundry, but please do utilize it for farming to make an even better living!

(The income generation assistance program in the eastern Batticaloa District is implemented with assistance from our supporters, as well as the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects provided by the Foreign Ministry of Japan).

June 23, 2011 in Sri Lanka |

Water We Protect – Voices from Well Maintenance Training Participants -

 A training for “sustainable wells management” was held in Central Equatoria State Lainya County in South Sudan for 5days from June 13th to 17th.

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From 2007, JEN carried out well digging project for obtaining safe water in South Sudan at schools where many people use. At the same time, JEN trained engineers who manage and maintenance the wells when those broke down by each school community. In this project, those engineers in some communities in the county work together and a network in which prompt response for repairing request from community and government was possible planed to build.

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10 government officers from the county and Bayam  area and nine JEN staff participated in that training and learnt the method of spreading maintenance and repairing method to people. The government officers and JEN staff who received the training would be facilitators to develop the engineer network of obtaining safe water in each place.

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Poni Silvia  who participated in the training said “I could learn methods of problem solving by using resource in the community in case of problem occurs. When problem occurs in the future, I would like to encourage solving it by our self.”

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 Government officer Moro Wilson  commented “I could learn how to solve the issue of well maintenance with local community. By proper maintenance of the wells, we would like to use the wells 10 or 15 years.”

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JEN staff is now building co-operate relation with local community with not relying on supports but keeping mind of self-reliance, in which community maintain and manage the wells by themselves.

(Project Officer: Elizabeth)

(This project was supported by JPF, Chabo and other supporters!)

June 23, 2011 in South Sudan |

To grow the local community

n Haiti, the basic infrastructure such as drinking water, electricity, education and medical treatment, is not provided enough.
The local government encouraged villages to set up the water control committee to revitalize the local community.

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In Haiti, international organizations or local organizations have been working to secure the access to the safe water.
But there are not many that lasted long.
According to one international research group, only half of wells that were built long time ago can be in use despite of damage of the earthquake.

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Establishing the water control committee is the first step to making it possible for the local residents to maintain the access to drinking water by themselves.
Members of the committee will be elected from the community. The committee will discuss issues with the people in the community and solve them together.
Then, they will establish the system to collect water bill. So that they can sustainably maintain the water facility.

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JEN will dedicate ourselves as a solid support in the background to supporting the local residents to get on their feet. Then they can maintain the resource sustainably.

June 23, 2011 in Haiti |

06/16/2011

The Bananas

The remote office of Afghanistan project of JEN’s Islamabad office has moved to a new office. Surprising, there were bananas in the garden.

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Intensively, hot days around 40 degrees continued and we recognized that the bananas in the garden were large. It was time for harvest.

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Uncle Yakub, the driver for JEN, was always aware of this banana and it was just the right time to cut it off.

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Uncle Yakub was very satisfied with his big harvest.
           

Immediately, we tasted the banana!
(Incidentally, what is behind the staff is that he began a small gardening to grow tomatoes, okuras, cucumbers etc. without herbicides. He looks forward for this harvest as well. )

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It was still bitter but it was very delicious!

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From the left: Ushikubo Kamata (general and treasure affairs) Shinya Kamata (program officer)  Azumat Ali Shar(Office director) Araki Naoko (Program officer & photographer)

June 16, 2011 in Afghanistan |

Peshawar, the “City of Flowers”

Peshawar, one of places of JEN’s projects, has prospered as an important transportation and business hub, a gateway to the South and Central Asia. The history goes back to the era of the Kingdom of Gandhara, the 6th century BC.

Now the population is around 3,000,000. Peshawar is an important place for distribution with roads connected east to Islamabad and Lahore and south to Karachi. The famous Jamrod Road is connected to Afghanistan.

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Peshawar had been known as a lot of flowers until ten years ago. It is the capital of the Province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, located in the north-west of Pakistan. Many people visited Peshawar for secondary education or treatment for the diseases. In parks, a lot of people relaxed after work or spent with their families or their friends.

Peshawar is also known for its hospitality. In the late 1970s, when the Afghanistan War occurred, many refugees had to escape to Pakistan. Many of them evacuated to refugee camps or their relative’s house or their friend’s in Peshawar. They chose Peshawar because the cultural background is of Peshawar is very similar to that of Kabul and other cities in Afghanistan.

In 2009, when conflicts occurred in Swat Valley and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), many residents evacuated to Peshawar.

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However, as terrorist attacks often occur, Peshawar is now called “City of War” or “City of Bombing”. Today, precious lives are lost by terrorist attacks almost every day. Some countries restrict on visit to Peshawar because of the security.

Even under such situation, people in Peshawar opt for staying their hometown and go to school or work. Every time terrorist attacks of incidents occur, they support rescue work and donate blood. They believe the era of war and terrorism will be over some day.

People in Peshawar believe that the city will have a lot of flowers and many tourists from all over the world visit to enjoy good and old townscape and Pashtun culture again in the near future.

June 16, 2011 in Pakistan |

Message from Iraq to Japan

Few days ago, we visited some schools in Iraq to distribute the sanitation kits.
Teachers and students welcome us with banners saying ‘We love Japan, and We share your sorrow’ ‘We support you, as you always support us’ ‘Help our Japanese friend’.

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Here are some voices from schools in Iraq.
・ Amany Akram (fourth grade)
  I like people in Japan. They support our school. I’m really sad to hear the news of earthquake in Japan.

・Salwa Ma’an (fourth grade)
  Japanese are very good people. I like them very much.

・ Bashar Abdul-Rahman (sixth grade)
  I saw the news and wanted to do something for Japan. So I made a donation with my friends. I know that our contribution is not enough, however our mind exist with people in Japan.

・Ms. Suha Khalid (teacher)
  When the natural disasters happened in other countries, I could see them calmly.
But this time, I am so shocked when I heard the news of Japan. Japan is a peaceful country and has been doing technical support and humanitarian aid to many other countries. The action of JEN is one of those things, I think.

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We were so encouraged on our way back from schools and we thought that we need to keep doing our best for supporting people in Iraq.
In the near future, we hope that the news of revival of Japan will reach Iraqi who were cheering us, people in Japan, with banners today.

June 16, 2011 in Iraq |

06/09/2011

Well Delivery Ceremony (Morobo County)

On April 29th, a ceremony was held for delivering deep well with hand pump to local people at a school in Morobo county. JEN had provided some training to local member in facility management committee as engineers to use the well for a long time. It also encouraged self-reliance mind of the community itself. At the ceremony, certificates of training completion were issued and the member was recognized

County public officers invited to the ceremony showed thanks to JEN and they asked the committee members for contribution to the community. What is more, people related to Educational section were impressed that the bush was no longer dirtied by children’s excretion. We recognized the custom of the people changed to better way on that day.
(Programme officer  Haile)

(This project was completed in the end of April supported by JPF and other supporters. JEN started new project as we reported on May 12th. )

June 9, 2011 in South Sudan |

The glorious festival of Vesak

May 17th and 18th were holidays called Vesak. Vesak is said to be the birthday of Buddha (the founder of Buddism), and also the day of his spiritual enlightment and death. This year, counting 2,600 years from Buddha’s enlightment, festivals were held on an especially large scale.

Two kinds of memorial coins will be issued for this anniversary. The 10 rupee coin will be issued publicly in June, while the 1,000 rupee coin will be sold for 7,500 rupees each, and only 2,000 pieces will be issued.

By the way, preparation of this festival starts from about 10 days in advance. I saw people decorating lanterns, and Buddhist monks in the back of small trucks, going around the town and gathering offerings from the people.

During the two days of Vesak, there are food and drinks given out in the town - ice cream, black tea, and sometimes even whole meals! Many people were waiting in a long line. There were also contests for original lantern designs. Together with such festival mood, I also noticed its solemn side as a Buddhist ceremony. People of all ages, dressed in white robes, kept lining up to visit the temples.

June 9, 2011 in Sri Lanka |

Health education with fun

I went to see how it works the health education at Leogan city.Today we will show a short movie about health education for the kids at Petit Mignon kinder garden. We already give some training for the teachers and the children’s knowledge of health might be increased.

In a divided small class room, we can hear the neighbor sounds because while it has roof but no partition of upper of the wall. The walls are only for three ways and there are no walls as an approach. We covered the blue sheet there to easily viewable the movie.

The local JEN’s staff asked the children after they sheeted.
Staff: By what do you wash your hands?
Children: By the soap!
Staff: How do you wash? Could you please show me your way?
Children raise their hands and show the staff how to they wash their hands.

Then the staff asked the children to sing a song of the wash hands.
Everyone loudly sing a song using a gesture and it is Haitian style that being a little faster than previous. Children remember the song very well.

Then the staff announced children that they will show the movie about health now.
And the important point to see the movie is…
Staff: What should you open?
Children: Ears!  Eyes!  Heads!
Staff : Well, it is a little bit difficult to open your heads…with a bitter laugh.
All had laughed to hear that and the movie has been started.

This movie is about 30 minutes and it composed of the image and the cartoon film. It has the narration in Creole, which is major language in Haiti.
Everyone stare intently the movie with stars in their eyes.

Cholera had started to prevail in Haiti since the last October. Although once it decreased the number of infection reports, but the tendency has been increase along with the starting of hurricane season.
After the children backed their home, they talk to their parents, brothers and sisters about the knowledge what they leant here. We will continue this work cooperating with the supporters, JICA and Yachiyo Engineering for all of the families to have healthy lives in Haiti.

June 9, 2011 in Haiti |

06/02/2011

Distributing Hygiene Kit at School!

Presently, JEN is distributing a set of hygiene kits at schools of Saran area and Sahid area. Inside the kit are soap, fingernail cutter, hand towel, bathroom tissue, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap container. Other than this, each school are distributed an emergency kit with a garbage box for each class.

Today a whole set is being distributed at Sahidhel area GURU-AKU-SHAHID school and this is how it is distributed.

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Small children are also waiting in line to receive it.

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With the little bit grown boys.

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The elder were also handed.

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The girls with the kit, they are a bit nervous in front of the camera.

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The boys in line are with the kit posing.

A kit is handed over to each child hand to hand.

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This is how we were able to hand the whole kit to all 792 pupils with no problem.

June 2, 2011 in Afghanistan |

Harvest training in Tajakay Village, UC Nisatta

An agriculture specialist is instructing the safe harvesting procedure.

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Farmers harvest loofahs after the training.


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Field assistants conduct sessions in rural areas to teach how to select and pack vegetables.


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Agricultural trainers go down to the field and instruct how to select bitter gourds appropriately.

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Farmers can pack bitter gourds much better now.

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Farmers holding packed bitter gourds, after the harvest management session.

June 2, 2011 in Pakistan |

A traditinal market in Baghdad

Al Shorjeh Market is well known as the oldest market in Baghdad. Its history can be traced back to the late Abbas Caliphate in the 13th century.

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This market was originally called Rayiaheen (meaning “perfumer”) Market. The name changed to Attareen (“spice merchant”) Market, then to Al Shorjeh Market, as it is called today. The origin of the current name has various theories. Some say that it comes from the Arab word for “saltwater well” or “sesame oil”, while others say it comes from the Turkish words for “small river of saltwater”.

Anyway, the market is an important place for the people of Baghdad. They come here to buy all kinds of candles and spices for big events, such as Ramadan (the fasting month) or Eid, which is a grand festival celebrating the end of Ramadan.

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There are more than nineteen alleys inside Al Shorjeh Market. Many shops are lined in the alleys, selling goods such as soap or stationaries―you can buy about anything. There are also thirteen accommodations and four mosques, as well as two traditional coffee houses, one of where singers of classical Arabian music (maqam) gather.

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Sadly, a part of Al Shorjeh Market’s buildings have been destroyed by bombing and old age. Such buildings are gradually being rebuilt into new ones, which are changing the atmosphere of the traditional market.

June 2, 2011 in Iraq |

06/01/2011

About volunteering

First of all, we would like to thank all of you that participated in our volunteering schemes during the Golden Week!

With your cooperation, we were able to remove sludge and remnants from homes in Watariha and Oshika neighborhoods. At the soup kitchen, we were able to provide warm meals for lunch and dinner, everyday since the start, to those residents working to clean up their homes.

The damage extends to a considerable area.

Nevertheless, it is for the volunteers that gather from all over the world that we can share precious moments. For instance that day when one of the volunteers searched for something in amidst of debris in a destroyed house, that made the owner full of joy.

We can all help those people regain their livelihoods and be optimistic about the future.

The instructions for the recruiting of volunteers are the following.

Your contribution is essential in the reconstruction process for the affected people. We urgently call for your assistance.

<Conditions of participation>
1. Accommodate transportation to the site. (Assembly and dismissal at the site)
2. Be ready to stay at a common accommodation with others. 
3. Accommodate sleeping gears, food and water, appropriate garments and gears for the labor work.

<Recruiting schedule>
Assembly place and time are subject to change upon local needs. Please make extra care to check for any changes, before departure, through our website. We apologize in advance for any inconveniences caused.

◆Starting every Wednesday (Monday at noon is the deadline for application for the volunteering session starting that Wednesday)
June 1st, June 8th, June 15th, June 22nd, June 29th
Assembly place: JEN Office (*)
Assembly time: 18:00 of the day before (Tuesday)
★After the meet up, we will hold an orientation, then we will take you to the accommodation.
★closed on every Tuesday

◆Starting every Saturday (Thursday at 17:00 is the deadline for application for the volunteering session starting that Saturday) 
June 4th, June 11th, June 18th, June 25th
Assembly place: JEN Office (*)
Assembly time: 9:00 that day
★After the meet up, we will hold an orientation, then we will take you to the site.
★closed on every Tuesday

Address of the Office  : 284-1  Minamisakai Shinmito Ishinomaki City (a one-minute walk from Ichinomaki Senshu University south gate)

<Accommodation>
JEN Watariha Accommodation
48-2 Yamazaki Watariha, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture

<Number of people>
20

<Details of volunteering work>
★Removal of sludge and debris from houses (clean-up of sludge, trash, furniture submerged in water brought by the tsunami)
★Distribution of goods to homes or pre-hab housings
Contents will change according to the local circumstances. We ask for your understanding.

For details, you can download the form 「call_for_volunteers_sludge_removal_aftergw.docx」をダウンロード .
You can download the application form 「application_form.doc」をダウンロード .
For any queries, please email volunteer@jen-npo.org

Please post the application form to JEN Tokyo Headquarters at
Daini Tobundo Bldg 7F, 2-16 Agebacho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
162-0824
or fax it to 03-5225-9357.

June 1, 2011 in Tohoku Earthquake |