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UNDP Goodwill ambassador – Ms. Misako Konno visits Ishinomaki

On October 21 (Fri), Ms. Misako, Konno、a goodwill ambassador of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) visited Ihinomaki.  She visited various venues together with JEN staff.

First, She bisited Sudachi area, Higashihama, Oshika, and inspected fishing equipment support by JEN.  Higashihama is very famous for the fishery of mantis crab, but almost all fishing nets are flowed way by tsunami.  In order to recover the fishing life, fishermen are now making new nets.  Ms. Konnno learned how to make net from the Mr.  Ishimori, a leader of Ishinomaki east branch.

[Photo : Mr. Ishimoro and Ms. Konno]

[Photo : Ms. Konno learned how to make a net.]

Next, Ms. Konno visited Ayukawahama.  She inspected a place where “Oshika temporary shopping street” will open in November.  Ms. Konno had conversation with Mr. Numakura and Mr. Henmi, shopowners.  They were talking about the situation of the earthquake and planning of a shopping street.

[Photo : Ms. Konno, Mr. Numakura and their friends]


Last visit was to Koganehama hall at the center of IShinomaki.  JEN is running gymnastics school for kids and mental care activities (supply of chance of communication, massage and others) here. Children were there and showed their cheerful voices on this day, too.

[Photo : Kids are full of energy!]

Children played with balloons or played tag with JEN staff.  Ms. Konno got close to one girl and listened to her.ing to her.


All people have smiles when they see children laugh.  However pleasant time goes very fast.  Before leaving, Ms. Konno took a souvenir picture with children.

Thanks to Ms. Konno’s visit, many people had wonderful smiling faces in each area of Higashihama, Ayukawahama, Koganehama.  JEN is willing to make a new step for the reconstruction together with people in the areas.


November 30, 2011 in Tohoku earthquake |


Preparing for a severe winter – Distribution of heaters to leased temporary housing

JEN have been distributing about 70 items of daily necessities needed for life, to 6890 households among temporary housing in Ishinomaki City.

End of September: Distribution to temporary housing by JEN team

We distributed from door to door.

As the season is in transition, it gets awfully cold in the mornings and the evenings in November in Ishinomaki City, located in the northeastern part of Miyagi Prefecture. In December, the temperature often goes down to subzero.
In preparation for winter that will get harsher and harsher in Ishinomaki City, distribution of heaters to private rental housing (leased temporary housing as follows) has a great meaning.

On Monday, November 28, when the coldest time of the year was just around the corner, JEN started to distribute heaters to 6400 households who live in leased temporary housing, and sent a set of an oil fan heater and an electric carpet to each of about 200 households on that day, thanks to donation from supporters and in cooperation with Japan Platform.

Oil fan heaters and electric carpets loaded on a delivery van

Deliverers were so busy.

Measures to distribute heaters to leased temporary housing was the center of attention in society, and on that day, which was the first day of distribution, a TV station in Miyagi Prefecture visited Jen to cover the activity.

A JEN staff giving an interview to a TV station

Then, to our joy, we received gratitude from people to whom heaters have been sent. We had many letters, postcards and phone calls. We will excerpt and present part of them below.

l This first support warmed my heart too. Different from temporary housing, we were omitted from the number of victims, so we felt a bit sad wondering if we were forgotten. I feel that the support encouraged us and was heartfelt. Thank you very much. I am deeply grateful. (Woman in Ishinomaki)

l Because we have never received relief supplies, thanks to this support my gloomy feelings were wiped away. Thank you so much.(Woman in Ishinomaki)

l I was really saved when I received an electric carpet and a fan heater at the time when cold temperature touched me to the core. I lost my husband in the disaster, and our newly-built house has been smashed, so I have a still long way to go toward revival while repairing the house, but I would like to work hard with cheer from people who support me. (Woman in Ishinomaki)

As of December 7, JEN has completed distribution of heaters to 5900 households. We are planning to carry out distribution to all the households by the end of the year.

It is getting colder and colder in Ishinomaki day by day. The wind is cold, and at night the temperature gets extremely cold. To send as much warmth as possible, to have a spring brimful of hope, JEN will continue tackling.

November 28, 2011 in Tohoku earthquake |


Support for water to prevail in the fields

Many organizations are busy supporting disaster victims here in the eastern region, where much damage resulted from war, as well as floods and droughts caused from climate change. JEN, as one of such organizations, carries out support activities for recovery of sustenance in the realm of agriculture.

In order to provide water, the most essential factor, we dig wells for agricultural purpose and give out feed pumps (the yellow item in the photo) and distribution hoses (the black item in the photo, which has 100 metres length). We arrange water to be supplied to the fields of all 8 families that share one well.

Explanatory meetings are also essential to make sure the supplies are well utilized. Along with actually handing out the items, such background activities are also carried out as part of the distribution program.

(This program is operated with cooperation from our supporters and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. )

November 24, 2011 in Sri Lanka |

First Female Instructor of Repairing Hand Pumps

Here is an extra story of the project. Let us introduce a South Sudani female instructor from Water department who has been playing an important role on trainings for engineer of repairing hand pumps. We had reported about her at our news flash, which had been published 2 times before. The reason why she was focused on was that female instructors are absolutely rare in this country.

Her name is Christine Proidencio (39), an instructor mother rising 5 children.

She started working for Water Department as an office staff in 1992 and received a training of repairing hand pumps in 1993. There was no female except her in 31 trainees.

Her mark was excellent and she was chosen as a repairing engineer of Water dept. She had been a first repairing engineer in Central Equatoria State and probably in South Sudan area too. We could see it from the fact that all visitor of Water dept. from other states was surprised at female repairing engineer.


Nowadays, there are 2 female instructors (for repairing hand pumps) in Central Equatoria State Water dept. including her, and we hope they shine with their profession.

In addition, there were three women in 33 participants from other area in JEN’s repairing engineer training. We would like to have interviews with them in near future.

This project is supported by JPF and Chabo! and all supporters.

(Article by Hileserasse Melesse )

November 24, 2011 in South Sudan |

Persistence pays of, and vice versaq

By the end of last October, one project has been completed.
We would like to thank Japan Platform and all supporters.

This project required great effort with establishing well control committee and training for the communities.

They will start charging for using well to operate the committee.

The administrator will get paid while other members of the committee won't.
Even though it is called salary, it's about 250gould(6.25dollars).
In Haiti, unemployment rate is about 70%. But still finding a candidate for the administrator job was quite difficult.
However, finally the water committee has been established.

The new project which has been started since November, monitoring and supporting the activities of the well control committee is one of the most important activities.
Because even though we know the meaning of " Persistence pays off", we also know how difficult it is to keep it working.


A week or two weeks later since the delivery ceremony with music and dance, local staffs from JEN visited the wells without notifying them in advance.
What they found was that 7 out of 10 project location didn't have those administrators hired earlier. They were gone!
We were disappointed with it but we could see it happen somehow.
Probably everybody might have been through stuff like this. Ending up being "Mikkabozu" a Japanese word to describe someone who can stick to nothing.

The committee said they couldn't keep themselves motivated due to huge workloads which they found out after they were assigned to the jobs.

For now, they are trying to solve the issues by suggesting ideas like limiting open hours of wells or share the workloads with members from the committee.


JEN will support them until they can stand on their feet.The well control committee has just been born!

November 24, 2011 in Haiti |


Nakayashiki Art School for kids

On November 19 (Sat), JEN held the Art school for kids at a community space “Nakayashiki Kissa” at Nakayashiki under the corporation of art volunteer team of studio Ai.

In spite of the rain, many children attended this art school on this day.
At first, children did not draw anything on the large white papers. However, after seeing art volunteer team staff drawing pictures pleasantly, they started to draw pictures with their favorite colors and make paper folding freely.

[Children is drawing pictures with their favorite colors freely]

In a relaxed mood with volunteers, children gradually started individual original works.

Girls put cutouts to the wall and made colorful pictures.

[Serious look!]

[Colorful picture]

On the other hand, boys are delighted to see insects and animals of paper folding made by volunteers.  They shouted  “Amazing!”, “Looks storong!” 

[Cutouts of Mantis, butterfly, bird and others]

Before closing the art school, children said “When is closing? “What time do we go home?”  They did not seem to be satisfied, but closing time came. They corporated to put things in order.

JEN held the art school for kids on the next day, too. Children made many wonderful articles full of their idea.

[Articles – picture of fir and socks for Christmas]

[Articles – full of kids’ ideas]

People and children always gather at Nakayashikissa. There are adults who discipline children even if they are not their own children.
Nakayashiki area also heavily suffered from tsunami.  However, Nakayashikissa will watch children as a lamplite.

November 21, 2011 in Tohoku earthquake |

Restoration of business and temporary shops – Oshika shopping street has opened!

On November 18 (Fri), a temporary “Oshikashopping street” opened in Ayukawahama, Oshika.  After one month and half from the start of works, it was completed before the real winter.  A photo of the ground-breaking ceremony is here.

There are sixteen shops in “Oshika shopping street”.  They were living in Oshika peninsula and terribly suffered from earthquake and tsunami. However, they have been managing “reconstruction market” at Ayukawahama.  JEN supported peoples’ strong requirement for the restoration of shops and has materialized it with the support of HELP, a German NGO, supported.  Collaboration of JEN and HELP originated in the support for refugees in former Yugoslavia eighteen years ago.

On the sunny day, many people gathered for the opening ceremony. Chairman of Oshika Inai chamber of commerce and other people made speeches to celebrate for the opening.  JEN also attended this ceremony, made tape cut and delivered rice cake to congratulate the start of “Oshika shopping street”.

[ Photo : tape cut under the clear green sky.  It was unbelievable nice day.]

[Photo : Very busy for rice cake delivery. More than five hundred people visited there on the day!]

There are sixteen shops in Oshika shopping street.  Those are shops for food and beverage, fish, liquor, fruits and vegetable, beauty salon, souvenir, daily goods, electronic devices and others.  Just after opening the shopping street at eleven a.m., all shops were full of customers.  People were enjoying shopping for daily goods, vegetable and fish.  They also enjoyed eating ramen, sushi, soft cream and other foods that they could not taste for a long time.

“Long time to see you!”
Some people met together for the first time after the earthquake.  All shops were full of smiles of customers.

[Phote : A path is between the shops.  There are two same shop builidngs.]

People have been waiting for the opening of beauty salon for a long time.  Right after opening this salon, one customer came to have her hair cut, and other people were watching it with deep interest.

[Photo : At beauty salon, the first customer and people who are watching it]

Before, people in this area used “Oshika reconstruction market” once a week, or went shopping to the center of Ishinomaki that is about forty minutes by car or bus one way.
From now, this “Oshika shopping street is a symbol for the reconstruction.  This is a place for shopping and relaxation for the people in this area.  JEN hopes that this street will become a place full of life and many people enjoy meeting and energy here.

At Ayukawahama, people daily life is gradually recovering.  They have made a strong step forward to the real reconstruction onthis day.  This is a start for the reconstruction of the future town.  JEN will walk along with people in Ayukawa, Oshika peninsula for the reconstruction.


November 21, 2011 in Tohoku earthquake |


Baby goats

JEN has distributed goats to 470 IDP families since late September.

As we noted before, these goats are nanny goats at their three to four months pregnancy. Baby goats have already been born in 50 families out of those distributed.

Today, we will show you baby goats’ photos received from the scene.

A newborn baby goat is so small and light that even a little kid can hold it.


Also, there was a baby goat that had been born at JEN’s storehouse before the distribution.


So far, the probability of twinning has been more than one-fifth.


Pastoral advisors who were chosen from IDPs visit families in charge every week, and check the health condition of mother goats, breed status, and the condition of baby goats when they are born.

It is also one of the important tasks for pastoral advisors to check how much milk is expressed from post-delivery goats.

Currently, each of all 50 post-delivery goats has been producing 3 liter of milk per day as expected.

For IDPs, both mother goats and baby goats are precious property. Our support will be continued until they learn to be able to raise goats properly in the whole community.


November 17, 2011 in Pakistan |

New project has started

The school repair and hygiene promotion project targeting 19 schools in five prefectures in Iraq began in last December and completed at the end of October.  Now, a new project has been launched in November.

JEN will continuously work on the projects to repair water facilities and toilets and the hygiene promotion projects at schools in Iraq.

The new project to repair school and to promote better hygiene will cover 7 prefectures. New prefectures are Sahara Din and Washitto (colored in purple) in addition to the five prefectures (colored in green) in which the project has been launched already, Baghdad, Diarra, Anbar, Kirkuk and Babiru.
The director of Baghdad office and the overseas division director who is visiting Jordan are talking about how to proceed the new project.


November 17, 2011 in Iraq |

Oshika area – JEN has completed drills for prevention of disasters for all shelter.

On November 17. JEN made guidance of prevention of disasters and delivery of fire extinguishers to each household of shelters at Ayukawahama, Oshika peninsula, under the corporation of Oshika fire station, Onagawa.
JEN completed all drills for prevention of disasters held at shelters in eighteen zones in Oshika area on this day.

[ From now, we will visit each housing!]

JEN started the drills for prevention of disasters at shelters in Oshika peninsula in the middle of October.

Now, each shelter has one fire extinguisher, but there is no water tank and sewage.  Furthermore, as shelters are not independent houses, in case of fire, there is higher risk of damage of fire.

As they live in shelters from now, it is very important to secure the safety and reduce anxiety for them.
JEN think that such support will be linked to the mental care of people living in the area.

In Oshika area, they have had drills for prevention of disasters of earthquake and tsunami every year.  In addition to those, for the prevention of fire, JEN planned and carried out drills for prevention of fire disasters for all eighteen shelters in Oshika area and delivered fire extinguishers to all 443 shelters. 

[Drill for prevention of disasters – telephone call for fire station]

[Drill for using fire extinguisher in front of meeting place at shelters]

[Many housewives attended a drill] 

On 17, the last day of the drill, staff of the fire station and JEN visited each shelter and explained how to use fire extinguishers.  Through face to face communication and delivery of the fire extinguishers, conversation about the season and daily life occurred in addition to the how to use the equipment.

[Delivery of fire extinguisher by JEN staff]

[Laugh comes out from the conversation]

After the drills of prevention of disaster at eighteen shelters, some people said,

“We were living in individual houses before and did not care for neighborhood except relatives.  However, thanks to the drills, now we are very much concerned about the prevention of disasters.”

Many old people are living alone in shelters. In the area, spirit of mutual aid is important. In addition to that, drills for prevention of disasters for the for the worst case is also meaningful.

[View of Ayukawahama from Shelters]

November 17, 2011 in Tohoku earthquake |

School opening ceremony in Salang District

n October 31, 2011, an opening ceremony was held at two of the schools constructed by JEN in Salang District: Ahangaran Junior High School  and Darul Hefaz Salang School.

The ceremonies were hosted by the Department of Education of Parwan Province and were attended not only by the officials of the Department of Education but also the members of JEN’s staff.

For Ahangaran Junior High School, JEN supported the construction of 3 classrooms, external walls, and the pipeline connecting the river and the water tank.

Completed classroom
(Ahangaran Junior High School)

The school officials, who had been watching the children study in conditions which were far from safe, welcomed the completion of construction works and were very happy that the children’s studying environment had improved.

The officials of the Department of Education are cutting the tape with a smile
(Ahangaran Junior High School)

For Darul Hefaz Salang School, JEN supported the construction of 6 classrooms, 6 toilets, external walls, the pipeline, and the water tank.

Completed school building
(Darul Hefaz Salang School)

JEN’s Project Manager giving a speech at the opening ceremony
(Darul Hefaz Salang School)

Approximately 200 students study at this school but there were insufficient numbers of classrooms and toilets, just like Ahangaran Junior High School.

We hope that the newly constructed facilities will help the children to study in a more comfortable environment.

November 17, 2011 in Afghanistan |


Appointments in Sri Lanka

Do you feel differences between cultures when you travel or live in foreign countries?

One characteristic practice I noticed in Sri Lanka is "visiting without appointments".

In Japan, we usually appoint the date and time of our visit in advance, especially when on business. However, there is no such practice here in Sri Lanka. At first I was unaware of this and was hurriedly rechecking my datebook - "Was there an appointment today?" - whenever our staff told me that someone came over.

The other day, I had a chance to talk with a Japanese lady whose husband is Sri Lankan, and she told me of the practice. If you make an appointment for a visit, the host is likely to to prepare things like tea and sweets for the guest. The custom to arrive without previous notice comes from consideration so the person you are visiting would not have to take such trouble.

November 10, 2011 in Sri Lanka |

To create a more peaceful world

It's been a month since I was assigned to the project in Haiti.

A while ago, a monitoring team from Japan PlatForm(JPF) visited us.

Our projects has been supported through subsidies from JPF.
Here in Haiti, the current project which we dig wells, establish a well control committee and rebuild communities is one of them.

We, JEN as an organization that aim to create a more peaceful world, work together with JPF and contributing experts.

Photo:The current project in Haiti. Well digging and Establishing a well control committee.


(General Affairs&Account, Haiti office Taeko Kosaka)

November 10, 2011 in Haiti |

Hygiene Education in Sudan: Issue Discovery through Group Discussion

JEN’s hygiene education in Sudan this year is provided to the communities, especially schools. The teachers and students had been participants until the year before, however, adults became leading player from this year. The method was not one way lecture style but participatory like the lessons held in the past. Here is an explanation by using the example of Adile primary school  in Kajo Keji county.

In October, each village had issue discovery sessions through group discussion. 15-6 villagers, not all, were gathered. Chief of the village helped to gather women and men, young to late middle aged people with good balance.

Then, they discussed what the problems are using picture cards. Some people had already knew the life with hygiene so that they detected toward the solutions by sharing information each other. This time, they discussed what is led if they did the business not in toilet but in the river or garden.

The picture cards helped the explanation and discussion which is difficult to express only by words. The session were progressed in a friendly atmosphere.

Mr. Bonny Loase (28)  rising 3 children said “If my youngest child did the business in our house or in front of the house, I will be clean it up as soon as possible to prevent from disease. I would like to attend next hygiene education session and learn more.”

At the edge of eaves at the rear of the group, people watched the session with their curiosity although they did not attend the discussion.

It took 90min by car from the town centre of Kajo Keji county to Kaiba  village which has the Adile primary school. We had to walk for 10 min to the village as we could not use cars due to the increasing of river water amount and the flow.

Due to the increasing the river water, JEN staff used wood combined bridge made by local people.

We arrived at the village by 10 min walk glancing sorghum farm at both sides of the road.

At the centre of the village, there are some buildings like below made by clay wall. The group discussion was held in the middle of there.


It took 10 min walk to the school to install wells and latrines from there. The inner garden of the school was beautiful. JEN and school staff checked together the place of installing the latrines. The candidate site was tussock at the edge of the school. Installation of the latrines would start next month led by local people.

It was a lunch break, when we visited. In the inner garden, the boys were enjoying playing football, girls were enjoying hit-ball game, in which they threw a tennis ball size ball from both side about 20m distance to the girls in the middle. If the ball hit one of them, they have to change the place. They enjoyed the lunch break.



(This project is supported by JPF and every one.)

November 10, 2011 in South Sudan |


Noor Malik’s Story

NGOs that work in Pakistan work closely with victims of conflict and disaster across the country and meet victims who live in various circumstances.

For this article, we would like to tell the story of Moor Malik’s family, who the JEN staff met in Dera Isamil Khan district, where the current JEN office is located.

Noor Malik and his wife do not have children. Malik is around 75 years old and his wife is turning 68.


The two used to live in a village called Kama Gourami of South Waziristan, an area that has received the greatest damage in conflict. Other than a small house and 4 goats that are a sole source of income, Mr. and Mrs. Malik had no possessions that they can call their own. Needless to say that is not enough to survive, but by receiving contributions from neighbors, they managed to somehow get by.

One day two years ago in the middle of the night, Mr. and Mrs. Malik as well as others from the village had to leave their homes and escape to Dera Ismail Khan. The army came to Malik’s village and called on the villagers to evacuate to a safe place. Seeing as war was imminent, it was no longer impossible for the two to go back to their home in South Waziristan.

The journey from their village to the evacuation area was extremely difficult. With no food, water and change of clothes, their only choice was to continue walking to Dera Ismail Khan. The two are old aged and are unable to walk for a long period. They had to leave behind their 4 goats, which were their sole source of income.

Like most internally displaced people, Mr. and Mrs. Malik could not make it in time to register as a refugee and as a result, they could not receive food aid from WFP (United Nations World Food Programme). Mr. and Mrs. Malik say they could not eat anything for days even after they arrived in Dera Ismail Khan.

Since then they two lived in a relatives house in Paharpur village located in the same district. Although they are relatives, it is a little uncomfortable living in someone else’s home, but they had no other choice says Malik. The two had no way of setting aside food for each day and they spent each day praying for a miracle.

However, in July of this year since the projects in Dera Ismail Khan have started, their lives have started to change.


Mr. and Mrs. Malik have now been registered to become eligible to receive aid and were able to get a pregnant goat. Shortly after they received the goat, a kid was born and they were able to milk the goat. They use the milk for their food every day, but because they can sell the extra milk that they do not need, they are now able to save some money.

JEN will continue to help those who need aid the most.

November 2, 2011 in Pakistan |

Iraqi TV Station Reported Severe Reality of School

We got an “urgent” mail from a staff member of Bagdad office last week.

He said that AL-Sharqia TV, an Iraqi TV station, broadcast severe reality of schools in Kirkuk.

What I saw in the video was that a school was surrounded by garbage as if it were a garbage site and that students were studying in a classroom without windows due to lack of budget for purchasing glasses.


Some children cried and said, “I want the school clean.”


JEN is trying to renovate school in five districts. However, we recognized that there are many more schools in need of support.

November 2, 2011 in Iraq |

We have started to distribute “Yume Pokke (Dream Pockets)”

e have started to distribute this year’s “Yume Pokke”.

In Afghanistan, the distribution of Yume Pokke started in 2005, so this is the sixth year.
For this year, the distribution started on 18th October. Yume Pokke will be given to over 3000 children who are in grade 1 to 3 in the schools in Bagram District, Parwan Province.

Each Yume Pokke is a hand-made bag filled with stationaries, toys, and other presents from Japanese primary school/ junior high school students. The children in Bagram were delighted to receive the Yume Pokke, as it is difficult for them just to go to markets.

Let me share with you the reactions of the pupils inShafaq Shaheed High School, who recently received the Yume Pokke.

The photograph shows the happy faces of the pupils in grade 2.

Here, the pupils in grade 3 are also opening the hand-made bags.

Myriam: “Thank you very much for the gift.”

November 2, 2011 in Afghanistan |