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04/26/2012

Hygiene promotion workshop has started

Hygiene promotion workshop has been started since middle of this month. Elementary and secondary school teachers are the ones who attend this workshop at first. JEN makes a lecture about the importance of gargling, washing hands, and other daily practices which can prevent people from infection. JEN also teaches them proper ways to store foods and cook foods in order to avoid food poisoning, because the temperature in Iraq goes up as high as around 50°C in summer.

After teachers had participated this workshop, next they have to give a lesson in hygiene to their students. JEN is also observing this hygiene lesson given by the teachers and check that children   could receive correct information about hygiene and contents of the teaching material were properly understood by them.

[Some of the scenes in A Secondary School]

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April 26, 2012 in Iraq |

Life in my village

My village name is Batakara situated in district Swabi. It lies at the right bank of river Indus KPK Pakistan surrounded by District Mardan, Buner and Hazara. Swabi is famous for agriculture and hospitality. The main source of income of the people is farming and livestock. Mainly people grow Wheat, maize, tobacco, sugarcane & vegetables and keep sheep, goats and buffalos.

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The people of Swabi belong to Pathan tribe’s yousaf zai and utman zai and are famous for their culture and hospitality.

They warmly welcomed to a huge numbers of internally displaced people from Swat in 2009 due to military operation against Armed Opposition groups. They shared their homes and hujras (guest rooms) with these affected peoples and accommodate them till the settlement of dispute. Many NGOs including JEN worked in Swabi during that difficult period.

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The people of Swabi are very social and polite and give honor to any one individual or organization working in their areas. They also support the development efforts made by organization in this area like water supply and sanitation schemes and infrastructure schemes.

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The people of Swabi are mostly farmers and living with simple life. They keep livestock like Sheeps, cow, buffalo, and goats for their dairy product. They are using this dairy product in their food and also offer to guests.

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The young generation of Swabi are mostly educated and doing jobs in different government and private organization. The education ratio of District Swabi is better than other areas of this province and the famous engineering university of Pakistan GIK is situated in Swabi. 

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Some of JEN staffs are from Swabi and practice in social activities with different local community organization.

April 26, 2012 in Pakistan |

On the First Trip to the Field Site

Today I would like to tell about transportation to the field site.

Our project for this year have just started this February. On the other hand, we are going to start preliminary research for 2013 program from this June. The future program will take place in two districts which are about 85 kilometers away from province capital Charika. Between these two districts, other two districts are located. On these districts in between, anti-government forces are still armed and active.

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Truck burned by anti-government forces is left on the road.

When we travel through these areas, we are usually given referral from the government in advance, so we can go through government's checkpoint smoothly. We also contact other organization operating in the same district to get safety information around the place. It is very important for us to work together with police, government and other aid organizations beforehand, especially in the first field trip like this time, and this country where we can find no detailed road map.

We had a field trip for the first time on this March and we had passed through all six checkpoints with no trouble. JEN staff brought letter from province mayor, and also letter that is saying that the car should not used for transportation of other passengers besides JEN staff. This letter is essential for staff's safety because, unlikely to Japan, people often ask drivers to share the ride. We took three hours to travel 85km to the destination, but without problem. Staff used SMS on mobile phone when they pass through the checkpoints. They used it to share information of where they are, time of departure from the field site and also to report whereabouts before they meet people.

Staff used trip meter on car to write down landmarks such as markets, bridges and distance to the checkpoint. This helped us to make a brief road map to the destination. We also made an emergency contact list. JEN will continue necessary preparation for next year's program by traveling to the field again and again.

April 26, 2012 in Afghanistan |

04/19/2012

Gourmet at street corner in South Sudan

I will introduce the gourmet at street corner of Juba, capital of South Sudan.

This burger shop in Juba town is always crowded with people. It is closed in the afternoon because the burgers are sold out. This shop serves a variety of taste, chicken, beef, liver, fish, beans and vegetables. It may be one of the reasons of the popularity. Meats burned over the counter are very nice fragrance.

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Fish Burger: lower left, chicken burger :lower right, Beef Burger: on the center
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There is also fresh juice, lemon, orange, pineapple, Guaba etc.. Those are served in daily
Lemon juice
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On the streets, thin-baked bread, called chapati, are sold. They stuff thin-baked egg into chapati deftly.
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Topped with tomato slices and raw onion
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It is easy-to-eat dish for breakfast, lunch and evening snacks.
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In the market, there are a lot of household goods. Food is one of their representatives. In front of a shop which provides delicious cuisine, lots of people get together.
Crispier chickens are faintly spicy.
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French fries to fried chicken
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Fried bread, called Mandaji
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Here is snacks, called Tamiya. Exquisite seasoning, crispy coat and the fragrant is very addictive. It is the food like pork cutlet without pork meat.
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Women are frying Tamiya in the streets, giving out flashes of Tamiya aroma.
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April 19, 2012 in South Sudan |

Jimmie Pierre, our new colleague in Haiti

I am Jimmie Pierre, a new general affairs & finance assistant.  I was born and grown up in Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti. I am 39 years old and also a father of twin daughters.

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I am a member of organization named CUSOPHAJ which introduces and promotes Japanese culture to here in Haiti. In this organization I am learning things around Japan and teaching Japanese language as a volunteer teacher for beginner course as well.

I have worked 13 years as a teacher, but wanted to have experience in different field. That is why I started my new carrier in JEN two weeks ago. I have many good colleagues here and JEN is one of the NGO who carries out visible and definitive support in Haiti.

There are still aftermaths of the earthquake here.  But I believe that we Haitians could meet JEN in such circumstance will bring good result to our future.

April 19, 2012 in Haiti |

Eastern part: 3 Months Has Passed since Project Completed

Let me introduce a voice a lady participated in workshops on agricultural wells or community reinforcement in the east project completed last December.

Ms Maheswary, Kiran DS Vaddavan Village, 30 years old

I grow seven kinds of vegetables in a two-acre field.
Home-made organic fertilizer I learned last year makes vegetable grow well and the vegetables sell more than before.
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With the earnings, I opened a small shop and grow live stocks.

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Furthermore, I can save money. I’m really happy.
Now that we get a huge agricultural well, I am sure I can get over whatever that may happen in future.

April 19, 2012 in Sri Lanka |

04/12/2012

How are the IDPs now?

As long as the IDPs were living at origin before conflict their lives were worst at several aspects. Awareness of education in males was very less and that of female was totally zero. Their main sources of income were agriculture and livestock. Majority of them before displacement had no exposure to settled areas and cities. By nature they were narrow-minded and by culture they were conservative. Due to linguistic problems most of them would hesitate to go outside FATA. In a common case it would be a difficult job for an IDP to withdraw money from the bank using an ATM card. They had negative perceptions about humanitarian organizations.

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After displacement most of them came to start living in D I Khan, Tank and some moved to Karachi. Humanitarian Organizations provided them shelter, food, NFIs and most importantly the high caliber staff dealt them with patience and politeness. Effective mobilization made them changing their minds and a hope to start recovers their lives.

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Humanitarian organizations provided them capacity building trainings in terms of Health, Sanitation, Hygiene, Livelihood Recovery, Gender & Female Education and Protection etc. They interacted with the local people, who were more educated, patient, happy and bearing better social values.

Gradually they adjusted themselves with the local people. Their perception of biasedness reduced about other communities and tribes. They realized the importance of education and are more willing than ever to send their children to schools. They started interest in other sources of livelihood other than agriculture and livestock. They have come to know the role of humanitarian organizations. Now they know their rights as affected people and understand the law & justice system.

April 12, 2012 in Pakistan |

Materials for hygiene promotion workshop

JEN is now working in 5 prefectures in Iraq on 2 major projects. One is school renovation project for elementary and secondary school and the other is hygiene promotion project.

In the hygiene promotion project, JEN helps people to understand what kind of action should they take in their daily life to prevent infection by emphasizing practices such as washing hands or brushing teeth. The materials used in hygiene promotion are designed by JEN with advice from the Ministry of Education in Iraq.

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We have had very careful review of the contents, as well as repeated discussion with the Ministry of Education. At end of this March, we finally got an approval of the ministry to use this for the purpose of hygiene education. Because it is not allowed in Iraq to print educational material without their approval, this meant that we could now send copy to printing at last.

The new hygiene education workshops using this materials will be implemented from the middle of April at many schools.

April 12, 2012 in Iraq |

A challenge to make " Hanging Hina " by people living in temporary housing

JEN continues its efforts to promote community activities in temporary housing complex and as a part of its activities people living there are now challenging to make 'Hanging Hina': Hnaging Hina are dolls that represent Emperor and Empress and their servants and displayed on March 3 to celebrate the Doll's Festival(Girl's day); they are made of old kimono cloth and hung by code from ceilings so as to save space to display.

This challenge follows one in March, in which people challenged to make Hina Dolls: Hina Dolls also represent Emperor and their servants but displayed on a special step-altar, (See people challenging to make Hina Dolls here.)

The challenge came from the voice of people; people will make one cord of Hunging Hina every month to prepare for next year's Doll's Festival.

One day in April, they are working on making owl dolls. I heard someone say "Since I was not able to come last month, I did hope to come this month." They were seriously involved in their work. Owls are believed to bring good luck to people or help people to avoid hardship because the word owl in Japanese has the same sounds as words for "good luck" and "free from hardship".

【Many people have gathered as usual. 】

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A woman who squinted her eyes saying "Oh, I can't see the needle!" had a help in threading a needle from her neighbor at the table. From what I heard, they had lived close to each other before the disaster. Although they have got to live in the temporary housing, bonds among their neighbors have taken root,

【Their cheerful conversations are almost audible】

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After they enjoyed potluck luncheon at the noon over rice balls, pickles and hot soup hand-made by JEN staff, they continued to make owl dolls. There was also a male participant among them and the finish of his owl doll was so excellent that people couldn't imagine that it was his first try and raised a cheer. JEN will continue its supportive efforts to develop a community where many people naturally gather and get into conversation with each other.

【An owl doll made by a mail participant 】

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====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN

 
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card: http://bit.ly/c7R8iA 
Please select “Tohoku Earthquake” from the pull-down.

For any inquiries regarding bank transfers, please contact JEN Tokyo Office (phone:          03-5225-9352        , contact: Tomita or Asakawa).

April 12, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Construction of School Facilities began

JEN is deploying several support programs in Parwan Province now.

The biggest project is “Maintenance of School Environment and Health Education Project”. The construction of school facilities and the support for health education to teachers and students that we reported before will be conducted in parallel during one-year program term.

The school construction work began from 2 of April.

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In the construction of school facilities this year, we will deploy the construction and renovation work of school buildings and classrooms, with a focus on water and hygiene facilities, to 23 schools in need of support in Bagram District and Jabalussaraj District in Parwan Province (please refer to the map above). 77 construction and restoration works are planned at these 23 schools.

There are 78 schools in these two districts described above that are permitted to provide regular education by the Department of Education. The construction will be conducted in
23 schools with the highest support needs, but health education program will be deployed at all schools.

Co-operation with education department and local residents in villages is crucial in deploying support project, so we make an agreement with the related parties case by case. Agreement with local residents is made by the school level. This year, we have concluded contract with school acting committees formed at 78 schools.

Furthermore, local residents of the 23 schools, Department of Education, and JEN have concluded wye agreement, aiming for smoother procedure and management of the construction works this year.

April 12, 2012 in Afghanistan |

04/05/2012

【Northern Zone】The visit of the JPF monitoring team

On March 28th Jens`s staff accompanied the Japan Platform monitoring team on its visit of the project site.
 
In the morning, we go to monitor the cleaning and repair labors of the well that began on January in the Theripuram GN of Puthukkudiyiruppu DS the Mullativu District.

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In the picture below we can see the moment when they are carefully pulling down a cement block down to the bottom of a well under repair.

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They use the cement as an adhesive and they keep piling up the blocks one after each other.

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To visit the villagers we had to carefully pass through many trenches and small mountains of soil that were used in the war to prevent enemy attacks, but after a lot of effort we managed to arrive at last . After a few of the houses were monitored

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We check the repair and cleaning labors of the well and also the construction of a temporary dwelling facilities with toilet on December of last year.

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After getting the permission of the villagers, we are shown the already constructed toilet and they tell us a few stories inside the house.

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In Sri Lanka the New Year is celebrated in the middle of April, but by that period the second rain season hits. JEN’s office is giving his best to finish the stone cutting labors before the access to the construction site becomes difficult because of the rain. We hope to keep receiving your kind support from now on.

April 5, 2012 in Sri Lanka |

Back in Haiti!

It has been 10 days since I came back into Haiti with JEN.

10 great days during which I saw so many improvement and changing in the streets of Port au Prince or on the road to our field office in Grand Goave, driving through Martissant, Carrefour, Mariani, Gressier or Leogane.

All these places where I drove through so many times from March 2010 and July 2011! Everywhere I see changing! Most of the debris has completely disappeared, making the road usable on its full width! And portions of the national road number 2 severely affected by the earthquake have been renovated, improving the traffic conditions impressively!

It didn’t fix fully the problem of traffic jams in Port au Prince though! Even though the capital did change for the better quite a lot in my eyes! With many more public lights installed, commuting overcrowded bus stop better located and organized and significant improvement of the garbage collection system the whole atmosphere of the city is changed! Seeing hundreds of children in their school uniform waiting on secure spaces for buses that are free has also been fantastic!

Discovering at once all this improvement made me thinking that had been out of the country 9 months! 9 months I spent in Europe where the media were only mentioning once in a while Haiti, always when hurricanes, political tensions or general instability… true enough but I have some memories going all the way back from March 2010 and things have definitely changed and are changing still!

If this visual very first contact back into Haiti was excellent, the better had to come with meeting again with former and new colleagues, speaking créole and meeting constantly with known and friendly faces, from the guard I hardly knew at Port au Prince Office to the local authorities in Leogane!

It was great to meet again with some colleagues that I did recruit 2 years ago when emergency time made us walk all day long in the mountain, assessing the damages of the earthquake house by house with terrified population living in spontaneous camps!

Remembering this challenging and physically exhausting period and comparing with today there is no comparison! As for the staff updating me on what happened during my absence there is no comparison either! Their self confidence and general overview of the situation have improved so much!

I’m definitely truly happy to be back in Haiti! After this long break of 9 months it is fully refreshed and inspired by my 16 previous months spent here that I start on a new project for JEN in Leogane.
This new project consider in supporting YEC in its renovation activities of the streets of Leogane centre, my task and responsibility is to ensure a good organization of the hard labor crew from Leogane employed by the specialized Haitians building companies operating under YEC authority.

More coordination and reporting than pure field activities like in the previous WASH program I was involved previously but for sure still a real challenge as it is a completely different part of “cultural differences” I do have to learn!

April 5, 2012 in Haiti |

Various topics – Through monitorings -

Last week, we visited project sites at Morobo county to check progress. The project was at a final stage at that time and wells had been installed in each site. We will close up people we met there.

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David Baiga(right/ 30 y/o) works for Ududra primary school as volunteer latrine construction staff. His wife, Jessica (20) visits his work almost everyday to see him.

He had ever worked as a farmer or daily employed staff but he obtained constructing skills. It makes Jessica positive for everything. David also said that he was glad that Jessica visited him everyday.



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She is Grace (16) wearing blue shirts and drawing water from newly installed well at the primary school. She moved out her home and helps her aunt who has a family of 12. It used to take 40 minutes there and back to draw water but it now takes only 15minutes. They now can complete cooking and washing in short time and can have a relaxed time.


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Children drink water happily  Lujulo West primary school.


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At Wongoboro primary school too.


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Hygiene education at the school. JEN staff performed a puppet show. People who just passed there also saw the show.


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JEN staff performed in an enthusiastic way at back stage.


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In the end, everyone joined a photo taking.
(This project is supported by JPF and everyone.)

April 5, 2012 in South Sudan |

【3/24/2012 Day 3 Recital at a meeting place in Kesennuma city】

After Mr.Karan spent two days performing piano recitals for two days from March 22 at Ishinomaki city, he moved into Kesennuma.

Today we were blessed with fine weather, as if we had no snow last night. We visited a relatively small temporary housing complex of about 50 houses in Kesennuma city. The installation of the air-conditioning units was going on and so residents looked busy in observing the procedures of the installation. We thanked them for taking time to join the concert in spite of such busy situation. When they heard "Sakura Sakura" or "Koujyou no Tsuki" coming from his piano, some of them hummed tunes together. The scene also made my heart warm. After the recital, he and his audience enhanced friendship over tea.

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【3/25/2012 Day 4 Recital at Nakayashi-Kitsusa in Ishinomaki city】

On the final day, when Mr. Karan arrived at "Nakayashi-kitsusa", a community cafe at Nakayashiki in Ishinomaki city, college students and children already waited for him. Children looked at Mr. Karan from distance, being interested in a person from overseas. At first, they were almost impossible to say something to him, but finally they plucked up the courage to say "Hello" to him and got excited by getting Mr. Karan's friendly reply "Hello!" Before the recital started, they help us call in neighbors to join in over the loudspeaker.

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When Mr.Karan began preparing to perform pieces, his audience listened to his performance quietly and carefully as if they believed the concert had begun. It seemed that they had longed for the opening, he began performing five minutes earlier than originally scheduled and " Nakayashi-kitsusa " resounded with wonderful classical music.

Mr. Karan started the recital with his speech in Japanese, performed Greek music and finally finished by giving encores, Japanese melodies
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When he began to perform "Sakura Sakura" or "Koujyou no Tsuki", his audience also began to sing. The sweet melodies played by him gave his listeners a comfort and nursery songs of Japan reminded them of good old days. Some of them were touched and shed tears to think of this and that. Every people said "Good!","That's a comfort!"; They seemed to have enjoyed the recital fully.

From what I heard, the tsunami has carried away numbers of pianos in this region and students who had been learning piano at a nearby piano class missed playing piano and joined today's concert. It seemed such circumstances have made today's concert a special event for people in the region. He was so popular that people asked him for autographs and photos taken with him. Although he and children got friendly, they had to say goodbye and children said to him "You'll come see us again, I hope?"," Could you teach us the piano,again?"
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Mr.Karan gave local people a comfort and pleasure through music in every place he visited. After his performances, people looked pleased with their eyes bright and expressed their thanks "Arigatou".

We came to realize over the last four days that what we really need is not words but music, music is able to unite us into one.JEN will continue to walk with people to help them renew their courage and hopes.

====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN

 
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card: http://bit.ly/c7R8iA 
Please select “Tohoku Earthquake” from the pull-down.

For any inquiries regarding bank transfers, please contact JEN Tokyo Office (phone:          03-5225-9352        , contact: Tomita or Asakawa).

April 5, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

【On March 22, day 1 Recital at Oginohama primary school and HANA house in Ishinomaki city】

Greek Pianist Panos Karan made his first visit to Japan last August after the disaster with his electric piano in order to cheer up people by music and held recitals at shelters and other plac
es. One year after the disaster, he revisited Japan to express his condolence and encourage people through music and made a recital tour around Japan; in Miyagi prefecture he held piano recitals at Ishinomaki city, Kesennuma and so on.

The first recital in Miyagi prefecture was held at Ogihama primary school in the Oshika Peninsula. Teachers, students and local people gathered to enjoy listening to his piano at its gymnasium, the recital venue, where the memory of the graduation ceremony the day before lingered on in everyone's heart. First, Mr. Karan introduced himself and shared his wishes for the recovery of the distressed areas with people there in his thoughtful speech in Japanese.
Then he played seven pieces of music in all such as Chaikovski Chopin Haendel, Greece music and finally Japanese music "Sakura Sakura" and the venue turned into a healing space.

【At Oginohama primary school seven current students listened to Mr. Panos Karan play 】
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When he finished his performance, some of the audience voluntarily stood up and applauded. He gave them encores.

【Mr. Panos Karan received great applause.】

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Local people and teachers warmly welcomed Mr. Karan and the recital finished by taking a commemorative photo with nice smiles on their faces.
Then he moved to HANA house, a community cafe in Kaduma district to perform the second recital of the day. When he arrived, many children already got together and so he held a small piano class for them.

【Children were very interested in Mr. Panos Karan's piano class】

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Mr. Karan surrounded by children and taught them how to play piano. They look at him with such serious eyes that we couldn't help smiling.

【A recital in the sunshine】

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In the warm afternoon sunshine, his performance ended peacefully and people there were comforted by his music and children's smiles.

【On March 22, day 2 Recitals at two different temporary housing meeting places in Ishinomaki city】

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Day 2, recitals took place at two different temporary housing meeting places in Ishinomaki city.
Many people gathered at the venue one after another inspired by the melody and also nurses who returned from a tour of house calls in temporary housing joined the recital.

【A large audience of local people at the recital 】

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"Thanks for holding a concert like this! A great comfort to me!", "I was so impressed to listen to a person from overseas performing 'Sakura Sakura' for us, an exotic Japanese song for him,"

These remarks showed how they felt and they didn't want to stop applauding saying "Encore! Encore!" It was while he was playing unscheduled "Koujyou no Tsuki (The Moon over a Ruined Castle)", a Japanese nostalgic melody from the score that people began to sing together "In spring, at the tall tower, the blossom -watching carousel... " and they felt so united that some of them were moved to tears. A woman brightly said "My husband, died in the disaster, used to listen to classical music at home. Everything including CD's had been swept away and so I haven't been able to listen to them anymore. But today I'm awfully glad I could listen to a live piano playing. All of them are familiar to me."

In the afternoon, he held the second recital of the day at another meeting place. Some people already waited in line in front of the meeting place. The audience there was also excited about his performance and called for "Turkischer Marsch" as an encore. He willingly improvised the encore. Finally, they shook hands and shoot photos. Wherever Mr. Karan went, he was very popular.

Particularly, women were so curious about him that they asked him questions in a friendly atmosphere such as "How old are you? Are you married? Is there someone you're seeing? You are so cool!"

Mr.Karan said "Although we can't communicate by words, we can convey our thoughts through music and it's happening here. This is a truly significant thing for us and I'm very happy to see that." Next day, Mr. Karan will head for Kesennuma city.

====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN

 
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card:
http://bit.ly/c7R8iA 
Please select “Tohoku Earthquake” from the pull-down.

For any inquiries regarding bank transfers, please contact JEN Tokyo Office (phone:          03-5225-9352        , contact: Tomita or Asakawa).

April 5, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |