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The Jordan sand art bottle was listed in the Guinness book of world records!

"Jordan entered the Guinness book of world records for the largest sand-filled bottle, commemorating the 200th anniversary of rediscovering Petra, which is situated 260 km south of Amman.", Jordan tourism board stated.
The bottle was 3m high, weighted 60kg and was filled with 270kg of colored sand by 1000 participants.

The board displayed the bottle during its participation in ITB Berlin 2012. Petra, the Pink City, is a historical city carved of pink stone situated to the south of Jordan and was built by the Nabataeans in the 4th century B.C. as their capital.

On July 7th, 2007, Petra was chosen to be one of the seven world’s wonders.

PS. Photo credits:
Bottle: Amoon news
Petra: Public domain

May 31, 2012 in Iraq |

Goat Management at JEN Warehouse in D I Khan

The current livelihood project may look easy from the surface but in reality it is very complicated and difficult. We have to watch out for a lot of things that can have adverse effects on health.

According to the JEN policy, Beetal goats are carried from various cities of Punjab to the JEN warehouses in Dera Ismail Khan. These goats are kept in quarantine for 7-10 days. Before the arrival of the goats, the warehouse is cleaned and disinfected under the supervision of a veterinary assistant to ensure an infection free environment.

The transportation process is very difficult because we can’t carry more than 45 goats in our transporting truck. These goats are pregnant and fight each other in the truck, so sometimes goats are injured by the time they arrive at the JEN warehouse. The injured goats need special treatment which is both time consuming and sensitive.

Vaccination: During the 7 days of Quarantine, the Goats (Nanny/Billy) are vaccinated against the diseases which prevail in Dera Ismail Khan (i.e. Pest despetitis Ruminants (PPR), Enterotoxaemia and Contagious Caprine pleura pneumonia (CCPP)) every other day.

Watering: During the seven days, animals are given soluble vitamins in their drinking water to avoid stress from transportation and vaccination. Nanny Goats are free to drink water at any time while Billy goats can drink three times a day.

May 31, 2012 in Pakistan |

New staff introduction

My name is Tasuku Futamura. I’m a new staff member of the Pakistan office.
Pakistan is a hot country as I expected that.
I asked how the local people think about this hotness here, and they answered they are also hot.


The capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, I live in is very comfortable to live. We can talk in English in the city and there are a lot of trees and birds.
I have no lack of purveying of article for daily use and there are food imports and electrical appliance in the stores.
But this comfortableness is only a part of Pakistan and there are a lot of people who are forced the poverty lives.
I’d like to board my view by hearing many, seeing a lot and feeling much to apply of better support program.


I’ve joined JEN’s program since April and worked for Tohoku support project.
A lot of people rushed into our program regardless of the individuals, groups nor companies.
We got many supports from the people who can’t visit Tohoku directly and they also give us a lot of learning and cooperation.
Although Pakistan is far foreign country from Japan but I’ll do my best with my whole heart to get many interests and supports from the people for Pakistan Program as Tohoku project was.


May 31, 2012 in Afghanistan |


Issue of Price Boost in Juba

JEN was currently proceeding budget for projects in next tern at Juba office. We suffered from the recent price boost in Juba for the budgeting. The conflict near border of South Sudan and Sudan is escalating this year and abeyance of oil export and expense of war triggers the price boost.

People’s life suffered from this price boost. For instance:
 Chapati introduced before as “Street Gourmet” used to be 2 pounds with egg and toppings, however, it is now 2pounds (applox. 35JPY)without egg and toppings. It is going to be 4 pounds (applox. 70JPY) with egg.


4-5 ping-pong ball sized small onions are 10 pounds (applox. 177JPY). A large onion is 10pounds.

 A egg is 1pound (17JPY)

Average price for a meal at local restaurant is 12-15 pounds (applox. 215-270JPY). It was 5pounds (applox. 90-120JPY) a year ago.
(For 2 people)


The fee of motorbike taxi starts changing, although it is popular means of transportation for citizen. At this moment, the price of fuel is deferment, however, many petrol stations are closed as it is extremely difficult to obtain fuel. There are very long queues in front of open petrol stations. Cars, motor bike and people’s queue. It is extremely chaotic like we cannot find the exit for fed cars.
When will the price boost in South Sudan stop? How will the conflict’s conclusion be? There are lots of issues for new-born South Sudan. People just started taking a step toward solutions of many problems.

Please kindly keep supporting us.

May 24, 2012 in South Sudan |

When people start to catch a cold...

In Japan the first think that comes to mind is traditional Chinese medicine, right? Here in Sri Lanka there is also a remedy for when people start to show symptoms of a cold. Probably not only the citizens of Sri Lanka, but also Japanese residents here know what this is.

On both sides of the box in both Tamil and Sinhala language it says: “100 % Natural Safe Herbal Remedy.”



It contains coriander, ginger, pepper, cumin, etc. but I have always thought that it was odd and had to drink, so I avoided it. But I got a fever that wasn’t going down so I decided at last to give it a try.

After I putted the content of a dose into water it quickly dissolved. Contrarily to what I had imagined, it was a sweet and easy to drink herb tea. I will begin to drink this earlier from now on.

May 24, 2012 in Sri Lanka |

May coastal fisheries be alive with activity!: Continued efforts toward the recovery of coastal fishing industry.

JEN are engaged in a variety of fishery support activities at fisheries in Ishinomaki city since last year. The activities are based on the cooperation from many people who understand and support JEN. Today, we are going to introduce our efforts toward the recovery of coastal fishing industry in ten fisheries that are under the control of the Ishinomaki branch office of the Japan Fisheries Cooperatives, or JF.

In Ishinomaki city, the tsunami has also afflicted ten fisheries: Sasuhama, Sawada, Ogihama, Samuraihama, Orihama, hamagurihama, tsukiura, Momoura, Otakehama and Tashiroshima, and swept away their fishing equipment as well as other fisheries. While many people were doubtful about the recovery of fishing industry, it was the International Rescue Committee, or IRC, an American nongovernmental organization, that began to support fishing industry in those ten fisheries along with JEN. So far since this February, we have been able to supply people engaging in coastal fishing activities in those fisheries with skytanks, a forklift truck, palettes, a kelp cropping machine and plastic catches containers.

【Skytanks delivered to fishermen.】

【The kelp cropping machine will increase yields.】

In mid April, we visited a fishing village to deliver a forklift truck and pallets with people from IRC who had just come to see how their assistance was being implemented. People there welcomed us and the ceremony to unveil a brand-new forklift truck drew cheers and applause from them. That was the happiest moment for us to be able to watch people filled with pleasure. They immediately test-droved the forklift truck.

【One woman got the forklift truck running!】

One of the women said to us "Since the tsunami swept away everything, we have been at a loss what to do next.... We are so glad to have help from you. Thank you!" Right behind the forklift truck in a trail run, there remained a pitiful sight with heavily damaged houses by the tsunami left derelict. We were able to feel the strength of people who were willing to cope with difficulties with smiles on their faces even in such environment. Keeping people's smile within its heart, JEN will continue to find out what is needed in each fisheries and engage in supportive activities.


====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:          03-522...       , contact: Tomita or Asakawa).

May 24, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Mango season, Rainy season and Cholera season


Before the actual rainy season starts, it has started raining since the end of March in Haiti.

From time to time, the raining turned in to squall especially from evening to night.

The rain affects people's daily lives that roads would be blocked, bridges would fall down and also Cholera infection started increasing.

Once the season for Mangoes came, the local Haitian staffs started telling us: “When the mango season and the rainy season come, Cholera season will come along with them!"

When mangoes are in season, you can see them sold everywhere.



According to the Haitian staffs, the more delicious mangoes appear on the market, the more people eat them without washing them.

It seems that could trigger infectious diseases including cholera.

*In Haiti, people just take a bite of mangoes with skin on them.

In the middle of April, Haiti government and the international organization launched anti-cholera vaccination campaign to avoid cholera epidemic.

Under the circumstances, JEN is currently conducting hygiene promotion training by the Haitian staffs in 7 communities.

May 24, 2012 in Haiti |


Milk Festival (Doodh Maila)

Livestock plays an important role for the country’s economy as  it provides job opportunities to many  rural population.

Dera Ismail Khan is the south most District of KPK, this district is on the border of conflict area South Waziristan Agency. D.I. Khan was very popular for sustainable peace but it suffered a lot from the sectarian issues and war against terror. From last few years there was security unrest in District D.I. Khan, which badly affected the economy of the district.

There are many Government Departments working on livestock & dairy Development in D.I Khan.
On April 13, 2012 the Livestock Research and Development Station UC Phar Pur, District D.I. Khan organized Milk Festival locally called (Doodh Maila) for those farmers who have different kind of Goats, Lambs and cattle. The purposes of this festival were:

·To improve the knowledge of common farmer in livestock dairy development.
·To provide refreshment to the peoples disturbed from the disease of sectarianism and terrorism.
·To build their interest again in keeping different breeds of livestock.


In the milk festival different kinds of competitions were held between the animals. Weight lifting competition was held between the camels. The milk competition was held between the cows and buffalos, the bucks were competed in terms of weight, length & height.
It was also found that the buck provided by JEN to IDP of UC Begwani Shumali in Pilot Project named Naseeb Khan was in the list of top 3 winners/successors.
During the interview one of the livestock officers appreciated the initiative of JEN (i.e. provision of Beetle breeds to IDPs in D.I. Khan). 

May 17, 2012 in Pakistan |

International Cultural Festival in BabilPrefecture was took place!

On May 4, 2012, although there were security concern in Iraq, the International Culture Festival was held in Babil Prefecture. Lots of artists from around the world got together.

BabilInternational Culture Festival has been held over nine days on the theme of "global fusion of cultures and civilizations". Seminars to read poet and recital, music, theater, art exhibitions have been performed. On the final day, May 12, classical music by Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, Iraq music and Arab music have been performed.

This festival was scheduled to be held last year in fact. However, it was canceled by Iraqi government because that might lead us to raise the anger of Muslim political party in the Babilprefecture.  In this year, we could finally achieve it.

May 17, 2012 in Iraq |

Progress on the Construction of School Facilities

School construction work in Bagram District and Jabalussaraj District in Parwan Province we had reported before has been steadily advanced at all 23 schools. We will show you the progress situation on the construction work at some of the school facilities.


(Gulbahar Darul Hifaz School in Jabalussaraj District)

The groundbreaking ceremony was held before the start of building construction. School and government officials, local residents and local staff of JEN had attended the ceremony. All of the attendees prayed for the construction work to be completed safely. We will proceed the building construction by cooperating each other to provide a safe school environment for children as soon as possible.


Construction of 8 classrooms at Ezzat Khil School in Jabalussaraj District.
The platform is being built.


Construction of outside wall at Abozar Ghafari School in Jabalussaraj District.
Bricks are being built up one by one.


Construction of a water storage tank with hand-wash station at  Gulbahar 2 Girls School in Jabalussaraj District.
The pipes come out from both sides of the brick walls will be the water outlet for children to wash their hands.


Renovation work of the existing school building at the Bagram Girls School in Bagram District.
Repaint work is being done at the wall.

Well Drilling at the Bagram Girls School in Bagram District.
Since there is no water facility, children were carrying water from canals and villages in suburban areas. By digging a well, clean and safe water will be secured immediately.

Construction of bathroom at Naseri Girls School in Bagram District.
Environmentally friendly ecological sanitation bathroom has been built this year again.

May 17, 2012 in Afghanistan |


Hey! The fish tanks just came!

Higashi-hama[the word-for-word translation of Higashi-hama is Eastern seashores], an area along the saw tooth coastline of the Oshika Peninsula and the eastern part of Ishinomaki-city, has five seashores: Fuki-ura, Kanotate, Kitsunezaki, Takenohama and Makinohama.
On May 11, the fishermen in Higashi-hama were provided with skytanks on a beautiful sunny day with the support of UBS Securities Japan Co.

【The fishermen are putting stickers on the fish tanks.】

While the fishermen are living by fishing sandeel and gathering kelp, they prepare in their spare time for oyster culture such as making mother shells to raise oysters and planting oyster seed. The fishing season for sandeel and kelp is almost ending and they will move on to fishing flatfish and mantis shrimp using gill nets. If it had been a usual year, they would have started gill net fishing, but, as it has been a poor catch perhaps because this year's seawater temperature stays low, they are going to start it in full swing from late this month (May) 

【The fishermen turn out one after another.】

While they ship mantis shrimps fresh to markets, it is the fish tanks which are critical for them to ship, with which they have been provided this time.
As those half-ton tanks are one size smaller than standard ones, they can directly load them onto outboards and keep catches alive inside them off coast. After returning from fishing, they unship those fish tanks and forklift them onto trucks and ship them alive to market.

【The fishermen have a pleasant chat surrounding the fish tanks】


One of the fisherman said "Well you know, they are really help, we can't manage without them!" They gathered with smiles on their faces and fork lifted and carried those fish  tanks on light trucks. Now they are ready for a large catch. The fishermen have stepped forward consistently and steadily toward recovery since the aftermath of the post-tsunami disaster. JEN will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with people in Higashi-hama promoting the recovery of fishery, the key industry of Ishinomaki-city.

【The fishermen reaffirm their determination to recovery and take a commemorative photo.】

【Higashih-hama is still on the process of recovery】

====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

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

Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card:
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).

May 11, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |


Difficulty with Going through a River

One of current JEN’s project is reconstruct and clean a well in Theripuram GN
, Mullativu District, which is located in a coastal area.

A river flows in the village and people had used a reinforced concrete bridge built before the conflicts occurred. However, the bridge collapsed overnight. After the conflicts occurred, broken cars and bicycles were mounted in the neighborhood and some people change these things into money. The bridge was apparently taken by that kind of people.

Village people started to use a log instead of the stolen bridge. Do you remember there are balance beams in the elementary school gym? The width of the log bridge is just like a balance beam. JEN staff at first felt fear to walk on the bridge, however, there is no choice but to walk on it in order to support people in need.





Practicing walking with balance on a narrow bridge, now he can afford to make an eye contact with the photographer.


May 10, 2012 in Sri Lanka |

Haiti! Thank you for the great two years!

It's been two years since I moved here at the end of April 2010. Here comes the time to say goodbye to Haitia country, I have become to love.

At the beginning of my assignment at Haiti,time just flew by,but now I am able to finish my assignment thanks to the people I met here.
Also I would like to thank everyone from many groups and organizations for their support.

I understand that it is said that the reconstruction isn't going as fast as expected. For now, I would like to share what I saw in this country in the past two years.

Executive Office of the President

People might think that destroyed buildings are has left untouched, in fact the debris has been removed already! Not only this building but you can see clear changes in the town as well.

Flooding due to the heavy rain

Flooding still occurs whenever it rains. However, in some areas, street gutters have been newly installed, the volume of garbage has been reduced which used to cause flooding.


The water control committee in the community which manages the well charges residents about fifty yen for maintenance including the cost of chlorine. This lady is holding a stamp  to prove she has paid. 


The stamps prove that she paid the water control committee her well charge.
The well can get broken and needs chlorine to make it potable in some areas.
Building a well is only a temporary solution. To make it work sustainably and also to support their self-reliance, it is important that the community manage and keep the system running by itself.
These stamps show you what they have accomplished.

Because the residents used to use the river water for free, initially it was difficult for them to pay the charge.  So this change shows you that they could eventually figure out why they need to pay for water and why need hygienic water is important.

The affected people of Haiti are far from living without any worry.But transformation is taking place gradually.
I am looking forward to seeing how this country transforms in a few years when I comes back Haiti!

Yuka Takao
Head of office for Haiti office

May 10, 2012 in Haiti |

Gourmet food on Morobo’s street-corner

Continuing from last time, I would like to introduce local foods in Southern Sudan, especially those in the village.

These are made from cassava which is first mashed, then salted, knead and deep-fried.


The texture is something like slightly hard dumplings. There are round, flat types, as in the photo, and also types made long and thin before being fried. You can see them being sold not only in the markets of Morobo, but also on roadsides rather deep in the mountain areas. Five pieces cost 1 pound (about 25 yen).

Boiled sorghum and beans

Boiled sorghum and beans are eaten topped with scallop oil, which has savory aroma. The locals love this fragrant oil and put plenty of it on their meals. One dish costs 1 pound (about 25 yen).

This is the fruit of a shea-butter tree, which is known in Japan as an ingredient for luxury cosmetics.


Shea-butter trees, called Lulu by the locals, can be seen bearing lots of fruit in the village in which JEN operates its activities. In order to be used for cosmetics, the seeds are dried and crushed to extract shea-butter, a kind of oil.


The villagers use this rich and healthy oil for cooking. Covering the seed is some fruit pulp, which is sweet and has a unique fragrance. It is edible when ripe and yellow.

These are the favorites of South Sudanese people. People look forward to the end of April, when the rainy season starts. This is because it is the season for termites. (They are bigger than the termites in Japan, and look like caterpillars when their wings come off).
People gather the termites when their wings come off in the breeding season. They are eaten deep-fried, or boiled in stew or soup. The milky-white soup is especially delicious – eaten with dumplings made of sorghum powder, called Ugari, soaked in it.


At the end of April, villagers came with treats for the members who were working since morning. The expressions of all the members, which previously looked a little tired, became bright at once.

There are big anthills here and there in the village. See the size compared with the 4WD vehicle? Sometimes they offer a beautiful sight with various plant roots tangled around them.

May 10, 2012 in South Sudan |


Sewing on a machine for pleasure

The flowers of cherry trees in Ishinomaki opened in late April. Today, I'd like to introduce what it was like "Mono Dukuri Ochako(A bee cafe: a gathering of peers to accomplish a job that are difficult to carry out alone and allow socialization during an otherwise tedious chore like sewing; refreshments such as tea, coffee are provided by the group)." at the temporary meeting place where JEN is assisting local people to enhance the vibrancy of their community.

On April 28 to 29, under the clement weather, nine volunteers from MITSUI & CO., LTD helped women living in a temporary housing complex make pouches on sewing machines.

Benesse Corporation wanted people in disaster areas to make use of sewing machines at a place like this meeting place and so donated thirteen sewing machines. Back numbers of specialized magazines on handcraft and do-it-yourself-kit for sewing were also donated by Benesse Corporation as well as materials to make pouches.

They were motivated by looking at naturally-derived and beautiful clothing fabric and ready to work on making pouches. They chatted lovely one another over their work:

"Next step is do the sewing in this way...","I wonder I'm doing fine!"," Oh dear, you have already done that!"

For those who are not so experienced in sewing on machines volunteers taught them how to use them.

People talked differently: "If you sew on machine, you are able to have a beautiful finish!", "I used to make these kinds of things.", "This is lovely and right size to carry my insurance card inside", "I'll present this to my granddaughter."

People were filled with joys of finishing lovely crafts and spending cheerful and happy hours.
JEN is committed to continuing to help people keep smiles on their faces.

====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

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

Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card:
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).

May 8, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |


LANCOME events by L'Oréal Paris at HANA house, meeting place: Makeup lessen, yoga class and hand massage service

In April 12, LANCOME Events hosted by L'Oréal Paris took place at HANA house and also at a meeting place in Katsuma district: HANA house is a community cafe established by L'Oréal Pari and managed by JEN: each temporary housing complex has a meeting place within its premises. At the events, many people joined makeup lesson, yoga class and enjoyed getting a hand massage.

When you walked into HANA house, you first saw a wide variety of cosmetics on its table. With sparkling eyes, women looked at beauty aids such as basic skin care products, facial serum steamers, foundation, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, lip stick, manicure and so on. When I asked some woman how she felt, she answered with a smile on her face "Well..., I wonder how I look, if I have my face done expertly. My heart flutters with fears and hopes."

【Exciting makeup lesson to start. 】

On the bulletin board in HANA house, women after making up their faces posted their photos with their comments, which photos showed expertly made up visages of them.
I heard one of them say "Well, as the makeup makes my face attractive, it also makes my skin complexion rosy and I feel refreshed." Many attendees were there, some of them were repeat visitors of the previous event and others came with their friends.

【HANA house crowded with visitors. 】

Hand-massage service and Rody yoga class were going on as well as the makeup lesson and there was an air of excitement in HANA house.

【Hand massages brought smiles to people's face. 】

【Many toy horses, Rody, were welcoming visitors. 】

Another venue for the event was also crowded with a lot of visitors and they had a good time. The Rody yoga class that uses jumping toy horses, Rody, is a moderate exercise that gets people slightly sweaty. A woman who was enjoying the yoga said "Jumping up and down is a great fun just like kids. The Rody is cute and refreshing." The Rody yoga stretched and relaxed both their mind and bodies and that's why they looked so happy with nice smiles on their faces.

【Practice Rody yoga in a circle. 】120507_dsc02062

Although the makeup lesson and hand massage service are prepared to service three people at the same time respectively, they were so high in demand that people waited in line. A woman waiting for her turn over tea seemed to be excited and said "I have come here after washing my face so that I may have my face done immediately."

【People waited in line for the makeup lesson. 】

At the makeup lesson section, a woman there seemed happier to see them getting more and more beautiful as they getting their makeup on. And another woman was trying to learn to make up her face by herself like taking lessons at a makeup class, such as how to wear eye shadow and use cheek cosmetics expertly.

At the hand massage section, a woman had her trigger points in her hands pressed and, as the massage improved the circulation of her blood and alleviated the tension in her shoulders, she said happily "I was so relaxed that I almost fell asleep. My hands have turned much whiter."

【Getting a hand massage is relaxing. 】

It's certainly been a laugh-filled day. If people cared their body, that got to their heart directly and got their eyes shining. People with a positive frame of mind and smiling faces seemed to have much nicer chat than usual.

====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

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

Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card:
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).

May 7, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |