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07/26/2012

MANGO THE SECOND LARGEST CROP OF D.I.KHAN

Mango is one the most famous fruit in Pakistan.
It is the second largest fruit crop of District Dera Ismail Khan, where JEN is currently working. In D.I. Khan there are approximately 1,500 mango orchards. It is one of the biggest sources of income of local farmers and many labors are earning from it in its season.

Mango is native fruit of Indian sub continent, Burma and Andaman Islands. Buddhist monks took mango plants and seeds to Malaya and eastern Asia in the 5th Century B.C. From there mango reach to Africa, Brazil, West Indies, Barbados and Jamaica.

Unlikely other tropical countries, mangoes in Pakistan are available in only one season (summer).

Different types of mangoes are grown in Dera Ismail khan with the local names which are difficult to pronounce in English i.e. Anwar Rathor , Langrra, Cheeta Choonsa, Fajiri, Doosiri, Samar Bahisht, Shan-e-khuda, Sindhri, 12 number Rathor, Golden, Malda and Local variety .

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The mango takes about 3 months from the time of fruit set to mature and ripen. Some varieties may take 3 to 4 months. Fruits are plucked from the tree when they are still hard and green. When a few semi-ripe fruits fall from the tree, it is traditionally considered that the fruits are mature for harvest.

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The mangoes are plucked in a very simple way through locally made net (shown in pictures) to reduce damages.

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Two labors required in plucking of mangoes from one tree. The orchards are sold to local contractors normally for one season. The contractors normally hire 8 labors for an orchard of 6 acres.

During travel I have eaten mangoes of different countries, e.g Indonesia, Thailand, Haiti and Dominican Republic but for me the best ever and tasty mangoes are from Pakistan and it is cheapest here as compare in the other countries. We can buy 1 KG of mangoes on Rs. 80 (60 JPY) in the season.

July 26, 2012 in Pakistan |

Ramadan holy month of Muslim has been begun

The Islamic month of Ramadan has begun last Friday, during this month Muslims around the world fast (abstain from eating and drinking) every day from sunup till sundown.
It is said that Ramadan days this year are the longest and hottest in 33 years with fasting period averaging 16 hours / day in the Middle East.

As you can imagine the effect on people working outside every day is brutal specially since they can’t drink water during the day.

【People working on rehabilitation work】
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But our workers and engineers try to minimize the effects of heat on their work by dunking towels in the water and putting them on their heads, bringing dates and yogurt drink to work so they can break their fast when the time comes and won’t need to hurry home earlier than usual in order to be there before sundown.

【Dates and yogurt drink】
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【Typical Iraqi family breaking fast (Iftar) spread】
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July 26, 2012 in Iraq |

New staff in Islamabad office

My name is Humaria Wahab.
I start working in JEN from 22nd July as a Administration and Financial officer.I am glad for being part of JEN,

I am at the stage of starting my career; I did BBA (Bachelor Business Administration) from Preston University Peshawar, specialized in marketing/finance with the continuation of my private BA in IR/Sociology from Peshawar University.
After I complete my studies in Jan-2010, I start working in humanitarian area.
Since February 2010, I was working in INGO through the end of the project.. But I feel more than lucky and more than proud that now I am being a part of JEN and continue working in this area. I am very proud to join those programs of Afghanistan, and believe this project will support many Afghanis.

“I believe that when you try & struggle for something, you can get the things in the shape you want”.
Here all my colleagues are good in nature and work and want to learn many things from them.
I am hoping for the future that we will have a very good time together, and will gain the tasks in a respective way.

Thanks All-mighty who is blessing me for my goals, & for my struggles.
Thanks to my mother & sister to give me moral and financial support in a very lovely way.

July 26, 2012 in Afghanistan |

The Aikawa primary school drum and fife band marches through Jyusanhama.

Having been devastated by the disaster, Aikawa primary school in Kitakami Town, Ishinomaki City is giving classes at schoolrooms offered by Yoshiura primary school in the same town along with Yoshihama primary school which has also been damaged by the disaster.

Thanks to the rock band GLAY who approves "HOPE FOR JAPAN", an initiative by "mudef", a general incorporated association, a total of 289 music instruments of 86 kinds were presented to 16 primary, junior high and high schools in Ishinomaki, including Aikawa primary school.

The drum and fife band comprised of all the pupils of that Aikawa primary school held concerts at eight places in Kitakami Town on July 8,

【Photo 1:The band's performance at Jyusanhama-Komuro area.】
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The entire band member had practiced together playing drums, harmonicas, trumpets and accordions since July and gave those gathered the results of its practice in perfect harmony conducted by a sixth grader; the audience gave a warm hand to the band.

The band played at the temporary housing in Nikkori(smily) Sun Park, the first of a series of its performances held at seven places within the Aikawa school district such as Oomuro, Komuro and so on,

【Photo:The band marching through the district】
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Aikawa primary school is set to be closed next spring and so this is the last concert under the name of Aikawa primary school. The local people listening to the performance said "My heart is full when I think this will be the last playing to listen to." The pupils will also never forget today's playing.

【People of Jyuusanhama listen to pupils playing.】
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In Kitakami district, not a few people still forced to live under difficult conditions in temporary housing but today they looked getting refreshed to listen to the pupils play cheerfully. JEN is committed to keeping a close eye on the pupils. As always, we appreciate your continuing support for our 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: 03-5225-9352, contact: Tomita or Asakawa).

July 26, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

07/19/2012

Connection to Haitian electricity network①

Before actually trying to connect a house to the Haitian public electricity network it is just impossible to understand how difficult, long and expensive it can be.

Like many other developing country Haiti suffers from a terrible lack of infrastructures. Since the fall of Dictator Jean Claude DUVALIER, alias BB Doc, in 1986 not less than 18 presidents have been in charge of the country in only 26 years!

Actually it is only 13 different presidents that swapped at the head of the government, sometimes for not longer than a week!

This extreme political instability and the country being extremely mountainous and exposed to frequent hurricanes, development of the different public network like electricity or water couldn’t really improve for a rather long time.

In the other hand need for electricity kept increasing the last 3 decades as Haitian population kept growing very fast (6.5 million of inhabitants in 1986, estimated around 10 today) and use of phone, TV, radio or fans for example became more and more generalized.

For all these reasons and probably others less obvious EDH (Electricity of Haiti) never really managed to follow the needs of electricity of the population.

The situation today is actually quite dramatic as people don’t trust the company to be able to provide a decent service and, tired of waiting for months for some technician; tend to connect directly and illegally on the poles!

With so much electricity “stolen”, EDH is for course not able to develop the network and can’t even provide electricity 24/7 in the area where the network is well functioning.

In addition EDH can’t really hire more employees, making maintenance and follow up of illegal connection impossible!

(To be continued)

July 19, 2012 in Haiti |

Koganehama Festival in July 7; JEN help a community rebuild its community hall.

On July 7, a festival took place at the Koganehama Hall, a community hall in the western part of Watanoha dictrict. The Hall was inundated up to the ceiling and heavily damaged by the tsunami; its walls were swept away. Since many volunteers removed sludge and made emergency repair, it has been used for various purposes. JEN has been engaged in hall-based support for local community.

The raging tsunami inundated the Hall to the ceiling and swept away its walls.

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【Having received an emergency repair, the Hall has been used for distributing relief supplies and all. 】
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After an emergency repair, the Hall has been used as hub for different support groups to engage in assistance activities such as distributing relief supplies to victims living in the neighborhood, preparing hot meals and providing psychological support to victims.
JEN started full-fledged renovation last fall because of a request from the Koganehama Hall Administrative Operation Committee.

【Preparation for renovation】
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【After the renovation】
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The picture below shows people preparing the site for the festival. Unfortunately, it rained on that day but more than one hundred people gathered.

【People gathered at the Hall】
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【Stalls opened in front of the Hall】
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The man in the middle of this picture is Mr. Konno, a local carpenter who contracted to repair the Hall. He is a nice guy who removes debris on his own initiative as a citizen volunteer.

【A local women opened a stall to sell homemade curry rice. 】
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【A karaoke singing competition was held in the evening.】
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【They played a live Gospel show!】
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Other programs were also included in the festival such as hula, string concert and so on. You could see smiling faces everywhere at the festival site. Needles to say, repairing the Hall neatly is necessary, but we think giving assistance to "people" who use it is much more needed. Some of the committee members were killed in the disaster and quite a few members still live a life of evacuee. That's why the operating body of the Hall, its self-governing ability, has been lost.

Therefore JEN is helping local community set up places for discussion or workshops among local residents on behalf of the Hall committee in the hope that our support will encourage the local community to reorganize the Hall committee. In subsequent reports, we are going to present how we help local community administrate the hall.

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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).

July 19, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Start of New Project -Juba-

Monitoring by the Japan Platform (JPF) was ended without incident at the end of June, and the new project supported by the JPF began since 6 of July.
This is another water sanitation improvement project which remains in high demand. The activity includes construction of well and toilet facilities, setting up committee to manage those facilities, sanitation education, developing the system for residents to check their wells regularly by networking local repairman.
 The project site is Juba County, where the capital city Juba locates. You may think the County is more developed than other areas, but except for Juba City, there are many villages like other areas where people live in very difficult conditions.

-Map of Juba County, Central Equatoria Sate-
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Penetration rate of toilet at schools in Juba County is 46%, which makes a little difference with national average 49%. There are nearly 140 schools in Juba County, and we will provide support to 10 schools in the areas except for Juba City precincts.

All-day project commencement meeting (kick-off meeting) for JEN’s staff was held on 13 of July. JEN’s Vision for Mission was shared, and the participants discuss about teamwork necessary for the project. Agenda for the project was shared, and precautions were explained by the administration and accounting department.

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We had lunch at a South Sudanese restaurant.
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For this project, about 20 staff will work as one for the people in South Sudan to live better life and become happier, by making best use of the support from people in Japan.

[Head of Juba Office Shu Nishimaru]

July 19, 2012 in South Sudan |

East: Why don’t you look at construction site for agricultural wells

We introduce it in a virtual world. It is about a project which has begun in the three areas of East Batticaloa (2nd area from the top and two in the bottom of the 6 areas in the map below) since the end of February. Currently, it is under construction of wells for agricultural use.

[Map of Batticaloa]
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The standard size of agricultural wells which JEN has been constructing is 3 m width and 9 m depth.  We dig a bit wider for the masonry work after.

We will move to the masonry work after we confirm the sufficient amount of springwater after excavation work.
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Stacked the blocks (small cracked blocks will be utilized to fill the gap)
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In the middle, reinforced with wire of iron
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We’ve finally reached to the ground.
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We grout the well’s wall with cement after this, and landfill where we dug over the well’s  width. When we clean the well, the work is completed. The whole processes take about 2 weeks if it goes smoothly.

July 19, 2012 in Sri Lanka |

07/12/2012

It's a joy to work at sea. The second report on the job creation project in Omotehama

In four coastal areas, Omotehama, Higashihama, Urahama and Ishinomaki, JEN has started a job creation project that JEN asks fishermen to work on making fishing nets with materials which JEN has provided for them and supply those products to fishermen whose fishing nets have been washed away by the tsunami.

On June 29 along with people from the magazine house which issues "STORY", "B-ST"(People who for Beauty do their beST and are Beauties on a STage and live for a Beauty STory), we set out on a tour to Omotehama where the magazine house has been supporting to supply fishing nets. This time we visited Mr. Takahashi in Kyubunhama, Omotehama area, who calls himself a small fisherman. It is a small fisherman who, in dive fishing using a variety of tools, lives on catching seasonal fishes and seafood that grows in rocky coastal waters such as shellfish, seaweed and so on.

Fishermen use a small fishing boat with a winch to lift nets when they harvest mantis shrimps. After about ten minutes navigation, we could see a buoy, which is a marker of a trap net.

【A marker buoy of a trap net.】
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【Winch the trap net set the day before.】
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【While winching, they are taking catches off the net one by one.】
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【Mr. Takahashi is working on a ship.】
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【Mantis shrimps just removed from net.】
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Mr. Takahashi is engaging in fishing with his wife and son. His wife Teruyo said to us "After the disaster, we have been doing part-time job at a noodle shop but participating this project provided us an opportunity to return to fishery. Then it's very fulfilling and challenging after all. No doubt, there are a lot of no easy matters!"

【Ms. Teruyo says laughingly "Living on fishery is challenging."】
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【People from "STORY" and "B-ST" magazine and JEN staff listen to Mr. And Ms. Takahashi】
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Mr. Takahashi said "From now on, we get on with my family and are thinking of challenging culture fishery." I heard that at first, as they have lost everything, he said to his son "You can give up fishing." But according to him, his son said to him "All I can do is fishing. Because I've learned to live on fishing, I'll continue to work as a fisherman."and actually he chose to follow a career as a fisherman.

They still have a mountain full of issues to tackle, the bank raising of the harbor, obtaining ships and fishery equipments that have been washed away by the tsunami, moving to high ground from temporary houses and so on. We got a feeling that they are strong enough to put feasible problems first into practice.
JEN is committed to stand by people who make progress toward recovery.
We seek the continued support for our 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: 03-5225-9352, contact: Tomita or Asakawa).

July 12, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Teaching materials are ready!

We received the new teaching means whose design was developed by JEN with collaboration of the Ministry of Education, we intend to distribute them to students during this project, to promote hygiene awareness between students and encourage them to develop hygienic habits:
The first is for primary school students has a calendar to remind them to brush their teeth every day, which can be checked by the teacher to encourage them to keep on brushing their teeth,

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The second is a box to collect rubbish that the student generate during a lesson duration (pencil shavings, discarded tissue etc…) and encourages them to empty it in the waste basket when the lesson is finished, this is to discourage students from throwing these things on the floor and help them develop the habit of keeping the surroundings clean .

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JEN is continuing in her commitment and efforts to encourage hygienic habits among students due to our belief that they are the seeds that can be spread and influence the whole community to lead a better, healthier life.

July 12, 2012 in Iraq |

First Half of the Distribution of Goats is Completed

JEN has been deploying the livelihood recovery project to 2,000 IPD families in D.I. Khan.
We have distributed goats to 1,000 out of 2,000 IDP families so far. People who received goats try to recover livelihood by breeding goats with the support from a pastoral coach who is also an IDP.

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Recently D.I. Khan has been suffering from hot weather with more than 46℃. So the rest of the distribution is planned after the middle of August.
In the interim, JEN’s local staff and a pastoral coach visit the families who received goats, and check the health of goats and changes in people’s daily life.

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We will continue the support for IPDs, watching out heat disorder in the ongoing intense heat.

July 12, 2012 in Pakistan |

Voice of Parents of the children receiving health education

JEN is now enforcing health education program for 61,352 children of 78 schools in  Bagram district and Jabul Saraj District.

Teachers, who attended JEN’s health education instruction at the beginning of this year, have started lectures to their students from May. Since then, the children have been learning knowledge and its practice at the opening of each class.

According to the hearing investigation to teachers and village people last year and the report from the education authority in Province of Parwan, the children living these  districts had not received any health education and been frequently troubled by diarrhea and cholera diseases.

So now, 2 months have been passed since starting health education lecture at schools. Is there any change of knowledge, behavior or action of the children?

Today, we acquaint feedback from the parents of the children who receiving the health education.

Mr. Arif (Father of child attending Azizurahman Shaheed Boys' Middle School of Province of Parwan)

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“Since one day, 5 school years of my son has started to talk about health education. He tells me about importance of safe drinkable water, pure water origin and hands wash. My son and I would like to continue to study many. I am delighted that my son teaches me like a doctor something I did not know. As it is now, whole my family is practicing these things. If the knowledge becomes widespread to each household like our case, we could see more positive effect.
I appreciate JEN enforced such health education to us.''

July 12, 2012 in Afghanistan |

07/05/2012

Counting money in Haiti

It is unique how they count money in Haiti. The official currency is Haitian Gourde, however there is Haitian Dollar as the unofficial and imaginary currency.

Haitian Dollar is neither American Dollar nor bills and coins of Haitian dollar would exit.

1Haitian Dollar is worth 5 Haitian Gourdes. Usually the only currency on the market is Haitian Gourde though (photo), prices are often called in Haitian Dollar. For example, Coke costs 25 Gourdes then you hear "It's 5 Haitian Dollars".

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In the beginning, it is thought there was a trace of previous currency: Haitian Dollar because just as seen in other countries in the past, inflation have decreased the value of money sharply, then later new currency was introduced.
But Haitian Dollar has never existed. However it seems that fixed exchange rate in 1980's, 1 U.S. Dollar= 5 Haitian Gourdes, still remains today. Even though it still does, I wonder how it would be possible for people to use it over 20years.

When I brought this to Haitians, they said they don't have to use more zeroes with Haitian Dollar. 1000 Gourdes are big numbers, but when it comes to Haitian Dollar, it is easy to count because it can be done with 200.

Still they have to pay in Haitian Gourde so they need to do division or multiplication in the end which seems more complicated after all. Then their "Haitian" logic comes in, it is more complicated for them to count with big numbers.

July 5, 2012 in Haiti |

What can we do by 500 yen? ~Life in Colombo~

The theme of this blog on late March “Cost of Living”.
We guess some of you have been interested to how much money to be spent for living there. Today, we will consider what we can buy in Colombo by one coin, 500 yen. At present exchange rate, 500 Japanese yen is about 800 Sri Lanka rupees. It seems not affordable money if we write “a 500 rupees bill plus three 100 rupees bills”. Meal of Sri Lanka is said to be curry three times a day. 4kgs of Dal Beans, one of popular ingredients can be bought.

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It is necessary for curry, chili which can be bought 2.2kgs. To give examples in common vegetable for Japanese, 3.9kgs of tomato, 5.3kgs of carrot, 5.5kgs of green beans and 1kgs of minced chicken meal can be bought.

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Can you see some of the prices of commodity in Colombo?
In News Letter in July, will have the feature what can we buy by 500 yen? ~Aid for returnees in North area~.  Please read it.

July 5, 2012 in Sri Lanka |

Restoring a vibrant fishery 2!: Banya(fishermen's lodge) project starts

JEN has been tackling with a broad range of assistance for fishery reconstruction in Ishinomaki since last year. This time we are going to introduce the second report on our assistance action in ten coasts, which are under the control of the Ishinomaki branch office of the Japan Fisheries Cooperatives, or JF. Refer here for our assistance to ten coasts in Ishinomaki so far. The first prefabricated Banya was set up yesterday at Momoura.

【Pray for safety before setting up】
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By the way, Banya is a fishermen's vernacular word which means a place or lodge where fishermen work and take a rest. As this photo shows, almost all of the harbor facilities and housing of Momoura have been devastated by the tsunami. Sixteen fishermen there are now working on recovering coastal fishing. They are living in temporary houses or hired private houses far away from their workplace, the seashore of Momoura. Some of them commute from a place within Sendai city about eighty kilometers from the workplace. The height of summer is just around the corner but live-out fishermen don't have even a place to stop for lunch. 

【Banya set up】
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Banya was set up at the place in front of the harbor, on which place a branch office of JF used to stand. "This will allow us to sit down and work during summer. We really appreciate your assistance!"

【"Thank you!" They are shaking hands with a firm grip.】
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JEN is committed to continued efforts to support self-reliance efforts of afflicted people (days and months to come). Installation of Banya is scheduled to take place at five other places including shared use starting with Momoura.
We will report in series how Banya setting up takes place.

【Taking a commemorative photo with fishermen of Momoura】
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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).

July 5, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

The Villager who understand, Monitoring by Japan Platform

The programs conducted from last May to this April were supported by Japan Platform and all of your support. The outcome of the program was inspected by the monitoring team of Japan Platform on this June 30th.

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We headed to Lainya from Juba under the bad road condition which took three hours and interviewed the director of Lainya county to exchange information about the activities of JEN. Afterwards, we then drove to Kenny village, a hinterland under the bad road condition and confirmed the well which was maintained by the repair person.

【Interviewing the Mayor by the Member of Japan Platform and the Staff of JEN】
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The mayor of the Kenny village said “we learned that daily maintenance and checking is necessary instead of repairing after being out of order”. Presently, the well that JEN supported is being inspected trice a month and the maintenance fee which is 25 dollars a month is paid to the Repairs Association where the repair person belongs.

【The Mayor explaining the situation of the well (center)】
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Other than that, the Mayor asked” there are parts that needs to be exchanged and we would like to ask to provide these parts if it is available”. So we asked the number of household of the villagers and proposed” Why not ask the villagers to share and buy the parts?” and then “we understand that this is to be depend on your own however, we just asked if it is possible to ask it from the Japanese” explaining while laughing.

The villagers are becoming depend on themselves, it was a moment to feel that they are also being clever to achieve more support from the supporting group.
We express our special thanks to the Monitoring Team of Japan Platform spending 6 hours back and forth to inspect.

[Head of Juba Office, Shu Nishimaru]

July 5, 2012 in South Sudan |