« September 2012 | Main | November 2012 »


The Hygiene Education - Community Stories and School Mappings at Kulipapa Elementary School

The hygiene educations have been started at Kulipapa elementary school, which we talked about the other day, as it was the target based on the investigations.
The first training was about community stories and school mapping.
Because the school has grades 1 to 5, the classes were split into two. One class had students from grade 1 to 3, while the other students from grade 4 and 5.

Description of hygiene education

The students worked in groups and based on certain pictures created community stories about hygiene.
Younger students, the grade 1's to grade 2's, created stories based on the group of 5 cards provided by JEN.
The pictures illustrate a common idea of life cleanliness, cooking and hospitality.

This picture suggests washing hands and it relates to health.

The students making up stories about what the cards show.

JEN staff ask questions about hygiene each time a group presents.
Rejo ice Woro, in grade 3, said after the class that she enjoyed learning from the picture cards.

The grade 4 and 5 students drew pictures related to hygiene, after which groups of 5 to 6 students would have a discussion on it.

Students drawing pictures related to hygiene.

You can see the pictures telling their insanitary living aspects such as unwashed their bodies and drinking foul water and excreting outside of washroom.
The students made stories based on those.

4 groups presented, each group had 4 pictures.


The purpose of this activity is sharing ideas about hygiene while enjoying making up stories.
Later on, the older students have a conversation about their school's environment and going to the washroom.

Drawing of school map by the students

"It was my first time having the class like this but it was also a great opportunity to know how other students thought about it" Agrey Yugu in the
5th grade said.

We will continue to educate our students about hygiene through this method. This approach allows students to join in and learn interactively. They have a healthier life by having better hygiene.

This project is supported by Japan Planet Form.

October 25, 2012 in South Sudan |

An exchange event between wheelchair tennis gold medalist Shingo Kunieda and the children of Ishinomaki

An exchange event between wheelchair tennis gold medalist Shingo Kunieda and the children of Ishinomaki

JEN is working on rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance projects in cooperation with UNIQLO CO., LTD in Ishinomaki. As part of the projects, an exchange event between the children of Ishinomaki and the London Paralympics gold medalist in the men's wheelchair singles tennis Mr. Kunieda who honorably captured two consecutive gold medals was held in Ishinomaki.

【Mr. Kunieda and the children of a tennis club】

As we had a request from Mr. Kunieda to see how areas were damaged by the disaster, we showed him "Rehabilitation Fureai March---a temporary shopping arcade to enhance opportunities for regional rehabilitation", where he had a friendly talk with people there, taking a photo together.

【A visit to "Rehabilitation Fureai March" opened near the Ishinomaki comic museum this June】

Looking at "the Ishinomori comic museum" which is scheduled to reopen in the end of November, we crossed the Utsumi Bridge to go to Kawaguchi town where we saw how debris has been temporary accumulated. He seemed surprised to see an overwhelming amount of debris and dozens of ventilation stacks to avoid spontaneous fire.
He witnessed the situation of subsidence near the Ishinomaki fish market and was stunned by the destructive power of the earthquake that had sunk the ground level over one meter.

【Mr.Kunieda sees subsidence areas.】

After he crossed the Hiyori Bridge down to the Minamihama town, he saw how cars and a city hospital were destroyed by the tsunami and the Kadowaki primary school were struck by fire and then went to the Ishinomaki loan tennis club's tennis court---the representative of which club is Mr. Eiichi Honma. Children of local elementary schools and students of local high schools got a chance to question Mr. Kunieda like "How many times have you took part in the Olympics?","How many medals do you have?" Mr. Kunieda answered those questions respectfully and with an occasional touch of humor.

【Mr.Kunieda answers questions from high school students.】

Mr. Kunieda opened a tennis school for children where he demonstrated his world's best tennis skills that gave him two gold medals, and gave them lessons. They seriously took a lesson from him.

【Mr. Kunieda gives children a lesson.】

After he let children to touch and to wear the gold medal around their necks, the exchange event at Ishinomaki loan tennis club ended and Mr. Kunieda and JEN members move to another exchange event venue, the Kama elementary school. Mr. Doi, the Headmaster of the Kama elementary school, greeted us at the entrance of the school's gymnasium. After exchanging courtesies, they entered the gym where 487 children of the school were waiting for them. On their entrance, the whole gym burst into applause and Mr. Kunieda proceeded on to the bottom of stage showing fancy footwork and then the exchange event began.

【Children greet Mr. Kunieda.】

When the facilitator of the event, Ms. Nao Hasumi, invited children saying "Raise your hands if you have any questions to Mr. Kunieda", almost all of them raised their hands saying "I'll!","Me!" This surprised Mr. Doi because most of the children are so shy that he at first thought that very few of them would raise their hands even if they could question Mr. Kunieda.

【Opposite to what Mr. Doi expected, children shoot questions at Mr. kunieda.】

A child: "How old are you?"
Mr. Kunieda: "Guess how old I am?"
The other children: "Forty?", "Fifty?"...
Mr. Kunieda: "That's too much. You cut me."
Mr. Kunieda: "I'm twenty-eight."

Children: "No way!" The gym resounded with an exclamation of surprise they gave. After Mr. Kunieda also demonstrated his world's best tennis skills there, he ran a race with the children and took a commemorative photo. In his message to the children, he emphasized the importance of holding a dream, having a mental image of realizing the dream and never giving up.

【Mr. Kunieda tells his message to the children.】

Finally, the children representative thanked Mr. Kunieda saying "I was learning tennis. But I haven't been able to practice for a year since the disaster, so I have had a tough time. But now I find pleasure in being able to play tennis. I was more inspired than ever by Mr. Kunieda's talk to become a professional tennis player. "
Within the Kama elementary school zone where this event was held, there are quite a few residents and pupils who were beaten to death by the disaster. The headmaster said that he wants to watch his pupils grow up through actively implementing lessons and events that can encourage them.

JEN is committed to watching the growth of pupils in corporation with schools and such through providing psychological support to pupils affected by the disaster.

====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).

October 25, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

From the destination Haiti

Had departed Japan on October 18th and changed airplanes at New York, I arrived in Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, the next day after noon.

This is my first voyage to Haiti.  To be honest, my first impression of it was not positive because a group of pale gray simple frame buildings and refuge tents of emergency provisions jumped to my eyes as far as I looked down the city from the descending airplane just before landing.
However, I felt that friendly and kind attitudes of the local staff of JEN and people around the office swept the impression away.

Currently I have been engaged in the operational coordination in the office Port-au-Prince and I am expected to move to the project site in Leogane, Grand Goave soon.

The situation there will be reported next time, this time please enjoy the pictures around the office Port-au-Prince!

The entrance of the office Port-au-Prince


Just like the image of the Caribbean, there are many kinds of trees.
“A Mango tree”

I found Mango trees and palm trees on the premise of the office, no sooner I ate Mango and it was sweet and tasted good.

“Around the office”


Various kinds of shops stand side by side such as a fruits store and a clothing store etc.

Overseas Projects Department/Jumpei Ushikubo

October 25, 2012 in Haiti |

Schools growth with community

The new school year has been started on October in Iraq, and the second half of the hygiene education session have been kicked off. It is the continuance of the primary session held in April at the schools we implemented rehabilitation.  JEN has developed the method and materials of hygiene education how to make them exciting for children together with Ministry of Education, Department of Education, and teachers with developed materials such as teeth-brushing calendar or trash box, which we have introduced in the previous article.


At the schools, JEN also organize PTA associated by parents of students and teachers to spread the hygiene knowledge and habits to families and communities through schools. The member of PTA regularly come to school to monitor if the latrines and water fonts JEN restored are maintained clean. Through this activity, JEN believe that the environment of children’s growth will be looked after by entire community along with schools and teachers.


Teachers of the schools who observed restoration of school facilities and improvement of student habits after hygiene education sessions, and they said that they wish all other schools which are still in the condition they had before will be improved as they could through JEN project. JEN will continue the step-by-step endeavor to improve study environment of school children at all areas of Iraq.


October 25, 2012 in Iraq |


In Colombo where I am living in, I seldom see people riding bicycles. It does not mean there are a lot of sloping roads. They think it is dangerous to ride bicycles in Colombo in which there are several problems on traffic manner. However I see bicycle riders once in a while and they are all men.


Some time ago I visited the northern place we were doing project. I found females of various generations--from girls in primaries to adult ladies were riding bicycles. Was it the difference between the culture of Shinhala and the one of Tamil? Actually that is not true.

Before 1990, it was rare that ladies ride bicycles here, in the northern part of Sri Lanka. From this period the economic sanctions was started and it got harder to get gasoline and petroleum to the north. Therefore bicycles, which do not need any gasoline got popular. After that, it was not rare that women ride bicycles any longer in the north.

October 25, 2012 in Sri Lanka |


'Fureai-Hiroba festival to 'Revive Kamikama'"

On October 14, a fine autumn Sunday, a festival titled "Fureai-Hiroba festival to 'Revive Kamikama'(a festival providing an opportunity for residents to interact each other and renew their resolve to revive Kamikama)" was held to celebrate the resumption of the park, where tulips were planted as reported in the previous report.

【On fine autumn Sunday, many people joined.】

【The inauguration begins with a prayer.】

Some 200 victims were temporary buried in this park because of the shortage of space to lay out the remains in the aftermath of the disaster. In the beginning of the festival, people gathered prayed for the repose of all the disaster victims and those who were buried in this park.
【Mr. Kameyama, the mayor of the city of Ishinimaki, delivers his opening address.】
Mr. Kameyama too, the mayor of the city of Ishinimaki city, took the platform and deliverd his opening address; "I hope that the resumption of this park will set the stage for the rebirth of our community." After many other people offered their congratulations, a ribbon was cut to open the park.

【Tulip bulbs planted by children to commemorate the day.】

Mr. Watanabe who had joined in planting tulips recently said "We were able to plant tulips among us. That gave us a chance to get together in this park again, so I'm very happy. The rest of the park remains rough, so I want to plant there with tulips too." After a warm-up, a variety of attractions were featured.

【After an opening, haneko dance(dance up and down) is performed.】

【Big jump rope】


【The final attraction, tug of war.】121018_sdsc_0279

Following a warm-up, there were lots of attractions such as obstacle course, big jump rope, kite flying and tug of war. Kamikama area has been very big for town athletic meet, and so people enjoyed taking part in competitions for the first time in quite some time.

【They enjoy lunchtime over imoni.】

【A fish stand】

We asked opening stands of people in Higashihama, Sasunnohama and Kaduma where JEN is engaging in supportive activities. Thus JEN takes it as one of our important missions to encourage local communities in Ishinomaki to interact each other, promote better understanding and ties between them and advance together toward recovery.

Under the blue sky, it was really impressive to see children happily running around and local residents smiling. The festival also attracted people living in temporary housing or those who are taking shelter in other places and they enjoyed happy reunion for the first time in a while. JEN is committed to assisting local communities sympathetically aiming to revive local communities.

【Neighborhood association facilitators, volunteers take a ceremonial photo.】


====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).

October 18, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Creole, a pattern of Haitian identity

[JEN seems to be everywhere on Port au Prince’s walls …]

Haiti has two official languages, French and Creole. Creole is actually the main language, spoken by the entire population, while French is mainly talked by educated people.
Originally Creole is a mix of Colons, natives and slaves’ mother languages, in order to understand each other’s. It then became the slaves’ language that evolved to do not be understood by the colons. Since the independence in 1804, the language continued to evolve and has been officially codified to be written. Writing codification is close to International Phonetic Alphabet. Indeed, while the pure creole is very precise, in reality one writes creole as one hears it.

To give an idea about Creole structure, let’s say that for a French speaker, most of creole is understandable. Nevertheless it’s more complicated to speak it, as the tendency would be to speak deconstructed French.
As any language in the world, it reflects a culture, and vice-versa. Therefore, understanding the language enable to better understand the country’s people and their interactions. Creole is a language that is deeply poetic, but also incredibly approximate on another hand.

Poetic definitively. Incredibly. Many expression in creole use images to say or describe something.
Not to illustrate an action or an idea. To express it.
For instance, do you know how a Haitian would ask to inflate a tire? He will say “mete van nan kawotchou a” [me-te][vɑ̃][nɑ̃][ka-wo-tʃu][a]. Which means, literally, “put wind into the rubber”. Poetic isn’t it?

Inflate a tire is quite a prosaic and concrete action. Yet creole use as much images to express ideas.
The message in the picture above says “Viv Ayiti tèt kale” [viv][ɑjiti][tɛt][kɑle] and means literally “Go Haiti Shaved Head”. It has been used as a slogan during the last presidential election to promote a new start for Haiti. Indeed, “tèt kale” (shaved head, literally) means in fact “reboot” or “restart”. A new life for your hairs, somehow. And by extension for Haiti.

Unfortunately this poetic (and idealistic would say some) view of Haiti is rapidly undermined. Indeed, as much Haitians are present in the discussion, as much interpretations of the images could exist. Not only because of regional particularities, but also because everyone has his own understanding of the said image. Almost nobody tries to understand what the other means. What one has understood is definitively what the other meant. Empathy does not look to be the most important quality during discussions here.
This leads often to strong and deep misunderstandings. Of course the low level of education certainly reduces the number of words use by most. But you may also have words that have several meaning. And there is no way, as it could exist in some languages, to differentiate these meanings according to the tone or place in the phrase.

Let’s take the word Marengwen [ma-ʁœ̃-ɡwɛ̃] for instance. It means “mosquito”. It also means “swamp”. But also “skinny”.  Which one is the correct meaning if you say somebody that a Marengwen is dangerous?
Good luck.

To finish this note a quick word on the picture that introduces it. It would be quite surprising for you, if you would travel through Haiti, to see how much JEN is known after less than 3 years in the country. Everywhere on walls you can see inscriptions such as Jèn Kore Jèn [ʒɛn][ko-ʁe][ʒɛn] or Jèn an Aktyon [ʒɛn][ɑ̃][ak-sjɔ̃].
Nothing linked with us unfortunately: “Jèn” means only “young”. So the message above only means “Young support the Young”. The last year elected president, Michel Martelly (aka Sweet Micky in his professional life of singer) was the youngest in the election run, and this message supposed to support him.
Not too much disappointed?

October 18, 2012 in Haiti |

Distribution of Goats Thereafter

JEN has been providing support to displaced people who find refuge in UC Band Kurai of Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province by distributing goats for their recovery of livelihood.
The project has been completed about 70% so far. In late September, JEN’s local staff visited community where goats had been distributed, and had a meeting with the people there to listen to their opinions about JEN and its project.


We would like to share with you some of the conversation from the meeting.


Mr. Abdul Ghani had no other choice like other displaced people but to leave all of his farm animals in South Waziristan. Before his escape, he had lived on the dairy product made from his farm animals. However, things can’t be done the same as only packaged milk is available in safe havens.
Mr. Ghani received goats with the support by JEN, and twin baby goats were born in the evening 23 days before the meeting. He told us he was happy because he has 1.5 liters of milk daily even excluding the milk for breast-feeding baby goats.
Nine-year-od  Habibullah who joined the meeting with his father brought a goat and its baby goat there. Habibullahsaid, “I’m happy to put the goats to graze near my place after coming back from school. I and a baby goat are good friends while playing. I will take a good care of it until it grows up.”


Mr. Loi khan told us about his lost-brother’s wife, Ms. Maryam Bibi. She received a nanny goat and her baby goat which had been born at JEN’s storage. The goat produces 1.7 liters of milk every day. She uses 0.7 liters of it as dietary, and sells the rest of it to her neighbors and gets 70 Pakistan Rupees per day as revenue. She is so happy now she can live an independent life.
54-year-old Mr. Ali Rehman lost his leg because of land mine explosion during the battle. Mr. Ali Rehman also received a nanny goat and its baby goat, and has 1.9 liters of milk every day. Mr. Ali Rehman consumes 0.5 liters of it at home. He sells 1.4 liters to his neighbors and uses the revenue for paying medical bills. The goat makes money for his treatment.

Conditions vary in each family even though they are from the same area. We learned that distributed goats are used based on each family’s needs.


October 18, 2012 in Pakistan |

Delivered Dream Bags to Children in Afghanistan

Following the last year, we have got Dream Bags distributed to 7,087 of 1st to 3rd year students at 27 of schools in the district of Bagram in Province of Parwan. The project of distribution of Dream Bags is now in its seventh year.


Dream Bags arrived in Afghanistan from Japan

In the district of Bagram in Province of Parwan, the offensive against the air base by anti-government armed group has still been continued in this year. The children at the surrounding area have precariously been living with putting their life at risk. Due to economic reason, it is a difficult state to buy any stationeries and any toys for a large part of the children. We would give an introduction to the scene when we have delivered grave gifts from Japanese children to them.


At Girls’ school of Bagram on 19th September, 2012


At Alawodin Shaheed Middle School on 3rd October, 2012


“I am so glad to receive a present with many of stationeries and toys. I will use it with taking good care for my study. I wish to express my thanks.”
Ms. Safia received a Dream Bag (Qalai Beland Girls high school, 3rd grade, 9 years old)


“I much appreciate for giving my daughter such a great gift. She has a profitable time with playing toys and studying with stationeries.
Qalai Bayazid Primary School  Mr. Hedayatullah, his daughter received a Dream Bag (55 years old)


At Shomanzai Primary School on 4th October, 2012

The children in Afghanistan have been grateful to Japanese children for receiving Dream Bags which Japanese children packed toys and stationeries in their handcrafted bags.

October 18, 2012 in Afghanistan |


Make ten-thousand tulips bloom!

On October 7, a fine autumn Sunday, some seventy community residents and volunteers got together at the Kamikama fureai(interacting each other) park located at west end of the city of Ishinomaki. They planted ten-thousand bulbs of tulips in the park with the support of FELISSIMO CORP. funds office.

Many disaster victims were temporary buried in this park because of the shortage of space to lay out remains in the aftermath of the disaster. That's why some people have mixed emotions toward the resumption of the park. But officials in charge prioritized bringing playground back to children and decided to resume the park, after a long and careful consideration of whether to resume the park or not. The renovation work on the park started this April and finally it began to open for public from October. There used to be many cherry trees and azaleas in the park but they had been damaged by the tsunami and cut down. That's why this planting event was organized.

【Bulbs sent from the Netherlands, flower kingdom】

Bulbs are planted carefully so that they might sprout and bloom beautifully.

【If bulbs are planted in the same direction, they sprout leafs on a level with each other and bloom beautifully.】


At lunchtime, local women served participants imoni(hotpot of taro), a traditional dish to celebrate the autumn harvest in Miyagi prefecture. They are women who helped JEN in preparing meals outdoors at Kamikama area as an emergency first aid treatment right after the disaster. Volunteers enjoyed a pleasant time with them over imoni.

【Happy time over Imoni(hotpot of taro)】


【They also plant Azalea, city flower.】

【They have got planting finished by 3 p.m. Good job, today!】

Blessed with good weather, they were able to get scheduled work finished. You participants did a good job, today. Children have very few places to play after the disaster because many parks or town squares have been damaged by the disaster and even survived ones were used to build temporary housing. The renovated park has a basketball court and an artificial turf field and so a lot of children visit the park almost every day.


It's expected to hold a festival hosted by local neighborhood association, titled "'Fureai-Hiroba festival to 'Revive Kamikama'(a festival providing an opportunity for residents to interact each other and renew their resolve to revive Kamikama)", in celebration of the resumption of the park. There used to be some 1,000 households in Kamikama area before the disaster, but now no more than 400 of them remain there after the disaster. The rebirth of the community is only half done. JEN is committed to advancing shoulder to shoulder with the community and people in this area.

====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).

October 11, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

The preliminary survey for hygiene education

Here’s a report on the preliminary survey at the school where JEN provides hygiene education.

The school is “Aru Primary School” in Juba, holding 240 students from 1st to 5th grades studying here.


The preliminary survey is to check the conditions of their knowledge, attitude and practice for hygiene before hygiene education is provided. After hygiene education is finished, a similar survey is made to see how their knowledge, attitude and practice for hygiene change.

The preliminary survey was conducted to 10 randomly selected students from each grade. First, hygiene promoters explained about the survey, “This is not a test, but you may not peep at friend’s answer and copy it. You do not need to write your names, and you may not tell a lie.” The hygiene promoters repeated explanation in English and Arabic so children could easily understand.


Here are some examples of questions.
-Do you know diarrhea?
-How often do you get diarrhea?
-Do you have a toilet at home?
-How many times do you wash your hands?

These kind of detailed questions followed. Hygiene promoters proceeded questions cheerfully with humor so children wouldn’t get bored with too many questions and closed the survey.


After the preliminary survey comes hygiene education. We continue the operation with hope that this will provoke a change in children’s behaviors in the future.


*This project is conducted by Japan Platform and your support.

October 11, 2012 in South Sudan |

An Empty Welcome Home (Part 2)

Other than residential facilities and food, water is the other essential. Only one water-well provides water for both laundry and bathing, which is used after being cleaned. However, in the dry season the water supply can be exhausted within ten days.
The United Nations has also provided three water tanks, to be shared between 50 to 70 households. This roughly calculates to each household receiving 3.5L-5L of water per day. However, due to proclaimed financial reasons, local authorities have not been providing the agreed amount — forcing people to travel roughly 2km for water.

Though Sri Lanka has come to be considered a tourist area of high economic growth in recent years, there are those even now who still suffer from the effects of domestic strife. This is something we should not overlook.

JEN continues to support the return of migrants to their homelands, and has installed five hand-operated water pumps.

This activity was made possible by the assistance of our supporters and the Japan Platform.

October 11, 2012 in Sri Lanka |


For Children to have Affinity for Hygiene Education ~Through a Song Contest~

"If children were able to learn about hygiene in an easier and more fun way, wouldn’t they learn better and knowledge?”

This revolutionary idea came up from a JEN staff during a meeting about hygiene education workshop with officials of Ministry of Education.

"If the kids could sing about right hygiene habits, they could learn important knowledge in a fun way, and familiarize with these habits."  From this idea, Ministry of Education organized contests to compose songs about hygiene habits in five districts that JEN works in.

Since 2003, JEN has been working on hygiene education with Ministry of Education. Local authorities have become more creative by bringing up its own ideas, instead of just waiting for proposals from JEN, which finally created this groundbreaking event. The song contest featured five Directorate of Education from Baghdad, al-'Anbār, Bābil, Diyala and Kirkuk.  They competed with the songs they made to promote hygiene practices .


The song made by Diyara District, which had the most easy-to-remember lyrics and melody, won the contest. It The song was even introduced to Directorate of Education and is now used all over Iraq so that every child can become more familiar with hygienic practices.

October 4, 2012 in Iraq |

Security Training

This is Hutamura who is assigned to accounting and general affairs at the JEN office in Afghanistan. There are 11 of us including the international staff who have been called in from Afghanistan and Pakistan who have been attending the security training for 5 days in Islamabad in Pakistan.  The high density training covers a large diversity of aspects such as advance preparation, escaping, responding and the rescue methods for dangerous situations.  The staff have been taking this training very seriously and the public safety measures are necessary for both countries to put the projects in execution.


In their training, the case of the supply distribution project for the emergency assistance was presented. The riot at the end was a result of the distribution of food aid in the developing country.  At the humanitarian aid site, in order to prevent that kind of case, we have to pay careful attention during the supply distribution, for instance, “coordinating with the leader in the community.”, also ”the relief supplies have to be kept in a safe place where the people cannot find and distributed the supplies to each other”.

I have conducted the distribution of the emergency supplies in Tohoku district since the end of March 2011. Because of my lack of experience at the emergency humanitarian aid site I only have basic knowledge and lack the proper training like above.

We also learned about the must-have portable equipment such as food, water and maps to bring to the place where the project is going on.  I can easily imagine that we would cause a lot of panic if we were ever isolated by the closed road like in march 2011 when there were still many aftershocks.

Through this training, I have been keenly aware that there are still hundreds of things to learn as someone who is part of the humanitarian aid projects.  Moreover, it is not hard to find more common ideas in the supporting sites both in Japan and abroad.
I am going to make use of the things I have learnt from this training so as to work on our projects even harder and thanks for the support from all of you.

October 4, 2012 in Afghanistan |

A festival serves as a steppingstone to rebuild community spirit; the summer festival of Kaduma area

Sultry days of summer are ending and Ishinomaki is finally getting cool. Between August and September, each of the neighborhood associations in Minato-kaduma area of Ishinomaki city held their summer festival.

【On August 18, a festival to celebrate the renovation of Kaduma-nishi park(popular name: Panda Park)】

The park in this photo had been banned to use, because there had been no prospect for renovation of the playground equipments that had been left damaged in the park since the disaster.
However, there are quite a few public apartments in the area with many children in Kaduma area and so people in the area had been calling for the early resumption of the park. The community association president for the public apartments, Mr. Tsuchiya, made necessary adjustments with local government and volunteers who offered to supply playground equipments about the resumption of the park on behalf of people in the area, finally renovating the park.

【Many children gather.】

As a basketball court was also set up at the back of the park, the park is always lively with cheerful voices of not only nursery school toddlers, but high school students.

【On September 2, being blessed with fine weather, "Ganbatsucha(Stick to it, Kaduma)" takes place at Kaduma-higashi park.】

This year again, "Ganbatsucha (Stick to it, Kaduma)" was held at Kaduma-higashi park. This park has also been renovated and now many children are seen to play with new playground equipments.

【Children play with new playground equipments】



【Many people gather to enjoy a live entertainment on stage.】

【On September 30, a festival "Dai Ochako Nomi(Big tea party)" takes place hosted by the third neighborhood association of Kaduma.】

On September 30, the third neighborhood association of Kaduma hosted a tea party festival titled "Dai Ochako Nomi(Big tea party)". The venue for the festival was a new assembly house and its square built this June. Neighborhood association officials' really wanted to make the festival exciting and their enthusiasm for the festival came through loud and clear.

【Volunteers outside the prefecture help in mochi(rice cake) pounding.】


【Last year's venue was the parking lot of a damaged large scale bookstore】

One of the festival participants said with deep emotion, "It's been eighteen months since ...."

【A fisherman from Kitsunezaki in the Oshika Peninsula opens a fish stand】

This year, there appeared even a fish shop that you can put fishes into a bag as many as you can. Residents were extremely excited to be able to buy as many fishes as they want at a bargain price 500 yen a bag. A fisherman who opened up the shop said, "While I live in Ishinomaki, I have had few occasions for joining festivals of nearby communities in Ishinomaki. But I will value the relationship of this kind in the days ahead." We introduced three festivals of this year as above; each of them was held in a friendly and laughing atmosphere. It seems that people beginning to have room to breathe little by little. However, one of the festival participants said "It was not until fixing damaged house of mine that I could make up my mind to return to my home town."
He said that at first he didn't know what to do by himself but finally he made up his mind in the course of the conversation with people in the same community because the conversation taught him what was going on around him. The road to recovery varies between members in the community. But I believe when community members respect and cooperate with each other, they can give the entire community momentum to take the initiative in addressing the recovery of the region as a whole. That's why when community members work together on a festival, it can promote dialogue and cooperation among them and rebuild community spirit. I paused to realize that the effort to work on something really is where produces value.

====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).

October 4, 2012 in Tohoku Earthquake |

An Event of Local Sports

Karwan Welfare Society Organization a local NGO organized an event of local sports in village Kokar, UC Mandra district D I Khan a couple of days back. Objectives of the event were to promote local games and players. One of the main objectives of the event was too, to provide an opportunity of amusement to local people who have suffered sectarian crises and terrorism for a long period.
3 different games were organized in the event.

1)Local Wrestling,


2)Weight Lifting

3)Rassa Kahi (Rope Pulling by opposite teams).

A large number of people gathered to watch the competition and enjoy it. Normally this event is organized every year but due to tense situation in D I Khan, the event was organized after 4 years.


Youngsters equally enjoyed this event and they also participated in the games.

At the end the organizers presented awards to the winners and cash prizes. The chief guest in his speech expressed that next year this event will be conducted on large scale and players will be included from other parts of the country as well.

October 4, 2012 in Pakistan |