« February 2013 | Main | April 2013 »


Shrine's priest, parishioners appreciate JEN's efforts.


The following photo shows volunteers doing a tough job at the Watanoha-Myoujinsha shrine in May, 2011.

 They raise fallen gravestones and then clean them.

Many volunteers from home and overseas did volunteer work at that shrine.



On March 20, twenty-two months after that volunteer work, the Watanoha-Myoujinsha shrine held a ceremony to unveil a renewed shrine building.

 You can see the cemetery in the back of the photo below, where volunteers worked.

JEN staff members were invited to the ceremony.

 Giving Shinto prayers, the chief priest of the shrine introduced JEN's volunteering activities to those gathered.


The priest introduces JEN's staff members to participants.

The chief priest said to the participants "Just as I'd like to thank JEN for helping us clear the precincts of our shrine of rubbles or raise fallen gravestones, so I think this is something that our parishioners should know."

 As many as forty parishioners joined the ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, a young man came to one of the JEN's staff members and said to him "My father lies at rest in that cemetery. I'm most grateful to you for your help." It is a just appreciation that was expressed for both volunteers who have taken part in JEN's volunteer events and supporters who helped JEN's activities so far.

 Some of the shrine buildings still remain damaged.


JEN, putting itself in the position of disaster victims, is committed to continuing assistance activities. Your cooperation is essential.



March 28, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Contraction of Humanitarian Corridors for NGOs in Pakistan

These days in Pakistan the humanitarian organizations and their workers are facing access problems to different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.

Increased checks and restrictions on project NOC and new imposition of travel NOC for the local staffs have worsened the situation. Project NOC normally takes 35 days process by government while Travel NOC (a new addition) which was first supposed to take 6-8 weeks processing time but on the high voices from humanitarian community, its processing time is decreased to 5 working days although which is not practicable yet by the authorities.

Volatile security situation and to practice high security protocols then ever is also a significant barrier towards accessing project sites and the affected people. Increased number of incidents happening to humanitarian workers in terms of target killings and abduction is also among the barriers.   

Complex nature of the situation where military operation is ongoing in some areas while some areas are de-notified for return and time to time occurrence of natural disasters have multiplied the miseries of affected people and issues for humanitarian workers in the whole country.   

In such circumstances the humanitarian workers are not able to access the affected people timely while the affected people as well are not able to access humanitarian aid efficiently. However, JEN will keep working to support those people, seeking the way to improve current situation.

March 28, 2013 in Pakistan |

School garden

The Ministry of Education in Iraq interested in school garden, there is a section in the Department of Environmental Education and School Health in the Ministry of Education called “school garden section”. There are interesting and continuous follow-up by the officials in this section with the school garden, annually competition held between schools to win the most beautiful school garden in Iraq.

During the training for teachers and students which held by JEN within its projects and by interest for the environment … We emphasis is on the importance of planting the school garden and the house interest and maintain with it. The ministry and JEN efforts have resulted by making a lot of teachers and students to planting their school gardens. They are so green.

[A primary school for girls]


[B intermediate school]

[C primary school for girls]

The schools within JEN project, which focused on the school garden is D intermediate school for girls. Their garden will also glow with students!

[Garden of D intermediate school who will glow greenly!]

March 28, 2013 in Iraq |

Nowroz (New Year) in Afghanistan!

This year, the Nowroz festival holds even more significance and importance in the lives of Afghans since the United Nation’s General Assembly recognized 21 March as International Day of Nowroz.

Every year, tens of thousands of people travel to the northern Afghanistan city of Mazar-e Sharif to watch the elaborate ceremony in Hazrat Ali tomb.
One of the most significant symbolic traditions of Nowroz in Afghanistan is Haft Mewa “Seven Fruits”, the “seven fruits” table starts with seven dried fruits:- Raisins, Senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Prunes (dry fruit of apricot), Walnuts and either Almond or another species of Plum fruit and it is like a fruit salad (fruit chat), served in the fruits’ syrup.
【7 dried fruits for Haft Mewa】

【Made Haft Mewa】

Traditionally, Afghan women celebrate Nowroz with Samanak: - it is made of wheat germ and is a special Afghan female tradition, they cook it from late in the evening until daylight and during this cooking time, the women gather around and sing Nowroz’s songs (exp: hala Nowroz raghi/ hala Nowroz amad), accompanied with special drums and dancing and no men are allowed to take part in this ceremony.

【An Afgan woman while making Samanak on Nowroz day】

【Lunch on Nowroz day】

The official speech, the president calls upon the special security guard to start the New Year (Nowroz) celebration with three shots of cannon, following the three shots then a huge flag is raise from the ground and People watch the movement carefully (if it rises hard and slowly, a bad year is predicted but if the flag is risen gently, the New Year is predicted a fortunate and happiness year) after 40 days government official come and put down the flag as it raised.

When the day’s ceremony ended, the night’s ceremonies arrive full of music and concerts, every year lots of top singers are invited by the government to travel from Europe and America to Afghanistan and sing for the New Year celebration, Not only Afghan singers are invited but groups of musicians and singers from Pakistan, India, Iran, Turkey, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are included to participate and demonstrate their culture alongside Afghan artists.

After the official ceremony, people head to a huge field for a game of Buzkashi, an ancient traditional sport where riders on horses compete over a goat or calf carcass.

March 28, 2013 in Afghanistan |


New Program Officer “Ludovic Blanco”

My humanitarian experience start soon after my high school but it wasn’t so obvious. I started the school to be a fireman (officer). But really fast I realized that this profession is not for me and that it will close many opportunities. So I decided to focus on water management, first of all for public health in order to reach the best water quality to avoid contamination in the public health centre where patient are weak. At this time I had the chance to spend 4 months in Romania for my training. After 4 months I had the opportunity to follow a course in the United Kingdom in water supply and sanitation where I could specialize my technical knowledge in management in relief context and developing countries. At this point I made my thesis in India in the poorest state (Uttar Pradesh). My task was to assess the possibility to implement household water treatment.

Those overseas experiences were for me the first. As I am from a little island calls Reunion lost in the middle of the Indian Ocean, old French colony now a French territory, I did not have the opportunity to travel like this. When I left my family and my small land I decided to take all chance to open my mind and meet people with different point of view, knowledge, culture…

Straight after my study I went in Burundi with a French NGO specialized in WASH. I was the program manager of the project. I spend 18 months there were I could put in place my knowledge, and had my first real professional experience. I manage 3 programs in total in Burundi. The first one was to manage water, sanitation and hygiene promotion in a Congolese camp (with 6500 refugees). My second and third projects were to establish water network, provide hygiene awareness, and train water committee and to train the public utility to manage in a proper way their networks.

After that I had a break of 1 year and half in France, where I could work for a public service in household waste water treatment.

After this period it was the time to go back to the field. I work one more time for a French NGO in Jordan in response to the Syria Crisis. We were the first NGO work in WASH in the first refugee camps. I spend 8 months there. My main duties were to provide water and manage waste water in 4 small camps, and provide hygiene awareness and distribute diapers in a camp of 50-60 000 refugees in add to the 4 small camps.

I finally joined JEN in March in Haiti. The program is similar to those I did in Burundi. I have joined JEN first by a meet of one person in Jordan.

Beside that I like to practice sport, extreme sport when I have the opportunity.

March 21, 2013 in Haiti |

Healthy Life in Sri Lanka (Sugar free biscuit!)

I came across this at the snack section of a local supermarket.


I would like to introduce, with this commemorative picture, an “epoch-making” biscuit as my recent finding in Sri Lanka. Although I would imagine that this is nothing curious nor surprising for most of people in Japan.

Here in Sri Lanka, people have snacks and tea with full of sugar, and for daily meals, they use plenty of salt, chili, oil and coconuts. Their dietary habit is far from what Japanese think of a “healthy diet”.

In such a setting, a snack that promotes being “healthy” has finally appeared here in Sri Lanka. What's more, you can find it not only in Colombo but even in supermarkets in Vavuniya in Northern Province.

Are Sri Lankan people becoming more conscious about their health? Well, we shall see.

March 21, 2013 in Sri Lanka |

Safe Water for Sustainable living in Lainya

2 years ago, JEN assisted hand pump mechanics in Lainya County to establish Lanya Pump Mechanic Association. In this on-going project, we are following up the association to enable them to work sustainably.  Recently, when we visited a community in Lainya, we received the good comment from the villager.

Mrs. Hellen Manish, a member of Water User committees in Lainya payam is very grateful to JEN; she really appreciates JEN South Sudan for facilitating the formation of Lainya hand pump association in the County


She said “Before the association of pump mechanics was started, there were many boreholes that were broken down. The situation has changed as there are pump mechanics in each payam who are providing services.  One of the pump mechanics in her area is  Mr. Juma Martin.  As soon as a borehole develops a problem it is reported to the association members who are also in charge of repairs.  Recently, a borehole in the village broke down as seen in the pictures and no sooner had Mr. Juma been informed, he only took 3 days to arrive at the vicinity and conduct repairs


She acknowledged that the burden for travelling for long distance for 2km to look for safe water has reduced now she can use part of her time for doing other productive activities like cooking food for the children.

Mrs Hellen also mentioned that , the case of diarrheoal diseases in the communities here lainya Payam seems to have reduced greatly as people drink safe water .

(This project is supported by Japan Platform and JEN supporters ).

March 21, 2013 in South Sudan |

Volunteers contribute to liven up shrine festival, helping organize it, carry mikoshi

On the 17th of this month, a shrine festival took place at Kitsunezakihama on the Oshika Peninsula.

【It was a great day for a festival.】

That festival has been held for several hundreds of years, dating back to an era before the Edo period (1603-1867). Kitsunezakihama, which currently has some ninety people of thirty households, now faces a difficulty handing down its age-old tradition of the festival to the next generation because decreasing young people makes it hard to get the necessary number of people to bear a mikoshi---an ornate palanquin-like portable shrine in which the ghost or spirit of a Shinto shrine deity is believed to ride. During shrine festivals, scores of believers wind through the town carrying the mikoshi on their shoulders.
Under the circumstances, JEN was asked to help them to hold this year's festival and volunteers who were mobilized by JEN helped out with organizing the festival or bearing the mikoshi.

【Changed into white clothing, they felt uplifted.】

A total of twenty-two volunteers participated in the festival including employees from Mitsui & CO., LTD, who had been engaged on voluntary activities in Kitsunezakihama.

【People in festival costumes gallantly march through the town of Kitsunezakihama.】

A group of the volunteers and villagers in Kitsunezakihama in conventional kimonos, carrying the mikoshi, left the Kitsunezakiinai shrine for the seashore. The dashing call of male members resounded all over the seashore. They called out "Chosai!, Chosai!" That call is said to be a corrupt form of "Kyousai!, Kyousai!"---Literally means "today is the day for festival"---and it was exciting to see the group marching through the town carrying the mikoshi while shouting.

【The group march through the town of Kitsunezakihama】

The mikoshi in which the ghost or spirit of a Shinto shrine deity is believed to ride marched through every place in Kitsunezakihama, seashore, streets...to purify all of Kitsunezakihama.

This year's festival attracted over one hundred people more than last year. Kitsunezakihama was so crowded that some of the villagers said that this year's turnout might be beyond the prequake level.

With a laugh, one of the villagers said "There has been none better!" another one replied "If only we always have such many people."

It was really happy for JEN to be able to see many of the people in Kitsunazakihama where JEN had long worked on assistant activities wearing the best looking smile. With the disaster-stricken areas entering a period of reconstruction activities, there will be diverse opportunities for volunteers to play a part in the construction.

JEN is committed to supporting the reconstruction of distressed areas by dispatching volunteers to help people there hold their community events or activities of schools.

====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓
○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.
○Credit card:

March 21, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |


"Come, join our fishery event!" NOW INVITING PARTICIPANTS!


JEN and tsunami-stricken fishermen jointly decided to hold the 2nd "Come, join our fishery event!", a two-day and one-night fishery experience event in Higashihama, a fishery village on the Oshika Peninsula. That event is a new effort to boost disaster reconstruction by the fishermen from five areas in Higashihama. It helps participants discover the cycle of Higashihama's seasons through hands-n opportunities to experience fishery. During the first one held last December, in spite of the cold participants enjoyed valuable experience in learning how to culture oysters and how they grow from fishermen in Higashihama, where the oyster farming is a core industry.
They had a chance to learn oyster-shelling on the spot, which is so difficult that an oyster shelling championship takes place. Everything they experienced was not before in their lives and at the same time they could have a chance to think sincerely about what they can do for the revitalization of Higashihama. They had a heated discussion with fishermen. That day was the all oyster day for them and they told that they felt like being oyster savvy. The following photos show what the 1st "Come, join our fishery event!" was like.

【They tour an oyster farm by fishing boat attended by fishermen.】

【They learn how to shell oysters one-on-one.】

Higashihama's specialties vary with the seasons. The upcoming event features learning how wakame seaweed and mantis shrimps are cultured. Why don't you have an excellent opportunity to experience fishery gusto, through learning indigenous fishery to Higashihama and enjoying a day out in the rich nature of the Sanriku Sea?

That event helps Higashihama rebuild its community. JEN hopes some people who have volunteered for emergency-relief work take this opportunity to revisit Tohoku and to visualize a better future together with the fishermen who, having gone through the aftermath of the disaster, are now on the road to recovery; others who don't have participated in volunteer activities take this opportunity to learn what's going on in disaster-stricken areas or what a fishery is like.

JEN helps Higashihama regain its vitality through promoting exchanges between participants and fishermen and their wives. Do please participate in this event.

【Many ideas were exchanged during the meeting between participants and people in Higashihama. They took a memorial photo fueled by the discussion. 】

◆For details on JEN's assistance activities in Tohoku, click here.

◆For details on JEN's activities in Niigata, an assistance activities in a movement to boost development in rural areas after the Mid Niigata Prefecture Earthquake, click here.

◆What is Higashihama like?
Higashihama, which is located on the middle of the Oshika Peninsula, is divided into five districts, Makihama, Takehama, Kitsunezakihama, Kadatsuhama and Fultsukiura. It's a fishing-centered community and was worst affected by the disaster, but the whole community is working toward recovery.

◆What is "Come, join our fishery event!"?
It is an occasion for participants to learn fishery and also to have heart-to-heart talks with people in Higashihama. With time, people in Higashihama have become eager to express their thanks to volunteers who gave them a helping hand or a hearing in the aftermath of the disaster. And they also started thinking that it's important not only to have a pleasant reunion with those volunteers but to create an opportunity for many other people to enjoy Higashihama's scenery and exchange with them. It is a new project come from that desire of them to open up Higashihama's new possibilities.

【Mantis shrimp fishing(April to July each year)】

◆"Come, join our fishery event!"
The event's details will be as follows:
・The opening days are April 13 - 14, 2013(two-day and one-night).
・The major attractions are Mantis shrimp fishing experience, wakame seaweed collecting experience, fixed-shore-net-fishing watching tour etc. Attractions may change due to inclement weather or lean fish crop. Shipboard injuries or accidents are not covered by the volunteer insurance.
・The venue is Higashihama on the Oshika Peninsula, a fishery village in Ishinomaki city.
・The rest house is Kitsunezaki Fishery Village Center(986-2345, Miyagi-ken, Ishinomaki-shi, Aza Yashiki kitsunezaki 25-2 ).
・The limit number of participants is 20.
・The participation fee is not yet determined.
・The designated meeting place and time are the rotary outside Ishinomaki station and 11 a.m. on April 13.
・The designated finishing place and time are the rotary outside Ishinomaki station and 3:30 p.m. on April 14.

<Volunteer Insurance>
Applicants are required to sign up the volunteer insurance ("Disaster Plan": an insurance product that insures against earthquake in advance). Be aware that the insurance is effective for one year from April 1 every year and not renewed automatically.

Fax or email your completed application form with the copy of your insurance certificate. Without volunteer insurance, application will not be accepted.

Click here to download PDF version application form_final_18032013

Please contact the Inquiries (mentioned below) should you have further questions.

E-mail the address of
hama@jen-npo.org, with "Come, join our fishery event!" as the subject no later than Sunday the 7th of April. Acceptance of applications continues until the number of application reaches the limit.

Please contact us at: Phone number 02225-25-5611; Fax number 02225-25-5612
Names of the contact persons are Shun Saijo or Hiroaki Chiba.
The department in charge is JEN (Specified Nonprofit Corporation) Tohoku Division Reconstruction Steering Group
The address for JEN's Tohoku division is: SASADEN BILL201, Zeniarai 3-13, Ishinomaki-shi, Miyagi-ken 986 0826

☆☆☆☆☆ ☆☆☆☆☆ ☆☆☆☆☆

【JEN is now accepting donations for the reconstruction of Tohoku. Your help would be very much appreciated. DONATE HERE

March 18, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |


Voices from FATA

During the assessment for the new project and monitoring of the old project, village committee took JEN staff to Mr. Usman Gul’s house where he was living as Hamsaya (Rental house) as his own house was destroyed completely. 

I shocked when I saw 90 year old Usman Gul Paralysis patient since 2004 and he lost his CNIC during conflict when he was shifted by his son on his shoulder to Sadda Durrani IDP Camp and then to Peshawar for treatment but lack of financial resources he could not complete treatment.


When the conflict started in their areas, many families fled as soon as they felt the situation were going to be worsened but there were some families who didn’t want to leave their houses such easily and this family one of those families who didn’t give up such soon.
According to many families where we visited during project that leaving their houses due to war was one of the worst experiences of their lives and they will always feel unhappy because of this.
When we asked from the old man what is your most urgent need he told that his grandsons are brining water on head from very long distance. Drinking Water and shelter are the most urgent need .He became very happy that we judged from his smile when he knew that JEN is planning to implement WSS project in his village Dangar Godo in Central Kurram Agency.


March 14, 2013 in Pakistan |

March 8 JEN's Report highlights efforts to support recovery in Tohoku

On Friday March 8, two years after the Tohoku Earthquake, JEN hosted a report meeting on its assistance activities in Tohoku. The meeting attracted seventeen participants, including those who had joined volunteer activities in Tohoku or came to JEN for the first time, JEN's supporters and others. At first each participant was asked to introduce themselves to the others; they wrote down their name, what their relationship to Tohoku is and what they want to know or think about at the meeting, and then spoke about them.
What they wanted to know at the meeting was what's going on in afflicted areas two years after the Tohoku Earthquake.


Ms. Mayumi Nishimura, program officer, who has worked at JEN's Ishinomaki office for two years, delivered a presentation. She spoke about what kind of challenges Ishinomaki if facing, ongoing projects and goals to be achieved. Ishinomaki now has much work to do because its population is declining; its key industry, fishery, has been deadly devastated by the tsunami; many of its citizens whose homes and lives were destroyed by the tsunami are still forced to live in temporary housing with anxiety,
JEN, aiming to realize a city where people feel comfortable to live and people want to live for years to come, is engaging in a broad range of supportive activities to help local people implement self-sustaining recovery. Specifically, it's working on providing psychological support to victims, assisting resident-led events, fostering interaction within communities, empowerment of women and so on. It also continues to send volunteers to disaster-stricken areas to keep them alive.


During the free conversation time, Ms. Hashimoto answered the questions posed by participants and participants gave their feedback. One participant said "Is there anything I can do? Isn't it too late to go?", then another participant who have joined volunteer activities in Ishinomaki answered that saying "If you are wondering, just give it a go. (You won't know till you've done it. You get nothing if you don't try)." Ms. Nishimura also encouraged the participant saying "Don't think too seriously! Why not come to Ishinomaki and mix with local people!"

JEN would like to thank all our participants for having time together to consider JEN's recovery assistance to Tohoku. Click here for more information about JEN's assistance activities to Tohoku.

【JEN is now accepting donations for the reconstruction of Tohoku. Your help would be very much appreciated. DONATE HERE

March 14, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Hygiene Education Training for School Teachers

In February, JEN held a three-day hygiene education training for 494 teachers at 32 primary, middle and high schools in Surkh Parsa and Shikh Ali district in Parwan Prefecture. The teachers who participated in the training will then implement hygiene education in their respective classes for 5 months from May to October, except for summer vacation in July. Their objective of this continuous teaching is to ensure children have correct knowledge and right hygiene habits. 

In the teacher's training of hygiene education, both theory and practice are taught. Contents cover significance of teaching hygiene, water and food hygiene, and various practices such as how to wash hands, cut nails, brush teeth, and make oral rehydration solution (ORS) which is used to prevent dehydration caused by diarrhea.

The training was carried out in the form of participatory workshops including activities such as group work and discussion. The teachers taking part in the training showed great interest in hygiene education, asked many questions and actively participated in the discussions. Through the 3-day training, improvements were seen in the teachers’ knowledge of hygiene education and their ability to practice it. The training ended with the teachers’ commitment to pass on what they learned in this training to their students.

[Group Work of Hygiene Education]

[Practice of Making ORS]

[Practice of Hand Washing]

The following is an interview with a teacher who participated in the training.

Name of Teacher: Mr. Sayed Adil Shah
Name of School: Hazrat Zihab Lolanj High School for Girls, Surkh Parsa District

“Prior to taking part in this training, I didn’t know the significance of hygiene education. By participating, I realized how important and useful hygiene education is in our daily lives and found out what kind of benefits there are.

Learning hygiene education was very interesting and by now I have acquired the knowledge of all the topics I learned in the training.

I am going to hand down the knowledge and the practices I acquired here to the students at my school. I will also tell my students to pass on what they learned from me to their family members. I am thankful to be given this opportunity of taking part in a wonderful training like this.”

March 14, 2013 in Afghanistan |

Hygiene promotion has started!

As you know, the security situation become unstable in Iraq now and there are many continuous demonstrations and protests in 5 governorates where we carried out the projects for more than two months. Due to that, the roads are frequently blocked, especially in Anbar and Diala governorates, but we managed to conduct hygiene promotion in four schools of Diala and Anbar, paying the attention to the security situation.


In the first day, JEN hygiene expert trained the teachers, and trained teachers had a teaching session to students in the second day. In the session, in order to urge students to maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness of their school as well as to take care of the environment and their health, hygiene kits such as soaps and toothbrush etc., guidance booklets and posters, which were prepared by JEN in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, were distributed to students.


[Students seriously listening to the Hygiene session]

Attended training officials from the MOE and DOE of Diala, they expressed their admiration and satisfaction for our works which especially contribute to the improvement of the educational environment, to raising awareness of health and environment.


JEN hygiene expert conducting the teacher training in the presence of officials from the MOE and DOE

This project is being executed thanks to the support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, all our members and contributors.


Program officer Basim Yousif

March 14, 2013 in Iraq |


Two years later, Ishinomaki's ongoing recovery efforts: Part 3; Kadowakicho, Minamihamacho

JEN is now making a series of quick reports for March about what's going on in ishinomaki two years after the disaster. Hiyoriyama hill, located at the northwest end of the mouth of the Old-Kitakami River, is one of the places in Ishinomaki that became famous after the disaster. If you overlook the coastal areas from the hill, you can see the whole towns of Kadowakicho and Minamihamacho which have completely disappeared with the Kitakami River and Hiyori Bridge on the right-hand side.

【Hiyoriyama Hill and the town of Kadowakicho and Minamihamacho】

【The command of Kadowakicho and Minamihamacho from Hiyoriyama Hill Observatory as of March 2012】

There has been debate in disaster-stricken areas on whether to demolish buildings that tell of the disaster or preserve them as disaster memorial sites. In Ishinomaki, the buildings of Ookawa primary school and Kadonowaki primary school are under debate.

【Kadonowaki primary school building is under debate over demolishing or preserving as a disaster memorial site.】

Ishinomaki city and Miyagi prefecture are now planning to convert Minamihamacho district where Kadowaki primary school had been located into a national park, "Prayer Park". With "Park Building Workshop (a citizen-participation-type workshop)" hosted by the city authorities of Ishinomaki, the citizen-led construction of the park is now underway. It is scheduled for completion in March 2021.

【The diorama of pre-disaster Minamihamacho, being exhibited at the fifth floor of the city hall.】

As part of the construction, JEN worked on creating a flowerbed together with children in the district last fall (click here for more information). After the work the children said to JEN staff members "We want to do this again next year!", expressing their determination to get involved in the work. JEN will continue to assist the work which can bring hope to the community there. As an embodiment of each and every person's desire for recovery, the park will become a place where many people get together and children play around.

【JEN is now accepting donations for the reconstruction of Tohoku.
Your help would be very much appreciated.

March 8, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Two years later, Ishinomaki's ongoing recovery efforts: Part 4; Kama district

On March 11, memorial ceremonies for all the disaster dead sponsored by local governments or temples were held across disaster afflicted areas. For example, "Prayer Balloon", a memorial service, was held at Fuseiji temple in Kama district, located at the west end of Ishinomaki and in the north part of Ishinomaki Kougyou port.

【After a moment of silent prayer at 2:46 p.m. balloons with prayers inside are released.】

【Balloons glide into the blue sky】

Those gathered said their prayers watching balloons rising up into the sky. Many of them seemed to have been reunited with each other after a long interval. Kama district has two sub districts; they are Shimo-Kama and Kami-Kama. Nkayashiki town in Kami-Kama is where JEN has worked on serving hot meals for evacuating people as an emergency response, setting up and running a community cafe and so on in cooperation with many local people and volunteers.
It was Kami-Kama Recovery Council where neighborhood associations, local government authorities and consultants work out a recovery plan together that was established last fall and talks to create a livable and renewed town has been initiated.
Issues such as how to readjust land have been under discussion. JEN has been supporting the district's efforts in various ways such as hosting workshops (Click here for more information
with neighborhood associations to facilitate consensus-building within the district

And JEN is committed to continuing to encourage local people to take the initiative in developing their own area just as last fall's creation of a flowerbed (Click here for more information).

【JEN is now accepting donations for the reconstruction of Tohoku. Your help would be very much appreciated. DONATE HERE

March 8, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |


JEN & DINEPA, soon 3 years of close collaboration!

Arrived in Haiti only a few days after the January 2010 earthquake, JEN started its activities with distribution of emergency shelter kits for 4000 household in the rural areas of Leogane district before concentrating its activities in WASH sector (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene).
Created in 2009, just before the earthquake, DINEPA (National Directorate for Potable Water and Sanitation) was back then Wash Cluster Lead, helping INGOs understanding the Haitian context and specificities.

JEN first program in Wash sector was about renovating existing water pumps (105 in total), drilling 10 new boreholes in order to create new water access and promoting hygiene in all the communities concerned by the programme. (Following UNICEF guidelines, training and material)
Introduction to the concept of water management committee (WMC) following DINEPA was also a very important part of the programme as it did prepare today’s activities and Haiti’s future!

Actually since these first steps in 2010, JEN had realized all its activities in close collaboration with DINEPA! Status for WMC had been officialised in late 2011 and since then JEN is working hard in helping the communities of Leogane district of getting and especially self managing new collective water facilities, necessary step in these rural area before DINEPA would be able to connect all houses to the national network, ambitious plan which will take years or decades...

Promoting DINEPA on T-shirts, banners or painting on the newly built structures is also a way of promoting future self reliance regarding drinkable water access. It is also a way of promoting possibilities of changing and future in a country where inhabitants are so used to depend on the international community.


Relationship with DINEPA has been so important and usual along these years that JEN also has special relationship with DINEPA in the project of renovation of streets of Leogane centre financed by Japan.


Present on the project in order to install water pipes underground before completion of a new sanitation system of drainage canals, the little team of 10 workers got equipped by JEN with helmets and safety vests and followed a security training given by JEN staff, using a film produced by the ministry of public construction.
Supervision of the team and coordination with the others actors on site is also on JEN responsibility.

On national plan relationship between JEN and DINEPA is also going well.

Together in the working group “Capitalisation and lessons learnt after 3 years after January 10th 2010 earthquake in Haiti”, JEN and DINEPA went a bit further a couple of weeks ago in their relationship as a few T-shirts JEN staff and volunteers are wearing were given to the Director of Communication of DINEPA, Mr Stephane LACROIX.


After 3 years of close collaboration JEN is unfortunately not registered officially with DINEPA yet!
The first document needed being the national registration JEN has had so many problems with…
Fortunately this will be soon an old story and registering with our partner DINEPA will be a formality, allowing us to implement many more projects concerning access and self management of drinkable water!

March 7, 2013 in Haiti |

Two years later, Ishinomaki's ongoing recovery efforts: Part2 Watanoha district

Tearing down disaster-stricken public buildings is now underway throughout the city. As may be because the demolition of individuals' houses and private buildings has made a certain level of progress, demolishing public buildings has finally started around the city.

【Ishinomaki City Girl's Commercial senior High School】


It is Watanoha district, located at the east of the city of Ishinomaki and worst affected by the tsunami, where JEN set up a base in April, 2011 for volunteers who were involved in helping victims. Ishinomaki City Girl's Commercial senior High School in Watanoha was the center of JEN's activities. While the tsunami has turned it into ruin, JEN made use of it for one of its bases for volunteering activities, setting up shed for tools to remove sludge (wheelbarrows, shovels, bags to store sludge). After serving as a hub for volunteers, it has completed its role with change in demand for volunteer activities.

Click here for more information about JEN's assistance activities of those days.
Many volunteer activities in Watanoha district are included.

There still remain a base of JEN's volunteer activities in Watanoha district and many volunteers use it.
Finally, demolishing Ishinomaki City Girl's Commercial senior High School has started. Its current students held "farewell to their school building" last fall. They now commute to temporary classrooms located within Ishinomaki City Girl's senior High School. However scars left by the disaster still remain at various places throughout the city. We cannot help feeling that we still have a long way to go but JEN is committed to continuing its assistance activities with compassion for victims there until the day of full recovery so that victims may recover pre-disaster lives and further achieve a lively community.

【JEN is now accepting donations for the reconstruction of Tohoku.
Your help would be very much appreciated.

March 7, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Announcement of leaving office

Program officer, Ms. Etsuko Inomata, who had been working in Sri Lanka for 3 years since February 2010, left her position at the beginning of this February. Thank you for your support all the while.

Ms. Inomata has living experience in Sri Lanka from before, and making full use of her high command of Shinhalese, she smoothly communicated with our local staff and implemented various assistance projects.

Her leaving was sad for our staff, but we, with the experience and the confidence that were built thanks to her, will continue to conduct our projects to support self-reliance of the Sri Lankan returnees.

We will do our best to conduct successful projects in Sri Lanka that you will hopefully continue supporting, and also deliver these news reports to keep you updated on ours progress here.

March 7, 2013 in Sri Lanka |


Two years later, Ishinomaki's ongoing recovery efforts: Part1; Ayukawahama

Tearing down disaster-stricken public buildings is now underway (are being torn down) throughout the city.

【Oshika community center in Ayukawahama, the Oshika Peninsula】


Oshika community center in Ayukawahama

While the upstairs room of the Oshika community center escaped devastation caused by the disaster and had been utilized as a base for aid delivery, volunteering activities, shed for tools to remove sludge, community gathering and exhibition hall, it is now under demolition work.

JEN has been providing assistance for thirty-three fishery areas on the Oshika Peninsula since the beginning of the summer of 2011 when a passage prohibition on heavy vehicles was lifted. In Aukawahama district, JEN not only sent volunteers but helped set up "Oshika Norengai", a temporary sixteen-shop shopping mall so that local people might do their daily shopping there.

While there had been opened many temporary shopping malls in disaster-stricken areas, Ayukawa's shopping mall is characterized in that it's a shopping mall of the local people, by the local people, for the local people( also volunteers who come to help the local people). Attracting many people, it has been a symbol of reconstruction as a busy mart.

The Ayukawahama district is scheduled to be relocated to a higher ground, but it's likely to take an awful long time for the relocation to start after land development.

【JEN is now accepting donations for the reconstruction of Tohoku.
Your help would be very much appreciated.

March 5, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |