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4 months since the project being launched

It has been four months since the project for water sanitation and environment supported by supporters of JEN andthe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan was launched.

At present, people in Haiti hardly have access to clean water, or even if their communities have the facility for water supply, they do not have their own system to maintain it.
Additionally, since the local citizens do not have sufficient knowledge about the sanitation of water, they easily tend to catch diarrhea or become infected with cholera.
JEN continues its assistance to resolve this urgent issues related to water sanitation.   

Sometimes we need to travel on very rough routes to get to the project sites, like shown in this picture.


Explaining to local citizens about water maintenance committee and its significance.


The committees answered every question from local citizens until they could understand completely.
Constructing facilities for water supply (water tank and kiosk) which are nearing completion.



We would very much appreciate your kind continued support to the activities in Haiti.

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.

May 30, 2013 in Haiti |

Evacuees learn hula

For two days from May 25, evacuees living in temporary housing complex had an opportunity to attend a hula dance class opened at meeting halls inside the temporary housing complex of Sandanbashiri-daiichi and Otsupagawa-kasen. Among the oldest in the sixteen evacuees came to the class taken place in Otsupagawa-kasen temporary complex was a 92-year-old woman. Even the elderly whose hips and legs make it harder for them to move around challenged to dance the hula, for it's possible for them to do the hula with their hands waving in the chair.
With hair accessories and hula skirt on, they seemed to feel like they were in Hawaii.

【Motion of hands represents waves.】
Every motion of hula has its own meaning associated love and Hawaiian sea and nature. Hula's dance-movements being performed slowly, it's not simple as it seems and so they struggled to follow the lessons at first.

【They are getting quite good inch by inch.】
Seven instructors who are with MITSUI & CO., LTD came from Tokyo.
Taking advantage of their skills, they have volunteered to help JEN work on community assistance since last May and this was the third visit for them to instruct evacuees in dancing the hula. Some evacuees were sweating from dancing and others were dancing with a smile learning how to wave hands or make steps from the instructors one-by-one.

【They make sure how to step.】

When the movement of their feet is joined together with that of their hands, that makes them look doing the hula.
Even first-time participants learned to dance to music through at the end of the class, thanks to careful and friendly instructions.

【They take a photo in aloha pose, Hawaiians'' hello.】

After the class, they looked feeling fulfilled.
Feeling fulfilled after the class, the elderly who had had few chances to exercise requested JEN saying "I real enjoyed getting exercise after quite an absence. Come back soon." JEN will continue to work on community assistance like this. Your support would be very much appreciated.

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

May 30, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

About telecommunication in South Sudan

This time, we deliver a blog on the telecommunication in South Sudan. All telephones are wireless in this country, as telephone line has yet to be introduced in the country. There is a landline in the office, but it is actually portable.

“The landline (?) in JEN office in Juba"


But the main stream mode of communication is by mobile phones. Wherther it is for a company or an individual, all contacts are usually mobile phones. Telephone network Towers have been built everywhere by about four mobile phone providers, making the coverage bigger little by little, but in rural areas, it often goes out of service.

“Here are the mobile phones of our staff.”

We need to have contracts with several mobile phone providers because different towns and villages are covered by different provider. But this does not mean we have to carry a lot of mobile phones, only SIM card will do. Insert this card of a particular provider into the mobile, and telephone function becomes available.

“Tiny, tiny SIM card.”

Some mobiles are very convenient, as they can accommodate several SIM cards in one handset. This makes two or three providers available by one mobile phone, a very unthinkable system for Japanese.

“Inside of a mobile phone that can accommodate two SIM cards.”

Alternative communication method to mobile phone is a satellite phone. JEN makes its staff take satellite phones with them and prepare for emergency. But they don’t catch satellite electric wave when they are in pockets or bags, so they need to carry them carefully in order for them to be reachable anytime.

“Rather large satellite phone"

The Internet was also via satellite, so our office installed a satellite antenna to use Internet. But when it rains heavily, it would sometimes become unavailable.

“The satellite antenna in the office.”

Recently WiMAX service has begun in Juba, which connects the provider and individuals with ground wave. Individual PC can’t receive it yet, so each home or office installs the WiMAX transceiver and connect it to LAN. Compared to satellite Internet, this is cheaper and stable but when providers have problems it goes off line.

“WiMAX transceiver installed near water tank of the office.”

The device connected to the PC as shown in the photo, is another way to connect to the Internet but the speed it very slow because it uses mobile telephone network. For all the inconvenience it has, we need to rely on this small device when the ground wave is off due to any technical problems.

“Internet device”

We make full use of all these communication devices as stated above, continue to drive forward for good support in South Sudan. Thank you.

May 30, 2013 in South Sudan |


Call for volunteers in Tohoku until the end of June, 2013.

Call for volunteers in Tohoku until the end of June, 2013

The volunteering dates and work details from April 2013 are as follows. We look forward to your participation.

*Application form and Volunteer Guide have been renewed. Please make sure that the correct form and guide are used, even if you are not a first-time participant. (Renewed on March 28, 2013)

【Application form】 Download「b_application_jpn201204__20130328itoukk.doc」

【Volunteer Guide】 Download「d_20130327_itou.docx」

********Volunteering dates********


Date    Day       Work details                     Note

1    Mon          
2    Tue          
3    Wed          
4    Thu    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
5    Fri    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
6    Sat    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
7    Sun    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
8    Mon       
9    Tue        
10    Wed           
11    Thu    Spring festival assistance in Momonoura        *Application closed
12    Fri    Spring festival assistance in Momonoura        *Application closed
13    Sat    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
14    Sun    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
15    Mon          
16    Tue          
17    Wed          
18    Thu    Restoration of agricultural land
19    Fri    Restoration of agricultural land
20    Sat          
21    Sun          
22    Mon    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
23    Tue    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
24    Wed    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
25    Thu    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
26    Fri    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
27    Sat          
28    Sun    Flowerbed making                    Kadonowakicho
29    Mon    Flowerbed making
30    Tue         


Date    Day    Work Details                    Note

1    Wed
2    Thu          
3    Fri    Support activities for fishery industry        Yagawahama
4    Sat    Support activities for fishery industry        Yagawahama
5    Sun    Watanoha-Myojinsha festival            Watanoha
6    Mon    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
7    Tue    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
8    Wed    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
9    Thu    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
10    Fri    Support activities for fishery industry        *Application closed
11    Sat          
12    Sun         
13    Mon          
14    Tue          
15    Wed          
16    Thu    Beach clean-up                    Shirahama, Jusanhama
17    Fri    Beach clean-up                    Shirahama, Jusanhama
18    Sat    Flowerbed making                    Kadonowakicho
19    Sun    Flowerbed making                    Kadonowakicho
20    Mon          
21    Tue          
22    Wed          
23    Thu          
24    Fri          
25    Sat    Flowerbed making                    Kadonowakicho
26    Sun    Flowerbed making                    Kadonowakicho
27    Mon          
28    Tue          
29    Wed          
30    Thu    Support activities for fishery industry        Yagawahama
31    Fri    Support activities for fishery industry        Yagawahama


Date    Day    Work Details                    Note

1    Sat    Flowerbed making                    Kadonowakicho
2    Sun    Flowerbed making                    Kadonowakicho
3    Mon          
4    Tue          
5    Wed          
6    Thu          
7    Fri          
8    Sat    Support activities for fishery industry        Yagawahama
9    Sun    Flowerbed making
10    Mon          
11    Tue          
12    Wed          
13    Thu    Support activities for fishery industry        Higashihama
14    Fri    Support activities for fishery industry        Higashihama
15    Sat    Restoration of agricultural land            Kamigama district
16    Sun    Restoration of agricultural land            Kamigama district
17    Mon          
18    Tue          
19    Wed          
20    Thu          
21    Fri          
22    Sat    Support activities for fishery industry        Higashihama
23    Sun    Support activities for fishery industry        Higashihama
24    Mon         
25    Tue          
26    Wed    Flowerbed making                    Kadonowakicho
27    Thu    Flowerbed making                    Kadonowakicho
28    Fri    Flowerbed making                    Kadonowakicho
29    Sat    Support activities for fishery industry        Yagawahama
30    Sun    Support activities for fishery industry        Yagawahama

*Please note that details of work may vary according to weather and due to the Ishinomaki Office’s requests. We will be adding the schedule for volunteering from July on the website around May.

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami brought enormous damage to the Tohoku district on March 11. From right after the disaster to the end of December 2012 a total of more than 8,300 volunteers have participated in recovering towns and cities including cleaning off houses wrecked by sludge and debris, dredging up mud from ditches and transporting supplies to temporary housing through JEN volunteer dispatch program.
As time goes by, volunteer work has shifted from 'emergency-relief' which requires heavy work like removing debris and cleaning up side ditches to 'reconstruction assistance' which involves revitalizing fishery industry and supporting daily life of people living in temporary housing. JEN makes its motto to 'support effort to live through' and continues its mid and long term assistance.
We want you to continue to participate in volunteer work so that those people may be able to stand at the threshold of returning to their previous life as soon as quickly and we together may be able to inspire them to think positive.

<Terms and Conditions>
1.    Transportation to and from Ishinomaki office or accommodation must be organized by volunteers.
2.    When volunteers use the accommodation, they stay with some other volunteers.
3.    Volunteers need to bring work clothes and equipment (rubber boots, rubber gloves, long sleeve T-shirt and trousers).
4.    Volunteers need to be covered by volunteering insurance.

Meeting Time: 8:00 a.m.
Meeting Place: JEN Ishinomaki Office; SASADENBILL 201 3-13 Isenba Ishinomaki City; 5 minutes’ walk from JR Ishinomaki Station, and dismiss at the same place.
*Orientation is essential for first-time participants. (Refer to Volunteer Guide for more information)
*Volunteers must work for at least one full day.
*Application deadline: 5:00 p.m. one week before your work day.
*Maximum number of volunteers: Approx. 20 each day
*Managing fee of 1,000 yen per person per night will be applied to use of the lodge. (Up to 5,000 yen in case of a consecutive stay of more than one night. The amended fee came into effect on April 1st, 2013)Please note that managing fee has been raised to 1,000 yen due to renovation of the lodge to provide comfortable stay. Your understanding and cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

<Work Details>
◆Helping recover fishery industry
◆Helping recover agricultural industry
◆Helping various events held by the local community
◆Cleaning up damaged mountain streams, shrines and parks where children play
*We would like volunteers to help what is desperately-needed. We adjust volunteer work to match the changing needs of assistance. Thank you for your understanding.

<Additional Information>
◆The time and place of application are subject to change and so please make sure    to go over JEN's website before you set out for volunteer work.
◆JEN will contact volunteers by email or phone to confirm application of volunteers.
◆Application will be closed once we reach the quota (20people /each time). When we didn’t reach the quota, there is a possibility that you can join as a volunteer even after the deadline; please contact us individually.
◆There is a possibility that work will be cancelled in case of unfavorable weather.
◆As the office is small, there aren't enough space for volunteers to wait. Please assemble approx. 5 minutes before the meeting time.

<Volunteer Insurance>
It is mandatory to join the Volunteering Insurance before applying volunteer of JEN.
Please join it at your nearest Japan National Council of Social Welfare. Once applied, it is valid for one year from April 1 to March 31 but it doesn’t get renewed automatically.

The leaflet tells you how to apply; fill in the application form; send it by E-mail or Fax with the document to prove that you have joined the Volunteer Insurance.
Attention: If you haven’t joined the Volunteer Insurance, the application does not be completed.

<Contact Us>
Email: volunteer@jen-npo.org for inquiries.
Tel: 0225-25-5611
Office hours: 9:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m. on weekdays

 Urgent appeal for contributions


○Postal transfer account: 00170-2-538657
  Account holder’s name: JEN
  *Enter “the Great East Japan Earthquake” into the reference column.

○By credit card: http://bit.ly/c7R8iA
  *Choose “the Great East Japan Earthquake” from a pull-down menu

In reference to bank wire, please contact Tomita or Asagawa in JEN Tokyo Office (03-5225-9352 ).

May 24, 2013 in Volunteer InfomarionTohoku Earthquake |


A new Team Member

It is a great pleasure to be part of JEN-family since17th April 2013. I am much grateful to JEN-Team for a warm welcome and considerate attitude!


I belong to the Peshawar region of KP province and graduated in Political Science from UOP in 1999 after F. Sc (Pre-Medical), 1996. Thanks to Allah-Almighty and my parents for leading me well towards a better social life and career.

Enhancing institutional effectiveness has been a key motivation for me in choosing the M&E and Risk Management. Marked by strong will and dedicated professionalism my career is stretched over the last 15 years continuously.

It was a good experience to work alternately for different organisations of divergent background both in the governmental and international donor and aid agencies in Pakistan.

I am confident that I will enjoy working here and meet JEN’s expectations. Among other priorities, I will be aiming on comprehensive capacity building of the management and staff for dealing with the regional safety & security implications and ultimately developing organisational self-sufficiency in better risk management. Thus it will greatly contribute to sustainability of the JEN-Humanitarian Programs for ultimate uplift of a large number of its beneficiaries in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Muhammad Iqbal Shah
Assessment & Information Management Officer
JEN-Pak-Afghan Regional Office Islamabad

May 23, 2013 in Pakistan |

Iraq ten years on: Welcome to Baghdad, 'Arab Capital of Culture' 2013

Ten years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Baghdad, the Iraqi capital is designated as "Arab Capital of Culture" for 2013. The Arab Capital of Culture is an initiative taken by the Arab League under the UNESCO Cultural Capitals Program to promote and celebrate Arab culture and encourage cooperation in the Arab region. It's a gallant opportunity to remind the world that there being the different face with a rich culture for Baghdad than car bombs and kidnappings.

However, there are still many problems which confront us. At the Baghdad's National Theatre, like most other public buildings in Baghdad, is surrounded by 10ft high concrete blast walls. And rather than a few ticket collectors manning around the entrance, there are half a dozen soldiers, all on hand because of threats in the past from religious militias, whose general approach is preventing the performing of arts.

In their eyes, even tonight's play, a family-friendly comedy that looks an Iraqi version of Run for Your Wife, counts as unacceptably radical theatre, for the simple reason that it involves men treading the boards alongside women.

"Everyone in this office, without exceptions, has received death threats over the years, but because we are all artists with a message to get out, we have kept going," says the theatre's deputy director, Ismael al-Juboori.

Now, after a long period in the shadows, Iraq's artistic and cultural scene is about to blossom once more. The Capital of Culture project in Bagdad will put on 24 films produced in or around Baghdad, including nine long-story movies, nine short films and six documentaries.

Furthermore, the event includes music and dance performances, photography exhibitions, as well as folk arts and crafts shows.

It is the latest in a series of efforts by Iraq to raise its global reliability after long war and sanctions which led to its international isolation, economically as well as culturally. The city hosted the Arab League summit in 2012, and it is also scheduled to host football’s Gulf Cup in 2015 at Al-Basrah city southern of Iraq.

By Hamoody (Engineer)

May 23, 2013 in Iraq |

Coming together is a beginning ~Joining as a new Team Member~

Hello to all Colleagues at JEN!
First I want to introduce myself. I am Hanief Khan and belong to Chakdara, Lower Dir in Pakistan. I have done my master in Sociology and M.Phil in Urban and Regional Planning. I am working in the humanitarian sector for the last 7, 8 years and I am proud to say that I have learned a lot from my supervisors, colleagues and community people etc.

For me the most important and the most enjoyable experience is to work with team members. This is the beauty of humanitarian sector that you work with people from all over the country as well people from all over the world. This is the best opportunity to experience the people from all religions, cultures and societies. You have the opportunity to share your thoughts with them. It was always a great feeling to know other cultures, languages, religions etc.

Now most luckily I got an opportunity at JEN. I joined JEN as a Programme Assistant at Islamabad office. Let me admit that it is an honor to be here and be your new colleague. This is my first month at the office. From my first moment I got the feeling that I have entered an amazing place. A very friendly and cooperative atmosphere, everybody welcomes me in a very friendly way.

The other exciting thing about my new responsibilities is that I am recruited for Afghanistan programme. A Refugee camp has been established at Chakdara (my village) since Afghans were displaced from their home land. So I have lot of friends from my school days. We have participated in each other ceremonies for the last 30 years. So its like joining old friends. Though I still do not get opportunity to meet or interact with all field staff at Afghanistan. But I already heard from my colleagues that all of them are very friendly and cooperative. I believe that working with JEN will further enhance my skills and capabilities.

I am most lucky that wherever I got opportunity I met with great team members. For me the key to be a successful team member is to listen to your colleagues and cooperate with them. All I learn is that be cooperative, listen and talk to your colleagues and you will see the warm response from your colleagues too. Talk and interact with your teammates to understand what you have to be achieved as a team.


There is a famous saying,”Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”So for I have a perfect beginning and sure will succeed with the help and support of colleagues.

Hanief Khan.

May 23, 2013 in Afghanistan |

Sasunohama's seaside diner "Hamayu" adding many more new items

Okasan, middle-aged women who run a seaside diner Hamayuu on the Sasunohama beach, are creating and adding many more new dishes to its menu. Opening hours have been extended as follows: Tue-Sun 11.30AM-2.00PM Mon Closed. For details on past activities related to Hamayu, click here.

【Today's special includes fried conger with salad, rice, miso soup, pickles and so on. Perfect amount and flavor 】

Today's special features very fresh conger landed at a nearby fishery harbor, Mnagokuura.

【Noodles are also on the menu. Cold soba with grated yam on top.】

【The diner is busy with customers who work on disaster restoring operations and visitors from other prefectures.】

Its menu includes daily lunch special, bowl of rice topped with fried seasonal conger, dishes with end-of-season oyster; noodles such as cold karamiso ramen, yaki soba; rice with crab meat, bowl of rice with fried prawn, mountain vegetables cooked in tempura and so on. Not only that, say they that they are going to add dishes using gradients which are coming into season from now to summer this year such as cuttlefish, mantis shrimp and so on.

◆Sasunohama's seaside diner "Hamayu":
-The address for Hamayu is; Sasunohama, Tonami, Ishinomaki-shi, Miyagi-ken 986-2135.

-How to find us; drive your car toward Tonami on Route 398, make a right turn at the Mangokuura intersection and drive into Route2, cross the Mangokuhara bridge, make a right turn at next traffic light heading for Sant Juan Park, and drive ahead about 500 meters after going through a tunnel; You can take a labarum on the left as the landmark of Hamayu; It takes about 25 minutes by car from Ishinomaki station.

-The store hours are Saturday-Sunday 0 p.m.-2 p.m.

-Please contact Mr. Hosokawa (the head of Executive Committee for Oyster Grill) at 090-8256-1376.

In Sasunohama, many evacuees are forced to live in temporary housing yet. Hamayu functions as not only an eating facility but a hub of intra-and-inter-regional exchanges. Revenue generated by its meal service is used to maintain its own facilities. A major accommodation, Sant Juan Village, did have its grand opening on April 27, so we invite you to take this opportunity to visit Sasunohama. Fresh seafood and smile on everybody's face in Sasunohama await you.


May 23, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |


Kamikama Fureai Park with 13,000 bulbs of tulips blossoming gloriously

【Marvelous 13,000 bulbs of flowering tulips】
The tulips in Kamikam Fueai Park in Ishinomaki that were planted last October are now at their peak. Now being the best time to view, Kamikama's neighborhood association was motivated not to lose an excellent opportunity for a hanami (flower-viewing) party and so it was held on April 28. (A photo of last year's planting)

【Hanami potluck party of Kamikama neighborhood association】

Many people turned out and engaged in animated conversation, enjoying marvelously blooming tulips. These days, when you talk with local people, you can hear them say "'I feel lonely to see our town without attractive color.' 'We have lost the sense of seasons recently.'" Planting and cultivating flowers in public places will not only bring about a direct effect to add color to people's lifestyles in towns but lead to the revitalization of local communities like this hanami party. JEN continues encouraging people in afflicted areas in creating better communities by themselves and continues assisting community activities.

May 17, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |


Japan Platform (JPF) Visits Ngangala Elementary School

The project that started with the help of JPF and all of our supporters will be finally coming to end this May. The JPF Monitoring Team made a trip out to the project site on April 22nd through the 23rd.

On April 22nd, the Team visited Ngangala Elementary School, located about two hours from Juba by car.


First the team started with a puppet show on health education. Unfortunately, the school was temporarily closed due to rain, but when the announcement of the puppet show was made throughout the village, it stopped raining and a crowd, both children and adults, gathered. The children were even changed into their proper school uniforms!


When the puppet show started, everyone was captivated.



There were five main characters in the show.


Backstage, the JEN staff worked hard to make the show a success!


The puppet shows are not only for entertainment, but also a part of the health education component of the project. After the show, we asked the audience to share their thoughts on the puppet show.


After the puppet show, the JPF staff listened to the locals talk about JEN’s projects. They told us that after the puppet show, many of the children went back home saying “Please build toilets for our family too!"


After talking about JEN’s projects, other members of the community who had received training to maintain wells shared how they have been working to maintain the local wells.


Just a bit more work until these toilets are ready to use.


The JPF Monitoring Team visited Morobo County on April 23rd and 24th, making a 14-hour trip on rough roads to oversee the project. We would like to thank them for their visit and efforts.

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.

May 16, 2013 in South Sudan |

Mental health issues in shelters: JEN's efforts to heal scars of evacuees by seeking space for relaxation

In this report, one of JEN's latest activities is introduced that provide psychological care for evacuees in temporary housing.
JEN continues addressing mental health issues in temporary housing complex with help from a support organization, Recovery for Japan, or RFG. RFG is a group with varied experts such as clinical psychotherapists, body organizers and nursing assistants, and has been involved in implementing care from technical perspective in disaster-stricken areas right after the disaster.

【A picture of Cafe of Relaxation 】

Our primary psychological cares are giving massage and lending an ear to evacuees as well as providing places for relaxation in a variety of ways. In the latest activity, JEN's staff member together with evacuees in temporary housing made snacks using locally grown fresh ingredient and sang to the piano accompaniment. The makeup of people who assemble in the Cafe of Relaxation is different---sometimes more elderly people and less children and other times otherwise---depending on the day of the week or the place where it is held. In every activity, JEN, making all kinds of efforts flexibly, focuses on creating and providing an atmosphere where people can do feel relaxed and refreshed.
For example, upon picking up information about what problems evacuees have at temporary housing complex's assembly room, JEN's staff members follow up on them such as visiting elderly people who have tendency to stay indoors or offering advice to mothers who are overwhelmed by responsibility of raising child.

【Women enjoy a tapping massage one at a time.】

As many as 15,950 people of 6,995 families still live in temporary housing in the city of Ishinomaki (as of May 2013). Evacuees' issues vary family to family or according to which temporary housing complex they live; some families steadily make strides toward rebuilding their lives while others need particular, continued support because they have individual problems such as the isolation of elderly people within families, children's stress disorder and so on. JEN is committed to providing mental health care for evacuees living in temporary housing. Your continued support will be greatly appreciated.

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

May 16, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Announcement of taking a post

I, Nasuda was posted as a Program Officer in charge of Sri Lanka at the headquarters.

Honestly, I don’t know Sri Lanka well and have image of Ceylon tea and the long name capital before a person in charge.
Of course, I know that the ethnic conflict had been continued, but didn’t assume that the support for returnees has so difficulty. Depend on region, it seems that a regulation for a group continues as a assembly to plot. Interference in returnees’ life also continues.

I do support Sri Lanka offices to advance the programs smoothly, learning the history to understand the context!

Program Officer at headquarters/ Tomoo Nasuda

May 16, 2013 in Sri Lanka |

A new (single) office for JEN Haiti!

Once again, JEN Haiti will move its office. Actually JEN Haiti will regroup its 2 offices from the capital Port au Prince and the provincial Grand Goave in only one large in Leogane.

After more than 3 years in Haiti, the reason of keeping 2 offices was actually questionable.
In 2010 in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of January 12th, the traffic conditions were so difficult that it was obvious the field teams couldn’t keep spending between 3 and 5 hours one way to reach its field of activity.
The time lost in constant huge traffic jams added to the safety risks on the road were more than enough to decide to open a second office in the province in June 2010.
Today the situation has changed quite a lot!
With no more debris on the road, bridges reconstructed and major improvements regarding the condition of the national road heading south, the 70 km trip to Grand Goave has become quite smooth and easy.

On a good day only 1 hour and half is required to reach Grand Goave.
In addition almost all JEN Haiti activities are now in Leogane, located half way!
Regrouping is so the best way to reduce support costs and gain efficiency in logistics and communication between all staffs especially.

Ideally located 250m from the national road, 300m from a MINUSTAH camp, 500m from 2 petrol stations and a kilometre from Leogane centre the new office fits security criteria just perfectly!
Regarding safety on the road we’ll also diminish risks drastically as 17 sites of operation out of 18 are located in within 5 kilometres!
Only Jeanty, in Grand Goave commune would be now more than 10 minutes away when it is now (and until the end of this week) the exact opposite!

Being altogether in the same office will also allow head of office and administration/finance team to visit the sites much more often, facilitating communication and preventing misunderstandings.
It will also facilitate relationship with local authorities and management of the mission when an international staff is on leave or simply sick.
Coordination with the other actors based in Leogane will also be easier and logistics should also benefit from the regrouping as Leogane has many construction shops when Grand Goave has only one.
As for Port au Prince shopping it will only take around an hour to be in the centre of the Capital, which was the time we needed not that long ago to reach the main shops in within Port au Prince!   

After a bit more than 3 years in Haiti, Monday 6th of May will definitely be a new start for the mission, for the better with no doubt!

May 16, 2013 in Haiti |



Now a days there is boom in political activities in Pakistan as the historic election (smooth transition of democracy) is taking place for the first time in the history of Pakistan. The enthusiasm of the general public is worth seeing and all the political parties are having public meetings, gatherings, rallies while the terrorists are targeting these parties on regular basis. As the election is approaching it is becoming difficult to carry out field activities and most NGOs have confined their staffs to office work.

In the prevailing scenario JEN planned a market survey of goats in Punjab province which was of critical importance, yet JEN’s AIM office agreed to carry out this mission with some hesitancy due to potential security issues. Before departure, JEN staff were given a route map, and briefed about security protocols during the mission. The main protocols were to travel in daylight, keep in contact with JEN’s head office every 1 hour, stay in recommended hotels at night and adopt alternate routes if the primary route became blocked or any other issues arose.   


JEN staffs visited districtd of Punjab are Khanewal, Multan, Ahmed Pur Sharqi, Bahawalpur, Muzafar Garrh, Viharri and Choke Azam. Several farms and festivals of goats were visited where breed and prices of the goats were known.
This survey would help JEN to better implement the next livelihood recovery project for IDPs in Dera Ismail Khan. 


May 9, 2013 in Pakistan |

Historical Ruins from Gandhara Era “Taxila”

JEN’s international staff of  manage projects in Afghanistan from the Islamabad office, and close from there, are historical ruins called "Taxila" from  Gandhara era.
The ruins, built about 2,500 years ago, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
At the museum next to the ruins, many old coins and Buddha statues are displayed.One can imagine what life in that era was like from observing such objects.


The basis of these ruins has remained well intact from that era.There are also ruins of temples and towers.
2,500 year ago, Japan was in the Yayoi era, and you can notice that Afghanistan was more developed compared to Japan around that time.


There are many things you cannot see in Japan, such as Buddha statues from BC.
If you are interested in archeology, I would recommend visiting here.

JEN Islamabad office
Afghanistan& Pakistan Project
General affairs & Accounting
Tasuku Futamura


May 9, 2013 in Afghanistan |

Event "Making handcrafting into jobs; Handicrafts market, Hands-on exhibit in Ishinomaki" very well attended

On May 4, an event was put that aimed at giving a leg up to women who make handicrafts in Ishinomaki. The event was thronged with many people immediately after it opened. Such was the variety of goods on display at the booths of eleven handicraft organizations including cute, pretty jewelry and accessories that it was uneasy for visitors to decide which to choose.

【The event attracted about 200 visitors from within and without Ishinomaki.】

Those who opened up booths, spoken to by visitors like "So many nice goods really supply the eye-candy!", looked happy receiving visitors. It could be seen here and there that the booth keepers, asked how to make their products, tell not only visitors but other stall keepers about their products.

【With smiles on faces, stall keepers had guests.】

The event featured hands-on crafting experience. Visitors were able to have opportunities to experience "weaving", "crafting clam shell jewelries" and "making Hawaiian jewelries" with help from three booth keepers.

【Visitors made coasters at hands-on weaving experience.】

The hands-on crafting experience is all about getting visitors motivated to craft goods for themselves in the hope that they can have not only fun in their lives through association with others, but an opportunity to take part in the handicraft organizations as partners. As a result, among the participants in AMIS workshop's hands-on weaving experience, several people have decided to join in AMIS's future activities. It was really great that this event was able to help create new relationship between local people.

【Children were excited at a booth for kids.】

Children were trying out "making their own bags" using fabric crayons at the booth for kids. Nice bags were created one after another. Much to the delight of the organizer of this event, many visitors called the organizer and said to the organizer that they'd like to sell goods that they crafted during the event.
The event was able to achieve a great deal of success in helping women who do handicrafts create earnings and gain access to markets as well as in offering a platform to exchange information. The organizer is thinking of expanding people-to-people exchange much broader at next event. The next event is expected to take place somewhere around October this year. JEN will continue supporting women in Ishinomaki. Should you be interested, please contact JEN Ishinomaki office.

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

May 9, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Governorate Council Elections in Iraq

Governorate or provincial elections of Iraq were held on April 20, 2013, to replace the local councils in the governorates of Iraq that were elected in the Iraqi governorate elections of 2009 .

In addition to 3 governorates forming the Kurdistan Region planning to conduct  election separately, governorates of Al- Anbar, Ninewa and Kirkuk postponed the elections until June due to security reason, so that this elections were taken place in 12 of 18 governorates,

The campaign has been started sine more than 45 days, involving 8100 candidates, the participant in the elections from 265 political entities and 50 coalitions, and distributed leaflets at the intersection of streets and crowded places, and paste the logos and images coalitions and personalities, and included a lot of banners electoral phrases refer to the situation changed service and repair the political situation, while candidates appealed in a street speech through tours of neighborhoods.

The Board of Commission appointed teams to monitor the election campaign and its conformity with the controls, and to impose financial penalties on violators.
Most Iraqi’s people were exposed to exerting of pressure in their daily life through the election. Most of us suffer from crowded streets as many security checkpoints were placed all over Baghdad governorate, that’s mean when you need to transport about 10 km from place to place in Baghdad you may need more than one and half hour to reach your location. However, a series of deadly coordinate attacks across Iraq on Monday April15, 2013 killed at least 50 people and wounded nearly 300.

In that kind of situation though, voter participation in the election was 50 percent of eligible voters, and officials said including results from a special vote a week earlier for members of the armed forces, total participation would be more than 51 percent.
We saw the time changes in the political map of the local governments, most notably the rise of “coalition of law state” lead by Mr.Maliki in seven provinces.

<Voting for security and military forces has been conducted on April 13, 2013>


By Yasin  / Hamoody (Engineer)

May 9, 2013 in Iraq |



In our South Sudan  blogs, this fruit comes up very often.


What is special about the mangoes seen in Central Equatoria State is how big their trees are. One time we were driving to a school asked the villagers for directions, they told us, "Turn right at the second mango tree from here". Everyone here can recognize a mango tree. Our driver correctly recognized the “second mango tree”, and when we turned right as we were told, we did find the school we were looking for.   


The tree is very big, but the fruit that grows on the tree is relatively small- about the size of apples in Japan. People of South Sudan, adults and children alike, use a stick to drop green mangoes before the skin has ripened to red or yellow, and eat them like you would eat apples. For children, it is an easy breakfast or afternoon snack.
It is the season now, and there are many delicious looking mangos growing on the trees.
However, you must be careful sometimes. The branches of the mango trees are actually quite delicate and cannot hold much weight, so it may suddenly fall when it cannot stand the weight of their fruits.


The branch in the picture above is one that actually fell, scraping a JEN staff's shoulder while researching the village market. There was a loud sound as if a lightning struck, and some women nearby screamed in surprise, but the scream soon turned to laughter. As people were laughing, some ran toward the fallen branch, and picked the fruits and started eating them.


May 2, 2013 in South Sudan |

Elephants Presented to Japan from Sri Lanka

The year 2012 marked the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Japan. On March 12th, two elephants were surprisingly presented to Tokyo’s Tama Zoological Park to commemorate the anniversary.

The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa attended the ceremony during his visit to Japan. A group of Japanese children were also present at this ceremony and sang “Zou-san” (a Japanese children’s song about elephants) in Sinhalese to celebrate.

http://www.asahi.com/area/tokyo/articles/TKY201303120539.html (Japanese)
http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/INET/OSHIRASE/2013/03/20n31100.htm (Japanese)

As was written in the breaking news on September 13th, 2012, Sri Lanka is regarded as friendly nation and people towards Japan. Although there are many wild elephants, it was a surprise that they gave us two sacred elephants. At the same time, I started to wonder how they were transported to Japan because it would take too long to ship, too overweight and too tall to fly…

It was adorable to watch the children sing in Sinhalese. Many questions came into my mind as to how the ceremony was prepared, such as: ‘Who translated the song?’ ‘Do they know that there is a language called Tamil?’ and others.

Sri Lanka is famous for coffee and Mr. Wicky (known as “Wicky-san” in Japan), but it is also becoming famous for its resorts. I hope that Sri Lanka will become closer for more Japanese through the President’s visit and gift of the elephants.

May 2, 2013 in Sri Lanka |

Housing issues in Haiti

A bit more than 3 years after the devastating 2010 January 12’s earthquake, the housing situation in Haiti is today a very popular topic.

Foreign journalists were probably the first ones pinpointing the quite slow progress regarding the re-lodging of the victims of the quake.

3 years later the government of Haiti published statistics stating that 79% of the people that were living in camps has been re-lodged.

If it difficult to confirm these data it is quite easy in the other hand to list the numerous difficulties the government of Haiti and NGOs had to face while tackling the issue.

To start with, all actors involved in construction or reconstruction had to deal with logistics and space. As a matter of fact terrorized people had built spontaneous camps on public squares, football fields and roundabout. Even on the golf course in wealthy neighbourhood of Petion Ville!

With an enormous amount of debris to remove (1000 trucks working 24/7 during 1000 days was one of the first estimation of the needs) and no space available, the task was serious.

Another big issue was (and still is) the re-localization of these hundreds of thousands of people.

There is not much work in Haiti and Port au Prince is already overcrowded with around 2 million of inhabitants (and is expected to reach 6 million by 2030). The only location to re-localize all these people was on the northern edge of the city, a remote area with absolutely no shade, no water nor public transport and of course nor work…

Understandably reluctant to move out of the city most of the IDP (internal displaced people) refused this option.

When most debris had been removed another serious issue regarding ownership of land appeared. In Haiti 90% of the land is owned by less than 10% of the population so many IDPs, simple renters, couldn’t benefit from a temporary shelter (T-shelters) in the first place as the risk of seeing the owners taking over the newly built shelters to rent them was extremely high.

The concept of temporary shelter also brought some difficulties and misunderstandings.

While the “humanitarian emergency world” defines a T-shelter as a temporary construction of 15 square meters able to host IDPs for at least 3 years and costing less than 1500US Dollars, many Haitians thought INGOs will build proper solid houses, somehow replacing fully what had been destroyed by the earthquake.

For all those that were living in shacks before the earthquake in the other hand no deception as a simple T-shelter made of plywood and covered with CGI sheets was still better than their previous place. But electricity, running clean water and jobs are still missing.

With a population growing that fast, the housing crisis Haiti is facing is unfortunately far from disappearing.

May 2, 2013 in Haiti |

RICOH new hires working on social action program in Minamisarikucho

RIHOH has sent its new recruits to engage in a social program as part of its employee training. The season for harvesting wakame seaweed and mekabu( the root of wakame) is here in fishery villages within the Sanriku area including Minamisannrikuchou. New recruits helped fishermen in shipping wakame and mekabu at ten fishery villages.

【New recruits are cutting off mekabu from wakame together with fishermen.】

They deepened the relationship with local residents in the fishery villages, through helping them out, learning firsthand what's going on in disaster-stricken areas. Not only that, returning their lodging from daytime activities, they listened to a storyteller telling them his/her personal experiences of the tsunami disaster or they, broken into separate groups, shared what everyone had realized and learned with the others within each group so that they might be able to improve their understanding,

【A photo showing how new recruits are receiving training.】

JEN has been accepting trainee employees from companies as volunteers to get them participated in JEN's programs, which promote personal exchanges between volunteers and residents in disaster stricken areas and help disaster survivors make a living. In this latest program, a total of 214 new recruits from RICOH, divided into two groups, have worked on the program for four days. It's hoped that a growing number of young people visit the disaster stricken areas and are concerned about the future of those areas even after they get home.

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

May 2, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |