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08/29/2013

Interview with JEN’s Driver

Unlike Japanese roads, there are many undeveloped roads in South Sudan. Just being able to drive is not enough; for example, drivers need to know how to get their car out when it’s stuck in mud. In order to get their customers safely to their destination, it’s very important to do regular auto maintenance and constantly pay attention to the political climate in the area.

We interviewed our driver about his thoughts on his job.

Interviewee: Mr. Mike Lubajo

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JEN: What is challenging about your job?
Mike Lubajo: I constantly have to be alert when I drive, especially out in the fields, because the road conditions are so bad. Sometimes there is not road, in which case I need to imagine the lanes and drive accordingly. If I don’t pay attention and drive through puddles, I could get stuck in a pothole.

Not all areas are safe. Even if it’s not in an area with a JEN project site, I still get really nervous and upset when I hear about a vehicle getting robbed.  But I am careful and do what is good and right, so I believe God is always watching over us.

JEN: What motivates you?
Lubajo: I am always able to enjoy my job because of the excellent teamwork between my coworkers and I. I see everyone as my family. We have meetings together with other drivers and share problems. We’re all very happy when these problems are resolved.



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

August 29, 2013 in South Sudan |

First Festival in Three Years Takes Place: Jizoko Festival at Kadonowakicho

On August 24, Jizo-ko festival was held at Kadonowakicho town, Ishinomaki city for the first time in three years which is to praise Jizo (small stone statues venerated as the guardian deity of local residents) for Jizo's good deeds. Some sixty residents in total including ex-residents currently living in temporary housing within the city assembled in the festival. After they raised Jizo left fallen since the disaster and held a Buddhist service to re-consecrate them, they prayed for those killed by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

【Local residents stood Jizo back the way they were two and half years ago.】
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The priest who hosted the Buddhist service gave a lecture saying "While we were able to hold this service today for the first time in three years, [given these circumstances,] I think it's unavoidable to alter the way we hold this service. Let's continuously develop our new practice together."
Currently 23 families including families whose houses were well out of being destroyed by the tsunami live in the town. On the same day, JEN donated Manekinoie House, a meeting place adaptable to other uses, to Maneki Community, a residents' association set up mainly by current residents after the disaster.

【The donation of Maneki House.】
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Maneki House is a facility where residents can have meeting or visiting volunteers can take a rest. It was immediately used to host a get-together on that day of donation. The name Maneki, meaning "invite people" as well as named after Maneki house that used to stand at the mouth of the Kitakami River so that it might guide Sengokubune sailing ships (large sailing ship with capacity for 1,000 koku of rice) across the river mouth when they sail into port, was chosen to "invite many more residents to come back to the town."
(Ishinomaki developed as a trading port from old times. But the change of ocean flow was so erratic at the mouth of the Kitakami River that sailing ships had difficulties to sail across the area. And so Maneki house was said to play a great role in piloting junks.)

【At the daytime get-together was performed a reconstruction dance which is prevalent among temporary housing.】

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【Volunteers from Aoyama Gakuin University sweated at preparing for the festival.】

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Now a national project for town re-demarcation is going on. But it is expected that it will take years of period for residents to be able to build new houses after the completion of the project. Community reconstruction requires many more time. Mr. Eiichi Honma, the head of community, said to us "I admit that I'm scared of tsunami, but at the same time I believe this place here is a wonderful land blessed with good natural environment and culture. And so I'd like to continue enhancing the atmosphere of our community so that many more residents may be able to return to their home town. Although we walk as slow as a snail, we are determined to move ahead step by step in hope. I'm going to hold events in every season using Maneki House."



===For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card: http://www.jen-npo.org/en/contribute/credit.php?country=s-thk&select1=0#now

Please select “Tohoku Earthquake” from the pull-down.

For any inquiries regarding bank transfers, please contact Tomita or Asakawa in JEN Tokyo Office at 03-5225-9352


☆Radio Talk Show "Sukidatsucha ❤ Ishonomaki by JEN" Broadcast every Friday noon at 12:30. You can listen on the internet via Simul Radio anywhere in the world! Click here to listen(
http://www.fm764.jp/).
Well-received, the talk show will be rebroadcasted every Sunday morning at 9:30 from August. The appeal of Ishinomaki, Ishinomakians' determination to reconstruction will go out. Don't miss it.

August 29, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Ramadan and Eid Holiday

In our Islamic world, we celebrate the holy month of Ramadan every year through fasting from dawn to sunset, which approximately lasts for 16 hours a day. Fasting is self-taming through patience of not eating and drinking during the 16 hour fasting period, and also feeling for poor people who cannot afford our daily life as we find in Ramadan a month that bring us back to our human sense of helping poor people.

During the last days of the holy month of Ramadan, people start getting ready to receive Eid Al Fitr Al Mubarak ( a feast that starts right after Ramadan and lasts for 3 days). People prepare by shopping new clothes, gifts and ingredients for cakes and sweets that are going to be offered for friends and relatives when they come over to visit during. Eid Al Fitr comes as a time for the Muslim to be happy about what he/she has achieved during the month of Ramadan.

Also children express their happiness of spending their time during Eid wearing their new clothes and going out to amusement parks in cities to celebrate Eid. Eid al Fitr is a 3 day official holiday that allows people to celebrate and visit each other. Attached are the photos taken by me at a small park in my hometown, the city of Ramadi. We can easily find happy and satisfied children having fun in this park which is considered their main outlet for their leisure time. Despite the fact that we live in an insecure environment, we find the love and hope in our children who find happiness in every simple possibility in order not to miss the happiness of Eid.

Asmaa the hygiene assistant

[Children enjoying the wheel]
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[Children picking their favorite car toys]
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【DONATE HERE 

August 29, 2013 in Iraq |

Introducing New Staff ~ Najibullah Faiz~

Najibullah “Faiz” is now working in JEN Surkh Parsa office.
today I would like to introduce myself.

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I was born and brought up in a Darwaz village of Shikh Ali district in Parwan Province, where I got my primary education in Mohammad Akbar Shaheed high school and continued my secondary and high education in Commerce professional high school of Kabul province.

After finishing my high school continued my higher studies at national institute of management and administration (NIMA) in 2009 and got admission in finance faculty of Duniya University of higher education.

Before to join JEN I worked with MTN Communication Company for one year and Hashimi Construction Company as a finance officer for 2 years.
I was lucky to got job as a Field Officer with JEN where I can contribute spiritedly in reconstruction and rehabilitation of my beloved Afghanistan.

I would like to work as a team members of JEN Afghanistan family and contribute honestly in improving of health and education sectors in Parwan province.

Thank you so much.
[ Me during Hygiene kits distribution in Shaheed Nayzi High School ]
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[Me with JEN Surkh Parsa colleagues after work in the field.]
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【DONATE HERE 


August 29, 2013 in Afghanistan |

Psychological Care For Children by Distribution of Goats

Since July 2011, JEN has been distributing goats as a means of livelihood to internally displaced persons in Dera Ismail Khan. In 2009, a battle happened in South Waziristan in FATA made these internally displaced persons forced to live as refugees. Also, they lost everything because of a massive flood occurred in 2010.

Recipients of JEN's support are people in especially vulnerable situation among refugees such as widows, orphans, fatherless families, the disabled, the elderly, and families which have relatively big number of people. Distribution of goats not only supports internally displaced persons' recovery of livelihood, but also good for the psychological wellbeing of children in many cases. Especially for orphans, goats are a source of income and moreover, precious playmates.

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Targeted orphans of JEN's support had been thoroughly dependent on guardians of the families they lived with. After they received their goats, they drink and sell  the goats' milk. The income of breeding goats enables some of them to go to schools. Children love to play with young goats and they keep themselves busy putting their kid goats out to pasture diligently.
Such action of playing outdoors has effect on children to ease their psychological pains and anxieties caused by disputes and their refuge life.
This year, JEN continues to distribute goats to the refugees who are in the most vulnerable of conditions.



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

August 29, 2013 in Pakistan |

08/22/2013

Hurricane season 2013, so far…

Starting officially 1st of June, the hurricane season is a very important period of the year in Haiti.

Very important for agricultural reason as rain is more than needed for the second harvest of the year. Very important as Haitians from abroad do choose the summer holidays period to visit their homeland. Very important as the period is full of festivities!

Between re- born “Flower Carnival”, regular parties and summer beach parties, opportunities of celebrating are numerous! Communal week parties are also organized in all the main cities of Haiti one after the other during summer time!

This year for example Petit Goave did celebrate the 350th anniversary of its creation mid-August with the most famous singers and bands of Haiti, including President Martelly himself, leaving his hat of president on the occasion to jump back into artist Sweet Micky ’s jacket!!!

Despite all these festivities nobody can forget we’re in the heart of the hurricane season… the temperature is really high and humidity as well even if this year we’re missing… rain!!!

Announced as a hurricane season to be feared with 18 tropical waves predicted and from which 8 should be given a name… meaning being at least a tropical storm, a terrible destructive hurricane for the worst!

Haiti has a tight history with hurricane for being on the crossroad of the 3 main trajectories used by hurricanes since they have been officially recorded! In one way or the other it always looks like storm and hurricane are meant to come towards Haiti! Coming from Africa either through the Lesser Antilles or north of them or coming from the South over Jamaica most of the storms and hurricanes somehow manage to get to Haiti!

Being really mountainous and completely deforested with less than 2% of the territory occupied with trees, Haiti is extremely vulnerable to floods and landslide when heavy rains!

So far this year Haiti is lucky!

2 tropical storms in a row, called Chantal and Dorian, built up early in the West Atlantic Ocean with ideal trajectory to hit Haiti… Twice in a row, the storm did collapse just before reaching Haiti! Chantal especially which collapsed only around 50 kilometres before hitting southern Haiti! Lucky with storm, sure! But really unlucky with rain!

The lack of regular rain in most of the parts of the country make specialist fearing a drought or at least such poor autumn harvest that many area might have to face a severe food crisis in the coming months.

As for storm… well, the season is far from being over especially if we think back into 2008 when successively Fay, Gustave, Hanna and Ike did hit Haiti between August 16th and September 6th and that last year Sandy hit Haiti on October 24th …

The hurricane season is so definitely not over!

August 22, 2013 in HaitiStaff |

Current project in East

I introduce a current project in Batticaloa, eastern Sri Lanka.

The current project has 2 components; constructions of agro-well as water supply for agriculture and workshops for formation of the well management community and empowerment of the community.
The construction is on-going on July.

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A heavy construction equipment is used for the excavation work.
Of course, water gushes out during the work is disturbing the excavation. Work has to dig out the water as same as the soil.

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Before the excavation, we do geological test to select points to start digging.
But some points don’t go well because big quantity of water comes by a few digs.

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And because eastern geology has hard bedrocks, we have to break the rocks.
It takes so many times because one machine repeats the changing of parts, from a shovel to a drill and from drill to shovel.

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Mason works start as forming the well after 10m excavation and confirmation of water quantity.

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This works such as carrying bricks to the bottom, making cement and building bricks are doing by hand, drawing gushing water.
They work on the a few scaffolds while their foot can’t touch the ground.

Administration & Finance Officer   Tomoo Nasuda

DONATE NOW
Click HERE

August 22, 2013 in Sri Lanka |

PC Class Takes Place at Town on the Sea

"I want to create leaflets for myself to advertise direct selling of sea products." "I'd like to exchange information with those who came to volunteer to help us after the disaster."
In response to residents' requirements as above, JEN has opened "Personal Computer class for the Use of ICT as Reconstruction Support " side by side with Reconstruction University and BHN Association, Specified Nonprofit Corporation Basic Human Needs Association.

【The PC class at Oharahama】
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On this day, the PC class at Oharahama gave the fourth lecture on the basics of Word and Excel in a hands-on form.

【"First, I want to make my business card.", as Mr. Takahashi said smiling.】
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Mr. Takahashi, a hog raiser, expressed enthusiasm to sell his pork products over the net all by himself, currently he is outsourcing the web selling though. Another person who has been running a restaurant since the disaster looks to print up the menu and poster of his restaurant, the other who runs an aquafarm learns how to manage his business more efficiently using Excel...every student in Oharahama is learning toward their goals at the class.

【He is learning how to use Facebook.】
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It's is particularly worth noting that many people at Oharahama are beginning to use social networking services like Facebook to get in touch with volunteers or supporters who came to help them after the disaster. Such connections over the net are keeping their spirits up.

===
====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card: http://www.jen-npo.org/en/contribute/credit.php?country=s-thk&select1=0#now

Please select “Tohoku Earthquake” from the pull-down.

For any inquiries regarding bank transfers, please contact Tomita or Asakawa in JEN Tokyo Office at 03-5225-9352

☆Radio Talk Show "Sukidatsucha ❤ Ishonomaki by JEN" Broadcast every Friday noon at 12:30. You can listen on the internet via Simul Radio anywhere in the world! Click here to listen(http://www.fm764.jp/).
Well-received, the talk show will be rebroadcasted every Sunday morning at 9:30 from August. The appeal of Ishinomaki, Ishinomakians' determination to reconstruction will go out. Don't miss it.

August 22, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

08/15/2013

The 3rd "Come to join fishing event!" Takes Place: Hands on Fishing Experience

On August 3-4, the third "Come to join fishing event!" was held at Higashihama on the Oshika Peninsula which was planned by an executive committee organized by local resident volunteers.

【With the rainy season over, the weather was perfect for fishing.】
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This year's program, the third, featured a lot of hands-on experience such as gill net fishing, cooking, get-together, beach cleanup, study tour of aquaculture facility and so on.

【Day one: the program's main attraction was to experience gill net fishing.】
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Participants hauled the gill net set two days in advance with hoists. A variety of fishes caught in the net were pulled up onto their boat one after another; flatfishes, mantis shrimps, coho salmons, greenlings, rock trout, sea urchin and so on. The participant even fishermen were surprised to see an astonishingly good haul.

【I caught a big flatfish!】
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【They also challenged to make sashimi.】
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During the experience of making sashimi under the guidance from fishermen, they were confused with large-sized fishes because they haven't cooked that big fishes. Also having local dishes served by Higashihama's women, they enjoyed the get-together.

【They experienced to make mother shells to raise oysters.】
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【Beach Cleaning】1
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【A crab caught in a net】
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In the morning on day two, breaking into two groups, they worked on making mother shells to raise oysters and beach cleaning respectively.

【Study tour of aquaculture facility】
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In the afternoon, they went on a study tour of aquaculture facility, learning how to culture oysters. "'When I came to Ishinomaki two years ago, an improbable sight was outspread before me. But today, as a fan of Higashihama, I was really glad to be able to get on with people here and have such a wonderful time.', ' Learning about fishery, I was able to have an unique experience of mixing with people in the community.'" As participants said, expressing a feeling of enjoyment.

Because "deepening the human interaction can enliven Higahsihama and so we want many more people to know Higashihama", members of the executive committee for "Come to join fishing event!" has began to plan next program. Next "Come to join fishing event!" is scheduled from November 23th to the 24th. Don't miss it!

====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card: http://www.jen-npo.org/en/contribute/credit.php?country=s-thk&select1=0#now

Please select “Tohoku Earthquake” from the pull-down.

For any inquiries regarding bank transfers, please contact Tomita or Asakawa in JEN Tokyo Office at 03-5225-9352


☆Radio Talk Show "Sukidatsucha ❤ Ishonomaki by JEN" Broadcast every Friday noon at 12:30. You can listen on the internet via Simul Radio anywhere in the world! Click here to listen..(Japanese Only)

Well-received, the talk show will be rebroadcasted every Sunday morning at 9:30 from August. The appeal of Ishinomaki, Ishinomakians' determination to reconstruction will go out. Don't miss it.

August 15, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

For the children of Iraq, and for peace in Iraq

Ramadan has ended, and we have celebrated Eid al-Fitr, in other words Feast of Breaking the Fast, on August 10th. Though this is a day of celebrating and uniting all the Muslims in the world, there were a range of bombings and shootings mainly in the capital city Baghdad and its outskirts. According to news sources, this year’s Ramadan faced the worst ever violence in the country since 2008, which claimed more than 1000 people’s lives. In the end of July, there were two attacks on prisons in Iraq, which led to around 500 inmates escaping the compounds. Among them were a couple of senior members of Al Qaeda. Indeed this country is struggling to head toward peace.

Did you know that Iraq had, throughout the seventies and early eighties, one of the best education systems in the Middle East? Our education deteriorated ever since the Gulf War erupted, and due to the everlasting economic sanction and the social confusion caused by the Iraq War in 2003, there were few budget and capacity to be allocated to the education sector. Even up until today, the government is facing difficulty to rehabilitate damaged and destroyed school buildings and provide students with appropriate school environments.

Preparing healthy educational spaces for children who are the ones that can create a society where violence no longer lasts is crucial for Iraq’s future development. That is why JEN’s activities on rehabilitating school facilities and promoting hygiene give hope to Iraqis who seek peace. We are working on rehabilitating the 10th and last school for the current project. This school is called A Intermediate School located in the Babil Governorate, which stands south to Baghdad. We have removed old plasters and partitions of the toilets and installed new water pipes and tanks. Since we’ve already provided training on hygiene education towards teachers, we’re very much excited to see students applying what they’ve learned through the hygiene education with their new toilets, sinks, and other water facilities.


[Students at A Intermediate School]
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[Hygiene Promotion Posters on the wall]
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[Students learning about hygiene]
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【DONATE HERE 

August 15, 2013 in Iraq |

No more problems please!

We consider rain as a blessing because it is important for our daily needs of water, agriculture cultivation and to reduce the heat of extreme summer. We pray for rains in the mosques when there aren’t any or less in quantity in summers. But sometimes those blessing turn in to curse and the only reason of this is the poor system of rainwater drainage system, deforestation and bad quality construction of the streams border walls.
Now it is 4th consecutive year when hundreds of thousands of Pakistani families are suffering with monsoon rains all over the country. The rain water become flood due to deforestation and it destroy everything which comes in its way.

We still remember year 2010 when more than 20million people of Pakistani directly affected with rains and many lost their lives and the tools of livelihood.  Approximately one-fifth of Pakistan's total land area was underwater.
We didn’t learn from 2010 floods and the same case happened in 2011 when 361 people were killed and more than 5.3 million people and 1.2 million homes affected across the province of Sindh as a result of monsoon rains but luckily other parts of Pakistan didn’t much affected in 2011.
The story of floods continued in 2012 and in September more than 100 people died and thousands of houses destroyed in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Punjab and upper Sindh.
In the current year the disaster has started again from last week when the heavy rains started. Reports indicate heavy monsoon rains have claimed over 80 lives across Pakistan, displaced hundreds, ravaged thousands of acres of standing crops and caused colossal damages to houses and infrastructure.

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Affected community always looking forward to the government and aid agencies to support them in the time of trouble but time by time the amount of aid has decreased for Pakistan which directly affecting the affected communities more.
We really hope and pray that monsoon part of 2013 will not turn into 2010 kind of floods and people of Pakistan who are already suffering with many problems will not suffer anymore.


【DONATE HERE 

August 15, 2013 in Pakistan |

Community role in improving education system/infrastructure

Community is an important stakeholder and can play a pivotal role in improving the standard and quality of education.JEN know the importance of their role and involve them in the process to achieve a sustainable education system in Afghanistan.
The following is a list of ways through which communities can contribute to the education delivery,

• raising money for schools;
• constructing, repairing, and improving school facilities;
• contributing in labor, materials, land, and funds;
• boosting morale of school staff;
• making decisions about school locations and schedules;
• forming School management committees to manage schools;
•attending school meetings to learn about children’s learning progress and classroom behavior;
• garnering more resources and solving problems;
• providing security for teachers by preparing adequate housing for them;
• identifying factors contributing to educational problems.

JEN form SMC (School management Committee) in each school and train them. The main purpose is to involve them in their own problem solving and in the decision making process. SMC consist of village elders, head teacher, influential from the community, CDC member, Mullah etc. SMC also collected funds and repair WASH facilities in the schools. There were a lot of schools with damaged WASH facilities for a long time but when JEN established and mobilize SMC in those schools, they repair it on self help basis.

[Dhano Girls Primary School SMC members in a meeting]
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[Community Meeting for establishment of SMC]
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Community participation can contribute to education delivery through various channels.
Reporter: Hanief Khan, Programme Assistant at Islamabad office




【DONATE HERE 

August 15, 2013 in Afghanistan |

08/08/2013

Monitoring report of East project

I, Nasuda was posted as Administration & Finance Officer in Sri Lanka from Program Officer at headquarters.

I report an achievement through monitoring.

This is an agro-well built in 2011 at Batticaloa, eastern Sri Lanka.

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A new pump was added after the construction!

The well has enabled the resident to expand their farmland themselves and they purchased the pump to expand their land more.
Nowadays, they constructed a tank to keep the water until the water level comes again.

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The workshop contents, how to make composts, to promote the efficiency in the cultivation, etc..., have been used.

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Keeping accounts have also kept among them.

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A cycle introduces new way to increase their income was made by themselves. Their monthly income has grown from 500-2,000 Rs to 5,000-10,000 Rs.
I’m surprised such changes for only 2 years.

Administration & Finance Officer  Tomoo Nasuda



【DONATE HERE
 

August 8, 2013 in Sri Lanka |

Introducing new staff (part2)

My name is Emmanuel Kenneth Duku, JEN`s new staff based in Juba.

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I will be working as an Administrative Officer, I before worked for other organization in the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan where I came to have a clear understanding of humanitarian work.

I hope my experience and skills will contribute to the program success and meet everyone expectations.

When I first started I realised how lucky I am to join a strong staff team in JEN that’s puts respect, team work and sharing ahead to facilitate smooth implementations of the projects.

I am very grateful that JEN is working in South Sudan especially in my hometown  Kajo -Keji and Yei

Implementing wash project in schools will enable the students to have access to adequate and safe water as well constructing latrines will promote the student hygiene.

As a support staff I will make sure to support all program staff in in delivering and accomplishing their duties.

I will also take this opportunity to learn Japanese culture and language as well
One of my hobbies is reading novels


【DONATE HERE 

August 8, 2013 in South Sudan |

Carnaval des fleurs (Flowers Carnival)

In Haiti, Carnival is by far the most important party/celebration of the year way ahead of Christmas. While traditional carnival always takes place in February and countrywide, the capital Port au Prince has a second one, called Flowers Carnival and organized in summer.

Reborn in 2012 after 30 years of abandon, the carnival saw this year more than 15,000 people dressed up and close to a million people attending the 3 days event.
Originally symbol of Jean Claude “BB Doc” Duvalier presidency, the event is today marketed as tourism promotion.

It is actually during summer time that most Haitians from abroad come back to the island to visit their families. By organizing an extra carnival in the middle of the summer, a chance is so given to Haitian from abroad to celebrate with their fellow citizens.

According to officials around 1500 extra tourists/visitors arrived daily at Toussaint Louverture airport the week before the event.
Hotels and restaurant also confirmed a peak in their frequentations while local informal economy did benefit as well from these 3 days.

Unlike last year no major incident has been reported and plans for next year are already discussed. A delegation from Brazil also took part in the event as observer in order to identify what could be improved in the future and so slowly make Flower Carnival as important as February one!


【DONATE
HERE 

August 8, 2013 in Haiti |

Ishinomaki Kawabiraki River Festival Enlivens City Streets!

On July 31 and August 1 was held Ishinomaki Kawabiraki River Festival, a signature summer event of Ishinomaki.

【The whole city had a festive atmosphere!】
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The festival has never been called off even after the disaster and helped lift citizens' spirits every year. Crammed with stalls and stands all over, the city was crowded with family groups and many women in summer kimono.

【Every street food looks delicious.】
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It was after three years' absence that Magobe rowboat race as well as a dance to celebrate good catch, the festival's main attractions, made a successful comeback.

【Magobe rowboat race】
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In the Magobe rowboat race, boatmen compete on the speed of Magobe rowboat in the Old Kitakami River; that is about honoring Magobe Kawamura who laid the foundation of Ishinomaki's development.
Before the disaster damaged all eleven boats and kept the race from taking place for two years, the race had greatly contributed to pump up the festival with over eighty teams competing at its peak.

This year, however, four boats were newly built with assistance from around the country and a demonstration of reviving the race took place.

Rowing to male participants' powerful shouts to keep time, they glided boats down the river with strong oar work. That was really a sight to see.
Many more boats are scheduled to be built next year and so it's expected that the boat race will make a full comeback.

Elementary school pupils' yearly drum and fife band parade was also performed along shopping streets. Some 1,700 of pupils from seventeen municipal elementary schools participated in that parade.

【Both sides of a street was full of audience.】
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The drum and fife band during the river festival has long been familiar to citizens such that almost all of the children in Ishinomaki never fail to participate once. Among participating elementary schools are those schools whose music instruments had been damaged by the disaster. JEN have provided new instruments for them in the collaboration with mudef and so children's performance was a lot more touching.

【Children parade in the same uniform.】
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The number of visitors to the festival for two days was said to be 169,000, attracting 20,000 more than last year. In the last two years after the disaster, the festival was reduced in scale and so this year's turnout indicates that visitors are coming back to the festival. It was felt that Ishinomaki is gradually regaining what were all too real in the past, after seeing Magobe boat race reviving, the children's drum and fife band performing a parade and visitors happily smiling.

Hoping to see many more visitors smiling, JEN will continue to work on activities to enliven Ishinomaki.

====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card: http://www.jen-npo.org/en/contribute/credit.php?country=s-thk&select1=0#now

Please select “Tohoku Earthquake” from the pull-down.

For any inquiries regarding bank transfers, please contact Tomita or Asakawa in JEN Tokyo Office at 03-5225-9352

☆Radio Talk Show "Sukidatsucha ❤ Ishonomaki by JEN" Broadcast every Friday noon at 12:30. You can listen on the internet via Simul Radio anywhere in the world! Click here to listen..(Japanese Only)

Well-received, the talk show will be rebroadcasted every Sunday morning at 9:30 from August. The appeal of Ishinomaki, Ishinomakians' determination to reconstruction will go out. Don't miss it.




【JEN is now accepting donations for the reconstruction of Tohoku. Your help would be very much appreciated.
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August 8, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

08/01/2013

Changes in a Village after Formation of Water Management Committee

Changes in a Village after Formation of Water Management Committee

In Kurram district of Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), JEN is helping to set up water supply facilities and improve sanitation in the areas where returnees from refugee sites are living after the conflict

In the areas where water supply facilities are set up, JEN also helps to organize “Water Management Committee” so that the village people can keep maintaining the facilities properly by themselves.

In Stary Pkhay village, one of the areas included in the plan, an interview with village people was held. Mr. Mohammad Jamal, Mr. Maza Khan and Mr. Muhammad were interviewed about the changes in the village after the formation of the committee .

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According to them, before the formation of the committee, there were a lot of inter- community tussles and enmity and the village people were not able to sit together and discuss internal and external problems they faced. They fought each other over small issues for a long time and some of them died because of the fights.

Mr. Mohammad Jamal said that with the help of JEN, the village people became willing to sit together and discuss various problems and seek solutions. That led them to organize the Water Management Committee and discuss the most important problem of safe drinking water.

According to Mr. Maza Khan, with the help of the committee, community elders and JEN signed a Memorandum of Understanding promising to cooperate with each other to set up water supply facilities and provide hygiene education. He said that this was a very positive step toward not only solving the problems they are facing now and in the future but also solving the problems on a continuous basis.

Mr. Muhammad also said that before the formation of the committee, they had not been able to sit together and discuss the problems. Now they are working together for the welfare of their village, especially for the stable supply of safe water. Mr. Muhammad himself volunteered to do physical labor for constructing water supply facilities, he said.

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They are all committed to continue these activities and support the members of the committee.

August 1, 2013 in Pakistan |

Mahibs~traditional game during Ramadan~

“Mahibs” is a heritage and popular game played especially in Ramadan, it is very famous Iraqi game depends on the physiognomy.

The word “Mahibs” means the ring. The game is between two teams (each team consists of more than 20 people and each team has a head), one of these teams hides the ring in the hands of one of her/his team members without the aware of another team, and the head of the second team is searching for ring.

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There is only one chance to guess who has the ring. If s/he can point out correctly, the team can get the points that have been agreed in advance. Then regardless of right answer or not, the teams change the position of offense and defense and continue playing. The team who gets many points is a winner. The losing team pays the cost of trays of sweets which are distributed to the teams and spectators. The game is on a League form between regions teams. the winning team in the last days of Ramadan gets the grand prize.

There are professional players in this game. They have considerable experience in reading faces and physiognomy so that they can find a ring holder by looking in their eyes or their confusion.
The aim of this game is to strengthen the bonds of friendship and love between the people of the region as well as to meet new friends in other regions.

Thikra Al-Najar (JEN representative in Baghdad)


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August 1, 2013 in Iraq |

Middle exam of school and summer holiday in Afghanistan in Center and North

Afghanistan is a mountainous country and has a different clime. All of theMuslim faith are learning essential according Islam. In the central and northern part of the country, normally schools starts in March and ends it in November.
From March to the end of August, the weather gets warmer day by day. For the younger students, including first-to third-grade, hot weather is a serious problem for them.
The students also have a serious examination to go on the next grade, and on the hardest season, they have a serious examination.

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This year, exams are in the beginning of Ramadan and the majority students have fasting and they are coming from long distance by walk or bus to the schools for their exam. For students, exams with  Ramadan is a very hard and difficult, but for a Muslim it is a proud moment

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When the exam is over, summer holidays will starti in 15  days. This summer holiday is also for teacher, and during holidays teacher have to check all the examination sheets. After that, teachers have to find a number of the competency of each student. When the students pass complete 15 days holiday, all student go back to school, then teacher in the class will  announce the test results for students

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Secondly the conditions of schools is such comfortable in most places after the Civil War. A large number of schools were damaged or completely destroyed, now some of the students are studying on the ground without roofs through their exams period.

Administration and financial Manager of JEN Afghanistan
Fahim Ahmad





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August 1, 2013 in Afghanistan |

Subsequent Efforts to Maintain Flower Garden in front of Old Kadonowaki Elementary School Building, Kadonowaki District

I express heartfelt sympathy on behalf of the entire staff to those who've been damaged by storm rainfall around the country of late. I pray for their earliest possible recovery. Ishinomaki has also been damaged, such as streets being submerged, some of the temporary houses for survivors being flooded under floor level and so on, but no major human suffering has been reported.

Changing the subject, JEN's outreach initiative assisted students at Kadonowaki Junior High School in planting flowers in front of Kadonowaki Elementary School on June 26 (For more, click herehttp://jenhp.cocolog-nifty.com/jen_blog/tohoku_earthquake/index.html). Thanks to steady rain, those flowers are growing well. It is on what followed the activity that is picked up this time.

【A flower garden before schoolyard】
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The building of Kadonowaki Elementary School is now veiled with a curing sheet and its schoolyard is used as a temporary exercise ground for Ishinomaki Municipal Girls' School. The flower garden in front of the schoolyard is covered with pretty bloom. Small seedlings of sunflowers have now grown up a lot.

【Volunteers are helping in weeding.】
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(After)
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As the flowers grow, pesky weeds also grow apace. Weeding has been entrusted to volunteers. Employees from RICOH Japan volunteered to weed on this day.

【Citizen volunteers water the flower garden.】
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JEN asked watering flowers of citizens living in and around Kadonowakicho, Ishinomaki, and they have agreed to do as a community initiative during the summer.

It is a handful of survivors who have rebuilt their houses in Kadonowaki district. It will take years of time for residents to be able to return to their renewed town which is yet to be re-demarcated. JEN is committed to helping to bring local communities to life through outreach initiatives that children and local people can work on together such as flower planting.

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◆General Information
Mr. Eiichi Honma, the director of Kadonowaki town's "Maneki community" was invited onto "Sukidaltsucha ❤ Ishinomaki by JEN", a radio talk show hosted by JEN, on July 19 to talk about his determination to reconstruct his town. Please listen to the archive of the talk show (Click
here). (Japanese Only)
"Maneki Community" is about reorganizing existing neighborhood associations for people living in Kadonowakicho to promote community activities. He says it was named after the traditional name of the place, punning on a Japanese word for "to invite many people", Maneku, because which sounds similar to it.

☆Radio Talk Show "Sukidatsucha ❤ Ishonomaki by JEN" Broadcast every Friday noon at 12:30. You can listen on the internet via Simul Radio anywhere in the world! Click here to listen.(Japanese Only)
Well-received, the talk show will be rebroadcasted every Sunday morning at 9:30 from August. The appeal of Ishinomaki, Ishinomakians' determination to reconstruction will go out. Don't miss it.



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

August 1, 2013 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Sarvodaya Sharmadana Movement

Ms Keiko Kiyama, Secretary General of JEN, and Mr.Tomoo Nasuda, Administration and Finance Officer for JEN in Sri Lanka,and I went to Moratuwa to meet a profound and a pioneer social worker in the evening of Monday 22 July 2013.

We were anxious to meet this distinguished stature of our time. When we arrived at his residence, we were warmly welcomed by him and his dear wife. He was in his national attire. He is a humble person by nature and, always stood for integrity. His life style was admired and commended by the people of our country as it had a major impact on the people who were downtrodden. In his young age, he was a teacher by profession. His ability to meet life challenges and the exemplary ways of solving problems of day-to-day lives helped and encouraged most disadvantaged people to build up confidence and stand up on their feet. Let me introduce this well-known gentleman, Dr. A. T. Ariyarante, founder of “Sarvodaya Sharmadana Movement”. 

Dr.Ariyaratne began “Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement” in the year 1958. “Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement” is a non-governmental, and a non-profit making people’s Organization which is currently having offices in 34 districts and serving in 15,000 villages, in Sri Lanka.

The word “Sarvodaya” was taken originally from the vision Mahatma Gandhi had i.e., “better lives for all”. “Sarva” means “all”; “Udaya” means “awakening”; and “Sharamadana” means sharing one’s labour (energy)”. The vision of Sarvodaya is to eradicate poverty from the people by sharing the resources to awaken the lives of the poor. Having this great vision in mind, they began the mission of uplifting the living standards of the deprived people in Sri Lanka. “Sarvodaya” has identified many needs that liberate the under privileged people. The goal is to fulfill the basic needs that will support to upgrade the living standards of the under privileged people of this country.

Sarvodaya is supporting the villages to be “Grama Swarajya” means ‘self-governed’. Sarvodaya has implemented 16 main units to accomplish their vision and have introduced many activities that have already benefitted many people to come up from their dire situations. Out of these 16 units, the unit called “5R Unit” has impressed the people in a greater way. It consist five meaningful words, i.e., Relief, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Reawakening. This Unit had been instrumental to empower and restore the quality of life in the war affected areas in Sri Lanka, especially in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

Administration Officer/Jonathan Rupasinghe

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August 1, 2013 in Sri Lanka |