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02/25/2016

Agriculture Support to Returnees Population in FATA

In Pakistan, since 2008, almost 5 million people from KP and FATA have been registered as dislocated from a series of crisis. Currently 180,570 families are dislocated in KP and FATA of which 179,199 families are living in host communities and 1,371 families in 3 IDPs camps. Khyber Agency remained the highest in terms of figures where 73,673 families have returned so far. The people of this area are well-known for agriculture producer and business. However their agriculture system and business was totally damaged when they were displaced from their homes from 5 to 6 years.

In order to support their return process and increase food availability at household level through sustainable livelihoods, JEN joined hands with Pakistan Humanitarian Pooled Fund (PHPF), government agriculture department of FATA and a local NGO.  JEN provided 1,250 households with organic wheat seeds (cereal crop), organic vegetable seeds, agriculture tool kits and trainings for male and female beneficiaries. Government agriculture department rehabilitated and prepared agriculture lands for the beneficiaries. The project beneficiaries cultivated the crops and they are expecting a good yield from it. The agriculture produce will not only increase food availability for the affected people but will enable them to cultivate their lands in the next season given the wheat seed is organic.

One of the best practices of the project is building strong relationship between the farmers and agriculture department. Both the actors will remain in contact after JEN’s evacuation from the project area which will ensure sustainable food availability for the affected farmers.

【Disable and elderly are assisted on priority basis in the project】
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【It is JEN's first ever experience of partnership with local NGO】
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【Kitchen gardening is important source of increased food availability in this project】
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February 25, 2016 in Pakistan |

A letter from a girl regarding getting Dream bags

I am Hadissa a girl like other girls in the world. I never saw the face of Barbie, I have never known what a bunch of pencil means and I have never had two notebooks. I know other children in the other part of world have access to all what I lack but I am happy.

In the morning I tied up my books with a small rope which I always keep, wore my school uniform which has many holes. I always dream if I had a doll, if I had so many pencils, if I had notebooks. I walked through the path way which crosses from grape trees and bushes to my newly built school, in the yard of school so many flowers are planted, water flow is ongoing endless. My dog found a corner in the school and stood there waiting for my return.

I entered my class room located at left hand on the second room in the long corridor. Teacher was already in the class, he continued talking about the subject and at end he announced; all student should wait as we have a surprise for all of you. We were waiting while regretting the time we lose for play outside the class.

Two gentlemen entered the room. We know them, as they are coming with cinema and coming to ask us if we are washing our hands with soap and reminding all of us to make sure we wash our teeth. They brought cartons to the class and took out little color full bags. They said these bags are called (Dream Bags). I was very eager to find out what is in the dream bag. Teacher told me Hadissa open your bag, I was the first person to open my bag, I have slowly started to open my bag.

Oh My God! 

A big bunch of color pencils, Pens, pencils, handkerchief and a glass. Five little dolls which introduced by teacher to me, the little girl was Barbie, the name of little deer was Poh. Deferent types of notebooks, more importantly a color full card in which something was written in English which I was not able to read it. Those who brought the dream bags took the card and read it.
The message was that “I love you from Japan. I wish one day you will have peace and education.”

All my dreams come true and were not able to control myself. The teacher was thinking I am crying because I am not happy with my bag. I was crying because what I have dreamed that someone felt it far away and gathered all my dreams putted in a lovely bag and sent it to me. It is not just a bag but what
I have is a pure love of humanity which I am sending through this letter to you my best friends in Japan and remember I love you from Afghanistan.

【Hadissa while opening the dream bag and take out bunch of color pencils】
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【Hadissa while talking about her dreams】
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Hameedullah “Hamid” 
Senior Field Officer 


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February 25, 2016 in Afghanistan |

02/18/2016

Iwate’s First Children’s Cafeteria

We are going into the fifth year of the earthquake.
Despite remaining scars of the earthquake on the ground, you can see variety of efforts toward recovery going on there. JEN is putting its efforts into the recovery by giving financial and technical assistance to four partner organizations involving in unique activities to address those who tend to be left behind by the recovery.

In Iwate Prefecture, JEN has been in partnership with “INCLU IWATE”, a NPO dedicated to helping single-parent households, to support their initiative “Children’s Cafeteria” since its launch in January, 2016 at Morioka city.

Although over 80 percent of single-parent households in Japan have a job, more than half of them are living in poverty and single parents, being chased by time, are apt to be isolated from society. In Morioka you can see such single-parent households who moved from the coastal regions after the earthquake and began to rebuild their life there.

The initiative “Children’s Cafeteria”, launched by INKLU IWATE to change such present situation in which single parents and their children are prone to be socially isolated, provides the single-parent households with not only free meals but comprehensive support including information and consultation service, learning support for children, helping them negotiate with local governments to improve their situations, accepting the donation of cooking ingredients from individuals and corporations and so on.

They are also going to open “Children’s Cafe” in affected coastal areas.

Their activities were taken up by the Iwate-Nitsupo as a big story.

【A dietitian creates well-balanced menus. Many of the ingredients are donated by local farmers or NPO’s.】
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【A private library also used as a day-care center in the daytime offers the place for the “Children’s Cafeteria.” Ms. Okubo (right), dietitian, Ms. Tochizawa (left), counselor, prepares a meal with volunteers’ help. 】
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February 18, 2016 in Tohoku Earthquake |

Greetings of Leaving Sri Lanka; the Land of Smiles

It was July 2014 when I for the first time prepared a quick report for JEN’s activities. It’s already one year and eight months since then, and I left Sri Lanka today. I was engaged in deployment of three projects and management of four offices during my term in Sri Lanka. With 35 staff members, I took charge of supporting the recovery of approximately 210 households through farming and strengthening of communities by forming agricultural cooperatives.

I commented in the report then, “I want to try my best supporting as many people as possible and make them smile again; smile more every day.”
Sometimes, there were misunderstandings between JEN and families JEN supports about JEN’s activity policy. There were sometimes cases where both parties could not agree with each other, or their smile were gone as a result of misunderstandings.
However, it has always been JEN’s policy to provide people with support with minimum necessary support from a long-term perspective.

I remember I and our staff explained again and again to the residents and local government administrators that JEN does not ”support more”, “spend more money” and “does not provide support further”, to reduce the dependency of people in North Sri Lanka who tend to be used to receive support.
I was heart-warmed in the moment when both residents and JEN’s members smiled eventually after they had reached understanding.
The 10-year government was changed after presidential election in January 2015. Parliamentary elections were held in August the same year, it was through this democratic move that a new president wes elected. .

Many of the international NGOs that supported people in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami in 2004 have withdrawn already. Also, many of the international NGOs that started work after the 2009 Civil War had ended have already withdrawn or are considering withdrawing. Sri Lanka is now in a transition period. This is an important time where Sri Lankans need to make the country better by themselves while reducing dependence on the international community.

Under such circumstances, JEN cannot withdraw from Sri Lanka. We want to provide support to people in the North area: especially those who were left behind by the support circle or lives in forgotten areas, so that they can keep up with, and actively participate in, the economic development of the country.
I would like to use the experience in Sri Lanka for the next post, remembering the smiles of people who I supported in Northern Sri Lanka, administrative staff who I cooperated in projects with, and JEN’s staff who tried hard on the front line.

Local business representative
Arisa Nishida

【With JEN’s staff】
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【With people JEN provided support】
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February 18, 2016 in Sri Lanka |

Until they get their safety back – a day in two Refugee Camps

[A refugee camp in the Sinjar Mountains]
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[Mamilian IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) Camp]
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February 18, 2016 in Iraq |

02/12/2016

Livestock Development Project by MOFA-JAPAN in Bara Khyber Agency FATA

JEN has got 1 year livestock development project for the returnees of Bara, Khyber Agency. The aim of the project is to provide returnees in Bara Khyber Agency with the livestock sector in order to help them recover their economies. For this purpose, JEN is in coordination with key stakeholders including Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Unit of FATA Secretariat, and Livestock Department FATA, from planning phase of the project. This project has now been approved by Ministry of Foreign Affairs-JAPAN and all the stakeholders have assured their support to JEN for successful project implementation.

The project is comprised of activities having short, medium and long term impact for the beneficiaries. Provision of livestock feed supplement and vaccination & de-worming are aimed for immediate maintenance and medium term protection of the livestock. Restocking of local cows to the most vulnerable families is meant to recover their livelihoods. Capacity building on Artificial Insemination, livestock feed preparation and livestock management will target long term needs of the beneficiaries’ livestock.

Youth of the target area will be trained to link beneficiaries with markets and start an enabling environment for economic recovery.  Livelihood Recovery Committees will be formed to sustain the project impact after JEN evacuation from the target area.

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February 12, 2016 in Pakistan |

Role and importance of JEN hygiene education program on student’s hygiene habits

JEN is conducting hygiene education program in targeted area since 2011. The basic purpose of JEN hygiene program is to impart and aware students about safe hygienic practices. It is observed that JEN hygiene education program transmitted safe hygienic habits and attitude in students in the previous years. The students adopted these habits in their daily lives. Also it is observed that students further transmit this knowledge to their parents and community. Various surveys by JEN show that hygiene education program has a very positive impact in improving the hygiene habits of the students.

This year JEN conducted hygiene education program in 20 schools in district Charikar. In total 31,952 students and 1,046 teachers got knowledge and awareness regarding hygiene education. Apart from that 118 mullahs were also trained on hygiene education. It is expected that through mullahs the concept will be circulated among the masses. Mullahs discuss the importance of hygiene in the mosque to aware more people.

Pre & Post Kap data was conducted in 20 schools in district Charikar in 2015. The purpose is to measure the impact of JEN hygiene education program in 2015. The results are very encouraging and show the huge success of hygiene education program. The results are briefly discussed in the following lines. In total 200 students from 20 schools of district Charikar were targeted in 2015. Like each year Pre Kap survey was conducted in April 2015. According to Pre Kap survey, before JEN intervention 0 students were placed in the high level which was very alarming. The results further showed that before JEN intervention, 37 students were in the middle level while 163 students were placed in the low level on the basis of JEN Pre Kap survey.

Afghan field staff conducted post Kap survey in November to find out the positive impacts of JEN hygiene education Program. Basic aim of the Post Kap is to measure the change in student’s knowledge, attitudes and practices as a result of JEN hygiene education program. The survey showed that 191 students are now in the high level, comparing to the 0 in the Pre Kap survey. The number of students in the low category reduced from 163 to 0.

The above mentioned figures showed that JEN hygiene education program is a huge success and plays a very important role in correcting the hygiene habits of the students.

[View of students during monitoring of Hygiene education practice and knowledge in class in district Charikar.]
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[Students are practically Making ORS during Hygiene education monitoring in Darul Alum Markaz Parwan High School in Charikar district]
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[A student cutting his nails during Hygiene education activities monitoring in Isteqlal High School in District Charikar]
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Hanief Khan, 
Senior Program Assistant, 
JEN Islamabad 




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February 12, 2016 in Afghanistan |

02/04/2016

Interview with Beneficiary regarding Heating Materials distribution

Name: Khalifa Aziz
Age:  43
Village: Wakhshe

Comment:

As you know that all Afghanistan was jolted by the heavy earthquake, which badly impacted Badakhshan province. In that time I was in Kabul where I was working with a construction company as a daily labor. After the earthquake I was trying to call my family and ask about them. I was worried because the mobile network was not working, after few hours I received a call from my daughter who said our house was collapsed but they all were fine (Thanks God!).

On the day after, I arrived to my village and met my family who were living in my sister-in-law’s house. On the next day I found a rental house in Kesham district bazaar and transfered my family there.
It is really hard to leave your lovely village, lost house and live in a rental house in such a cold winter.

I am so thankful to JEN who distributed us heating materials (woods, coals and stove) in this totally cold condition.  It is not that only I needed heating materials but actually all of the beneficiaries who were struck by the quake really need it.

Now I am not worried about winter which I believe I can pass through it. The main concern is that I have to reconstruct my house which I cannot afford. I will borrow money from someone and start my home construction.

I would like to thank JEN once again for all their effort and struggle in this regards and I hope JEN will also assist us for shelters construction too.

[Khalifa Aziz with his children]
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[Khalifa Aziz while talking about impact of heating materials distributed by JEN]
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Regards,

Hameedullah “Hamid”
Senior Field Officer

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February 4, 2016 in Afghanistan |

Special Year-End and New Year Holidays

Christmas and New Year’s Celebration in Iraq this year was very different from previous years for various reasons.

Christmas and the Prophet’s Birthday, which are important festivals for Christians and Muslims respectively, coincided in 2015.

In addition, a town was released from the armed group, it had one after another. The town got in a more festive mood than ever before.

Big Christmas trees were decorated in many areas of the capital, Bagdad; such as the tallest Christmas tree in the Middle East, which measured over 25 meters.

In other towns, for example, Najaf was the same festive mood. Najaf is a place where many strict Muslim lives.

For Iraqi people, the Year-End Celebration is a time to the rest to heal daily fatigue. It is also a time to meet family who live separately, exchange presents and foster affection and tolerant feelings.

We hope 2016 will be a year filled with peace, love and kindness.

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February 4, 2016 in Iraq |

Handover of ownership to dry food producers' agricultural cooperative association

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On January 28, we had a ceremony at an agricultural cooperative center in the Othiyamallai Grama Nidarari Division (Othiyamallai GND).

This area is located at a prefectural boundary and isolated from major roads. The village people, as well as people from other villages, were evacuated during a civil war, and just about half of the population has returned. There was no support from other aid organizations so far. For this reason, JEN selected the area to fill the gap of support.

JEN supported the establishment of an agricultural cooperative association with which the village people, as a unit, can contribute to the development of their area. We built a dry food center to improve profitability and strengthen the community. In addition, we provided training of food processing and organization management to support their operation.

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After having provided various forms of support to the agricultural cooperative association, the day finally came: to officially hand over JEN’s ownership to the association.

The program officer, the project officer and the filed officer from JEN attended the ceremony. The followings also participated: the head of local administrative section, the officer responsible for developing the economy, the principle of the area, 20 households which are participating in the JEN’s project directly and 32 households which are participating in JEN’s project indirectly.

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To mark the opening of the ceremony, the program officer cut a ribbon, and then passed a book to manage the association and a notebook for the operation record to the leader of the association.

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Next, we held a ceremony to plant perennial plants around the dry food center.

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And then, we signed MoU that defines the scope of duties and responsibilities of the association and the administrative office. JEN completed the official hand over to the dry food agricultural cooperative association.

All the participants were strongly interested in this new step for the association and expressed their gratitude to JEN. It was a very exciting event.

I also have worked with people in Othiyamallai GND to strengthen the community and develop the area for a year. Our efforts seem to have paid off. I also feel very happy with this result.

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February 4, 2016 in Sri Lanka |