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07/28/2016

Voice from Mursal Dor Mohammad ,student at the project area (school) 

Name: Mursal Dor Mohammad
Age: 12 years
Class: 6th
School: Hofyan Sharif Girl’s High School

Comment:
When I got admission in Hofyan Sharif Girl’s High School first grade, the school was in a rental home which had 3 rooms and 6 tents. The rent was paid by local community.  Our classroom was in a tent which did not have chairs and desks. We sat on plastic mat.

That rental house has one latrine which was unhygienic and school staffs were storing water in a GI-sheet drum and there was not enough water if a student wants to wash hands after defecation. This was the time that my parents decided to leave school and study at home but I want that no I have to study there together with my friends.

Based on these problems the school administration suggested to DoE to construct school building but DoE rented another house which is better than the previous one but with same WASH facilities problems, same water storage problem, lack of water for hand washing and only one latrine for big number of students.

We are still studying in this school but luckily in 2015 your NGO (JEN) came here for survey and we were hopeful that it is the time that we will have a safe school environment with WASH facilities.

Every day when I come to school I look to the new school construction site which gives me happiness and dreaming that one day I will study in that new building which look like beautiful scenery. It is not just that I am happy it is it that all my friends and community people are happy and optimistic for their children future.

[Mursal while interviewing]
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[Mursal in the classroom]
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In the end of the interview she smiled and said “We will have new classrooms, water well, new latrines along with Washroom, and boundary wall”. She added that I hope those children who are not going to school will be motivated to attend the school too.I am so pleased to say thank you so much for constructing our school facilities.

By: Najibullah”Khalilzai”
Senior Engineer
JEN-Afghanistan

July 28, 2016 in Afghanistan |

Community Needs in the Project Area

Between March 2015 and March 2016, some 450,000 dislocated persons returned to Khyber Agency, FATA.

As a result of the crisis, most of infrastructure has been severely damaged due to lack of maintenance. In many cases health, education and WASH facilities in return areas are either non-functional, or inadequately resourced. Meeting the immediate life-saving needs of dislocated people when they return to FATA is one of the key strategic priorities of the humanitarian community in coordination with the Government of Pakistan.

Livelihoods, health and protection situation remained poor in nearly all return areas of Khyber Agency. Protection issues including a lack of psychosocial support were widespread. Access to doctors, especially female doctors, emergency health and maternity services remained a pressing issue in nearly all communities covered.

It was also observed that education, shelter and WASH needs tended to be concentrated in specific communities. In terms of education, girls’ schools were less likely to be functional with significantly lower rates of enrolment than boys’ schools.

JEN addresses humanitarian needs in the recovery phase from self-reliant point of view. That’s why JEN targets the affected populations in terms of livelihood and economic recovery. For this purpose, JEN in collaboration with MOFA-JAPAN is going to start a 3-years livestock development project to support livelihood and economic recovery.

Important aspect of this project is building technical capacity of livestock department staff and livestock farmers on breed improvement through comprehensive training on artificial insemination. Youth in the project area will be trained on entrepreneurship to start their business.

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

July 28, 2016 in Pakistan |

07/21/2016

From the trip to Sri Lanka

The Tokyo office’s staff in charge of projects in Sri Lanka visited Sri Lanka to inspect past projects, the agricultural well that was built, and the activities of the agricultural cooperative. I would like to take the opportunity to report on it.
I left Japan on July 3rd, and arrived at Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport. The airport is 34 km from the city of Colombo, but now we can use the highway, and takes around 45 minutes to reach the city by car.
Since the end of the civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka has undergone rapid economic development. Especially in Colombo, many hotels are being constructed, and in coastal areas there were many high-rise buildings being built.
In contrast, agricultural areas are left behind that the gap between the city and the agricultural areas is widening. In particular, the northern parts of Sri Lanka such as Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu prefectures were areas of severe fighting, and now many residents are leading uncertain lives because many had to flee their homes.
Even after returning to their homes following the end of the civil war, families lived on agriculture are laden with problems, since the war destroyed many of their agricultural equipment and facilities.
In response to this, JEN has been implementing a long-term project on economic recovery for returning residents through agriculture and rehabilitation support business. Through this visit, I saw how the participants were able to return to independent agriculture, and confirmed the effects of the project.
[Kilinochichi Station, closest station from the Main Office of JEN’s Sri Lanka Branch]
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After 7 hours of a bumpy train ride from Colombo, we reached the nearest station to JEN’s main office in Sri Lanka. Snacks and lunches are sold during the ride, so you can enjoy the Sri Lanka cuisine on the way.
[Water storage tank in the Kilinochichi city that was bombed during the civil war]
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Like this, in the city there are still places where you can see traces of the civil war. I get shivers when I imagine the bomb that destroyed such a big water storage tank.
[The member of the Agricultural Co-operation]
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The photo shows the agricultural co-operation that was set up Mullaitivu prefecture in the 2014 project. The leader of the agricultural co-operation have been demonstrating leadership, and continuously running the co-operation. As the civil war intensified, to avoid danger, the residents had to escape. However, they have been able to return to their homes and have been working on building back their income. Though the visit, I felt the strength and courage of the affected communities.
[Cutting mangoes]
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Dried fruits are made with a food dryer at the agricultural co-operation. Little by little, they are raising some income from its sales.
[Dried Papayas]
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I had a chance to taste them. The sweetness was condensed and it was very delicious!
[The well for agricultural use that was built during last year’s project]
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The well is being used together by two families. When I visited, they kindly gave me some vegetables as presents!
[Fruits and vegetables that I received from the Agricultural Co-operation when I visited]
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Every time I visited project sites, the people of the agricultural co-operation offered me freshly harvested pumpkins, peanuts, papaya, and eggplants. I was touched by the hospitality of the people of Sri Lanka.
Through this first visit to Sri Lanka, I was able to see the efforts of the people who suffered the long civil war but still try to rebuild their lives. Seeing this helped me reconfirm that JEN’s projects are effective.
Also, even though they continue to live difficult lives, they were so kind to this Japanese visitor, and even gave us souvenirs. I truly felt their kindness. Also, I was able to learn local traditions and mindsets, which gave me time to rethink about my own life. I believe that their spirit of hospitality will play an important role in supporting the Sri Lankan society as is grows.
To support these people of Sri Lanka through projects in Japan, we will continue to work hard! The project to enforce community relations will still be running, so I hope that you will continue to support us.

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

July 21, 2016 in Sri Lanka |

Sports festival for IDPs, refugees and host community

Aiming at increasing intercommunication and mutual understanding, sports festival for youth living in refugees/IDPs camps and in host community in Duhok was held in the beginning of June 2016.

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Participants competed in athletic sports such as sprints, relay race, high jump etc. and also performed their traditional dances.

Many people from local community and NGO working in camps visited this festival and cheered for participants

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

July 21, 2016 in Iraq |

Provision of Rubble Removal Services in Aso City

In the city of Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture, where roughly 2,000 homes were affected by the earthquake, reconstruction efforts continue centered mainly on locals working with various humanitarian organizations.

Houses and family business attached to homes deemed to have been more than partially destroyed are now being demolished funded by public money.

However, efforts to demolish the many buildings that do not fit into the above criteria, such as abandoned houses with high risk of collapse, regular businesses, and sheds, are at a standstill. Lesser known are the landslides that are also affecting the area due to loosened soil after the earthquake.

Despite Aso locals and humanitarian groups working together to address these issues, many tasks are left undone due to a lack in manpower.

【JEN lends out vehicles and heavy machinery】
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JEN began lending rubble removal vehicles and equipment to local disaster relief groups in the area in mid-July.

【Landslides affecting crops and neighborhoods】
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Landslides are pushing sediment down into the crops and houses of Aso locals.

【Over 70 people helped in demolition efforts】
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Several days ago, a local Shinto shrine was demolished at the request of a local priest. On the day of, the priest and locals worked together to delegate tasks, BIG UP Ishinomaki, a local organization centered on reconstruction efforts following natural disasters, worked as the safety manager and lead procedures, while volunteers came together to complete the demolition.

While it will take a while for the shrine to be rebuilt, JEN will continue to support the reconstruction efforts of the committed locals of Aso City.

July 21, 2016 in Kumamoto |

07/14/2016

Construction of New Qalacha school building

Qalacha Sokhta village is located in Charikar district and in 2015 JEN did need assessment and technical survey here for 2016 year WASH program. As a survey team member I conducted survey here. During the survey I realized and noted lots of problems of this school. suddenly I faced with Principle of Qalacha girls high school by name of Bebi Amena.

She was interested to talk with me in giving detail about her school. She explained their problems of students, teachers and school. She explained the problem which they have faced during her duties as Principle. I recorded their all needs and problems such as no facility of school building, boundary wall, safe drinking water, hygienic latrines and water storage. At the moment girls students are using the Qalacha boys high school building for their educational activities.

The Qalacha Boy’s high school where we are temporary studying also have no enough class rooms for girls students. Students of 6 classes sets under old tents and veranda and some students sets under trees to carry on their study. I said to her that, what will be your and your community cooperation and contribution in this regard. She said if JEN promised to build a schools for the needy and deserving students, I am agree to donate land for construction of school.  She looks extremely happy when she realized that JEN is going to give them a big pleasure by constructing the schools which was out of his expectation. She said that I by myself and my entire villager will cooperate and contribute as much we can as your organization is going to support us to build our school and protect students and teachers from sun shine, unhealthy water, wind, rain and pollution.

After we got approval of the project and I went back for the construction site layout. I faced Mrs. Bebi Amena again. She was in hurry to reach me, when she got face to face with me; she warmly welcomed me. When she knew that JEN is going to construct their school, it was simply unbelievable for her. She said, it is my last surprise that I met you once again. With your support and now I am feeling that my dream turn into a reality. Today I am so happy that mine and my community residents’ dream came true.

On the day of opening ceremony Bebi Amena was so happy and much thankful to JEN organization and JEN’s colleagues in the site. She lay down foundation stone with other school management committee members. She said I am very happy because next year I will have more students because of new building.

From the date we started construction activities in Qalacha Girls high school she come for observing construction projects daily basis. She thanks JEN again and again for constructing the schools for the deserving students of the area.

[Currently Qalacha Girls high schools students are studying under trees and tent sheet]
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[Observation of new school building location by Bebi Amena the principle of Qalacha Girls high school]
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[Laying of foundation stone by Bebi Amena (left), the principle of Qalacha girl’s high school with a teacher]
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[Laying of foundation stone by SMC and community member]
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【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.
DONATE here

July 14, 2016 in Afghanistan |

1st Distribution in South Waziristan Agency, FATA

JEN carried out 1st distribution of agriculture inputs for 493 returnee families in tehsil Serwakai of South Waziristan Agency in FATA.
This distribution was carried out despite immense humanitarian access issues. JEN advocated the project importance to civil and military authorities and finally JEN’s implementing partner (SDO-State Development Organization) was permitted to access the target families.
Each targeted family was provided with agriculture/kitchen gardening seeds and agriculture tool kit. Detail is given below;

1. Maize seed (organic)    = 40kg
2. Tomato seed (organic)  = 50 g
3. Squash (organic)         = 100 g
4.  Okra (organic)          = 500 g
5. Onion (organic)            = 25 g
6. Bottle gourd (organic)   = 50 g
7. Bitter gourd (organic)   = 50 g
8. Brinjal   (organic)         = 50 g

AND the agriculture tool kit package included;

1. Wheel barrow           = 1 pcs
2.  Spade                    = 2 pcs
3. Hand Hoe                = 3 pcs
4. Sickle                     = 3 pcs
5. Digger                    = 1 pcs
6. Rake                      = 1 pcs 
7. Pick axe                 = 1 pcs

Remaining distribution for 1357 returnee families will be completed right after Eid holidays. In addition to agriculture inputs, the agriculture team will provide all men and women beneficiaries on agriculture farming and kitchen gardening to enhance their skills for better production. By the end of the project JEN aims to see improvement in food security status of the targeted families.

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

July 14, 2016 in Pakistan |

07/07/2016

First Birthday Party

Today, we would like to introduce Sri Lankan culture that celebrates children.

Gorgeously celebrating child’s first birthday is a common practice in Sri Lanka. It is similar to Japanese “Shichi Go San” event, a celebration of child’s third, fifth and seventh birthdays. Last weekend, Mr. Sutharson, who is a technical officer, invited JEN’s staff in Sri Lanka Office to his son’s first birthday party.

Approximately 50 people joined the party. There were not only family members but also colleagues from work. The party started with pouring a tray full of traditional sweets called Kolukkadai, pens, notebooks, a car key, money, etc.  from the top of the birthday child’s head.
     

[The act of pouring Kolukkadai to birthday child’s head]
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[Thinking which one to pick]
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After that, a slide show of the child’s first year of life was shown on a screen, sharing his progress with people at the party. The slide show was full-scale with music, similar to the ones shown at Japanese wedding parties.

Then, the birthday boy entered the stage driving a toy car, and took photos with his  relatives and friends from the neighborhood. Three professional photographers and movie cameramen were hired to record the party.

After cutting a cake and making it through photo shoots, all attendees had a meal together and the party ended.
  

[Mr. Sutharson’s son enters the stage driving a toy car]
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[Party venue]
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It was a three-hour party. All the family prepared for their son’s special event. We felt that their relatives, neighbors, people in their communities, and colleages all celebrated and supported the child’s growth.

Sri Lanka suffered many years of civil war. However, an event like this may be a sign suggesting community bond is back.

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

July 7, 2016 in Sri Lanka |

Ramadan ends soon, but heat continues…

Now here in Kurdistan, it is in the midst of Ramadan. During daytime when Muslim people fast, the temperature hovers around 40 degrees Celsius.

When windows are opened, heated air is going through. Electricity is frequently cut so that generator has supplied electricity more than a half of the day. Air conditioner cannot be used when generator is operated. This huge water cooler, which can be powered by generator, is a must-have item in Kurdistan.

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This water cooler provides cold air by vaporization heat. It seems like better for health than air conditioner but it is not cool enough compared to air conditioner.

The problem is night. Water cooler is not installed in bedrooms and the second floor where bedrooms are located is hotter than the first floor due to the heat from the roof. The amazing solution local staff suggested are; put soaked mattress on the roof and sleep there, or take cold shower with your clothes on and sleep. One of colleagues sleeps by wrapping herself up in soaked sheet.

This heat continues for a while, but Ramadan ends around on 4th July. One of staff met a cute sheep on the street.

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When staff left the shop, it has been already killed for dinner…

For Eid holiday after Ramadan, the preparation of celebration has been ongoing here.

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

July 7, 2016 in Iraq |