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03/30/2017

Providing First-Aid Kits

First-aid kits should be kept in schools and households to treat minor injuries and prevent further infections.

In Afghanistan, although public medical institutions like hospitals are not widely available for people to receive treatments, most people lack knowledge on first-aid treatment. A first-aid kit may not be enough to fully protect family members and students from injuries, but it does help to prevent conditions from worsening.

A first-aid kit consists of various items that can be used to treat external wounds such as cuts, bruises, sprains, and burns. Ideally, first-aid kits should be at hand not only in schools and households but also at event venues, in vehicles, as well as during travels.

JEN has been providing first-aid kits in addition to sanitary items such as soap and toothbrushes to all schools assisted since 2011.

Last year, I went to monitor sanitary education at Main Shakh High School. The school is located in Charikar district, which is far from the city and it is hard for the residents to visit hospitals.

When JEN staff arrived at the school, we met an injured student. He stepped on a piece of glass on the way to school and his foot was bleedin. I called the school guard right away, and we carried him into the school, where the principal, a teacher, and I used the first-aid kit provided by JEN to treat the wound.

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[JEN staff member showing how to treat the wound]

The student seemed very relieved: without first aid treatment, his bleeding could have gotten worse.

The principal had also treated a girl who cut her finger three weeks ago, after finding her and her mother struggling to get to a distant hospital.

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[Treating a child who cut his foot]

Although the principal has some knowledge on first aid, most other teachers and the village residents do not know how to use the first-aid kit. JEN has provided sanitary education as part of its assistance, and the teachers asked for a session for them to learn how to use the first-aid kit as well.

Sultan Khamoush
JEN Field officer, Afghanistan Project


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DONATE here

March 30, 2017 in Afghanistan |

Our Dream to Breath Clean Air

In Pakistan, little by little people are returning to their homes following the mop-up campaign against the armed groups. Look at the details here

With the help of JEN’s supporters and the Japanese government JEN is working on a livelihood improvement program, targeting the repatriated inhabitants of FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Area) Khyber Agency.
This program focuses on breeding livestock.

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Several decades ago, who would have imagined that having clean air for free would become our dream? The current situation is only getting worse, and we worry that it might become impossible to go outside without wearing masks.

In Lahore, north Punjab Province, and other regions, winter has brought dense fog that affects people’s daily lives. According to the media, highways have been closed and flights have been delayed or cancelled.

Moreover, what was thought to be just dense winter fog has been found to be smog which causes serious health problems.

The dense smog causes severe pain in the eyes and difficulty breathing. In Pakistan, air pollution has reached dangerously high levels. Ironically, as people’s standards of living have got better, air pollution has rapidly got worse in recent years.

The reasons being that the number of cars has increased, areas are becoming more highly populated, more businesses are engaged in chemical and manufacturing industries and deforestation.

Although the government needs to take action to reduce the pollution, Pakistan doesn’t have the money to do so and has failed to respond to the situation. In Karachi, the largest city in the country, the issue of waste management has become a big problem.

The government lacks funds to keep waste off the streets. But we have to start somewhere to solve the problem.

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[Roads in Pakistan with dirty water and trash due to clogged waste water pipes]

People feel helpless to affect a change but we can all participate in activities to reduce air pollution, even by doing something quite small.

Most importantly we can use electricity and other sources of energy efficiently and dispose of household waste appropriately. We can also recycle plastic bags, clothes, paper, bottles etc.

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[Urban life in Pakistan surrounded by loads of trash and dirty water]

Companies are responsible for disposing of their waste appropriately. As they benefit from production activities, it is their responsibility to return a part of their profit to the society, which also benefits the companies themselves.

Addressing pollution in order to protect people’s health and the environment is a global issue. As we are all citizens of planet Earth, everyone is responsible and we can all do something to reduce pollution and work towards providing a sustainable future for future generations.

"Healing the earth is like healing ourselves."

Samar Butt
National Finance & Accounts Officer
JEN Pakistan

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

March 30, 2017 in Pakistan |

Water delivered to returnees

Aid in the form of 42,420 bottles of 500mL water was provided to returnees who previously resided in the area, JEN assisted, once occupied by armed groups.

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March 30, 2017 in Iraq |

03/24/2017

Emergency Assistance To Those Who Escaped ‘Mosul Liberation Campaign’

Due to the liberation operation that began on October 17th 2017, many of those who lived in the suburban city of Mosul, as well as those from its prefectural border have been forced to leave their homes.


They have been evacuated to a temporary building at the camp. At the camp, there is no organized system like the one at prepared camps that are designed to receive and protect people.


JEN has distributed blankets, mattresses, and plastic sheets to the emergency camp residents of about 1800 households.

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

March 24, 2017 in Iraq |

03/23/2017

Exchange meeting between Agricultural Co-operatives

It is getting close to the end of the “Livelihood recovery support project” which started in March 2016 in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.

During this one year, JEN built 45 agricultural wells for 93 households, which allowed people to farm during the dry season so improving the income from their crops. This helped people to take the first step out of poverty.

As part of community strengthening, agricultural cooperatives have been established in each area. This helped members to co-operate with each other to process the crops, which increased the incomes of the community and enhanced the residents ability to help themselves.

A total of 4 agricultural co-operatives were established in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi.

In the past JEN provided equipment to improve the income of the agricultural cooperatives.This year, JEN provided mills to make flour and spices.

By making members think what kind of products they wanted to make, where to sell them, what sort of management system was needed, their sense of ownership has increased. However, members sometimes need help to get them started.

To provide this help JEN held a meeting on March 17th for members of the new cooperatives to obtain knowledge and skills from members of the existing cooperatives.

The purpose of this meeting was to connect the 11 agricultural cooperatives to form a network to benefit them all.

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[Explaining the purpose of the workshop to the participants]

The participants looked for solutions by discussing various problems such as costs of agricultural co-operative, difficulties in securing sales channels and co-operating with each other.

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[The presentation by the representative of the agricultural cooperative]

By learning together and exchanging ideas we hope the different co-operatives will work together for a long time into the future.

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[What a brilliant group of successful members of the co-operatives]


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March 23, 2017 in Sri Lanka |

03/16/2017

Angora rabbits

In Pakistan, a number of people who had been forced to evacuate have started slowly coming back home.

With the help of JEN’s supporters and the Japanese government JEN is working on a livelihood improvement program, targeting the repatriated inhabitants of FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Area) Khyber Agency.
This program focuses on breeding livestock.
More the details are available.

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Humans have raised rabbits for centuries. They breed quickly and their meat is good to eat.  It is healthy due to being rich in protein but low in cholesterol. In addition, rabbit fur fetches a good price. Among rabbits, the Angora rabbit is the most beautiful, edible and has the most valuable fur.

JEN found out about Angora rabbits when we visited a livestock research station in Jaba-Hari Pur District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for a study tour of livestock farmers who were participants in JEN’s project.


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[Angora rabbit]

The Livestock & Dairy Development Board in the Provincial Government began raising Angora rabbits in this livestock research station as a pilot program. At the start, a species native to Nepal was introduced.

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[Project participants lectured about Angora rabbit by an government official in charge of the program]

After breeding, Angora rabbits were distributed to local NGOs which operate in Manshera and Abbottabad and used to improve the livelihood of predominately female communities. The market price of a breeding pair of Angora rabbits is 8,000 Pakistani Rupees (Equivalent to 9,000 Japanese yen).

Angora rabbits are raised in special cages in a sunny and quiet environment maintained at 15-20 degrees Celsius with proper airflow, to protect their valuable fur. They are fed three times a day. They are vulnerable to disease, so special attention needs to be paid to hygiene. A female Angora rabbit has 20-40 babies a year.

The participants in JEN’s project are also interested in Angora rabbits so they discussed with  the authorities whether it would be possible to raise Angora rabbits at home. It is worth considering the possibility of incorporating raising Angora rabbits to our support project.

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[JEN staff showing an Angora rabbit]


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

March 16, 2017 in Pakistan |

Heavy snow left major damage to Parwan Province

The heavy snow on February 4, 2017 affected many people in Parwan Province.
On February 8, the disaster control office of Afghanistan's government and the governor of Parwan Province called an urgent meeting. 

Officers from each governmental office and international support organizations including JEN attended the meeting.  The head of the disaster prevention office chaired the meeting and reported an overview of the damage to the attendees as follows.

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[Meeting with the Head of the National Disaster Control Office and relevant organizations]

The first reports of damage were received from each province.  16 people were reported dead (14 from Puli Sangi village in Surkhi Parsa and 2 from Sia Gird), 13 people injured, 400 houses completely or partially-destroyed, and 347 livestock perished in many places throughout the province. 

The report was provided orally and the chair called for international support organizations and officers from the province to undertake further investigation. The IOM (the International Organization for Migration) and the WFP (the World Food Programme) agreed to provide both non-food items and food to disaster-hit households. 

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC), the NGO, and the national disaster control office announced that they would provide money to households with injured or missing family members. 

JEN agreed to send one of our staff members with a car to accompany the team when they conduct further investigations in the provinces of Charikar, Bagram, Sayed Khil, Jabul Saraj, and Salang.

The investigation in 9 districts in Barwan Province was headed by the IOM, and 5 teams, comprising NGOs, the national disaster control office, and other governmental bodies, were assigned to conduct an investigation from February 9 to February 13.

Through research, our team found that a total of 10 houses were completely destroyed and 34 houses were partially destroyed in the provinces of Charikar, Jabul Salaj, Bagram, and Sayed Khil.

JEN and other NGOs were unable to conduct any investigations in Surkhi Parsa and Sia Gird due to safety reasons, so the national disaster control office and the International Committee of the Red Cross did so instead. Also, investigations in Salang were delayed due to a blocked road caused by heavy snow.

During our work, we interviewed Mr. Wali Ahmad, one of the victims. His house had two rooms and a kitchen, but the heavy snow damaged one of the rooms and the kitchen.
Mr. Ahmad has a family of 10, so one room is not enough for all the family members to sleep.  He said it was difficult to repair the damage immediately because of the bad weather.  Also, he could not afford to rebuild the room so he asked the NGO for help.

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[Mr. Ahmad Wali's house, damaged by the heavy snow in Charikar province]

After looking in his house, the DRC approved the building of two rooms, a kitchen, and a shelter with toilet for Mr. Wali's family when the winter is over.
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[Mr. Ahmad Wali's kitchen, damaged by the heavy snow]

According to the report, the ministry of national disaster control management began offering non-food items, food, and money to affected households in disaster-hit provinces.
 
Mohamed Yunus,
Engineer,
JEN Afghanistan


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

March 16, 2017 in Afghanistan |

03/09/2017

A marvelous encounter

The JEN staff in Sri Lanka are based at three places, Kilinochichi, Colombo branch office and Mullaitivu warehouse. The international staff work at Kilinochchi office, but when necessary, we go to Colombo office.

In order to come and go between Kilinochchi and Colombo, we travel by train which takes a little less than 7 hours which gives us lots of chances of meeting people
This time, the man who sat next to us by chance was a Tamil named Mr. Somesun living in Australia. As a consultant of the Asian Development Bank, Mr. Somesun has been involved in water sanitation and agriculture projects in Asia Pacific for about 25 years.

On the train, he listened to our stories of JEN’s work in Sri Lanka and he told us of his experiences. It was an interesting and useful way to to spend the journey. 
We thought our local staff should learn from Mr. Somesun’s experiences too, so we asked him to come to the Kilinochchi office the next day.

Our discussions lasted for four hours, we all listened to him describe his work in other countries covering agriculture, well construction, creating seed banks and so on. We all got a lot from his visit.
Mr. Somesun got our staff to think why things happened as they did and to come up with solutions on their own. Our staff had a stream of never-ending questions. 

Unanimously they said in excitement, “We have found a superman!” or “If we had met him earlier, we would have learned much more”.   
An unexpected encounter became a useful gift to all of our team. We think that we should make the most of chances like these.
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[Mr. Somesun is explaining the background to the situation in Sri Lanka to the staff]
 
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[The staff are listening to him with zeal]
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[We had our commemorative photograph taken at the end of his lecture]


【JEN is now asking for donations. Click here to donate】

March 9, 2017 in Sri Lanka |

We have decided upon our programs for the next season

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Mt. Sinjar is one of our activity sites.
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We will continue providing support in the IDP camp.
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We will restore wells and water supply networks in the Sinjar area.
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We will continue the water supply project in the Mt. Sinjar areas.
【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated. DONATE here

March 9, 2017 in Iraq |

03/03/2017

Emergency assistance We started preparing emergency assistance to people who were forced to return from Pakistan to Afghanistan

The number of people who were forced to go back from Pakistan to Afghanistan is estimated to be over 620,000*.

As part of the emergency assistance, packages of daily items will be distributed in Jalalabad to 1,000 returnee families. We are currently in the process of preparing for the distribution.

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* UNOCHA, Afghanistan: Refugee Crisis Situation Report No. 6 (as of 29 January 2017)

JEN accepts donations to help responding to this state of emergency. Details are here.

March 3, 2017 in Afghanistan |

03/02/2017

JEN supports the launch of two children’s cafeterias

“Children’s cafeterias” are now very popular in Japan.
An increasing number of children cannot afford to have nutritionally balanced meals each day or to attend private lessons or cram schools, or have to give up going to university. In fact, one in six Japanese children is in poverty. The popularity of children’s cafeterias shows the fact that many people are taking action for those children who cannot lead decent lives or have no positive future prospects.

[The children help cooking]
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Meanwhile, child poverty is the manifestation of the structural problems. In many cases child poverty is family poverty. Although the majority of single parents in Japan (80% of single mothers and 90% of single fathers) are working, the poverty rate of single-parent households is 50%, which is unusually high.

According to a survey conducted by Iwate Prefecture, where the two children’s cafeterias JEN is providing support are located, single mothers with monthly income between 100,000 yen and 150,000 yen constitute the largest monthly income bracket, accounting for 40.7% of all single mothers. In the coastal area, which suffered extensive damage by the Great East Japan Earthquake, their incomes are even lower.

Since the structure of today’s Japanese society is based on the two-parent household model in which the father is working, single parents have many problems—they cannot work overtime unless they have someone they can rely on, it is difficult for them to work full-time, most of the women cannot have high-income jobs, and the government’s policy to support single parents is insufficient compared with other advanced countries.

[A nutritionally balanced menu]
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The future of children is the future of society, and is the future of reconstruction in the affected areas.

It is certainly necessary to resolve the social and policy issues from the basic level, but there are also things that can be done at the grassroots level. One of them is to create a private mechanism that subsumes people who tend to be isolated, such as children and single parents, under the communities, and to connect it to various public and private support systems. With these goals in mind, JEN supports the following activities, which are not solely for children but for both children and mainly single-parent families, through local partner organizations.

1. The Inclu Children’s Cafeteria (in Morioka)

JEN supported the activities of IncluIwate, a nonprofit organization in Morioka. We provided support in project planning including the inspection of precedent cases, financially supported the launching of the cafeteria in January 2016 and its monthly operation until December 2016 and assisted external evaluation. After our support ended in December 2016, the organization continues to operate the children’s cafeteria, which is now famous in Iwate Prefecture, with government and private funds.
To sum up JEN’s one-year support activities, a symposium was held on March 11. The external evaluation report will be released on JEN’s website soon.

[The Inclu Children’s Cafeteria (© IncluIwate; photographed by Hiromi Kori)]
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2. Shiokaze Kitchen (in Miyako City)

The Miyako Social Welfare Council has been operating this monthly children’s cafeteria since December 2016. Shiokaze Kitchen follows the example of the children’s cafeteria operated by IncluIwate, which is mainly for single-parent families. While participating in training programs in Morioka and Miyako, they are building a mechanism to utilize the power of the community. JEN will continue to support Shiokaze Kitchen in 2017.

[The delicious stew is ready]
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March 2, 2017 in Tohoku Earthquake |

The Continuance of “ASUKUMA”(The School for a Bright Tomorrow in Kumamoto)

The Continuance of “ASUKUMA”(The School for a Bright Tomorrow in Kumamoto)

A lot of people have been taking part in ASUKUMA, the workshop for raising leaders who try to address social issues in the local communities, since September last year.

Follow-up trainings have been carried out since the initial plan came to an end, and new members also have joined.

There are many people who are trying or have already tried to address the local issues in Kumamoto.

[Individual Mentoring]
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[Workshop]
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JEN continues to hold workshops to explore the theme of “Whose and what kind of problems are we going to solve?” while helping to introduce relevant people.

March 2, 2017 in Kumamoto |