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The caregiving class for men & a nationwide network of male caregivers: the 1st meeting in Tohoku

JEN has supported male caregivers through the “caregiving class for men” consisting mainly of care managers, doctors and dental experts in Ishinomaki City.
This is a report by a JEN intern who supported organizing the event “The caregiving class for men & a nationwide network of male caregivers: the 1st meeting in Tohoku”, held on September 2.
The event, whose aim was to facilitate the support of male caregivers by experts and communities, was held in Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture. The participants shared challenges in building a society in which caregivers would not be left out, and sought for solutions. This event was the first of its kind in Tohoku.


The speakers (from right: Mr. Kiyokawa, Mr. Takamuro, Mr. Tsudome, and Dr. Kawase)

There were four lectures in the first half of the event to promote the in-depth understanding of the situations and involvement of male caregivers, including the one by dentist Dr. Kawase, the representative of the “caregiving class for men”, who explained about his project. The speakers are all involved in the various aspects of caregiving, and talked about the current situation of male caregivers and their actual experiences.
In the latter part of the event, we had a workshop by Ms. Takahashi, JEN’s Tohoku project manager.
In the workshop, participants were divided into several groups, and discussed the current state and ideal of caregiving and the challenges to reach the ideal. At the end, each group gave a presentation on what they had discussed.
Participants were diverse, from those who were involved in caregiving in their families, doctors, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, the Regional Comprehensive Support Center staff, to the Social Welfare Council staff. They shared various information and exchanged views.


A lecture in progress


The workshop

Many of the participants said in the questionnaire that they had not only learned from the lectures, but also had an opportunity to think about caregiving themselves through the lectures and workshop and that it was great learning to share their thoughts with others.
They also gave us many suggestions on future events.
We had a very fruitful day. We very much thank those who participated in the event.
This event has made me realize that caregiving is a big issue that the entire society must keep working on. I felt the reality of caregiving by listening not only to those who are caring family members but also to people who are involved in other various aspects of caregiving.
Meanwhile, I also learned the latest trends in social care support and thought that we all must deal with this issue ourselves through social unity.

September 28, 2017 in Tohoku Earthquake |


Counter-drought Agriculture vol.2

Counter-drought Agriculture vol.2

Following our previous post, we’ll introduce other examples of water-saving agriculture.

【Sun screening nets cover over the plants, which enable to reduce the amount of the water evaporation by 50%.】

Shown above, this is an example to prevent the water from the evaporation by screening the sun light.

But one family apply several methods together with this to save the water more effectively

【Young plants in the plastic bags. The surfaces of the soil are mulched with straw.】

【Composts made with the mixture of cow excrements, coconuts shells and palm leaves.】

As well as moistening the soil in the plastic bags and covering the surface of soil with the coconut shells and straw for the heat protection (shown in photo #2), they also make the compost in the backyard with cow excrements, coconut shells, and scrap vegetables (shown in photo).

There is another family who makes home-made warming bags for the soil, consisting of half burnt rice husks and composts, to keep the humidity.

(photo #4)
【JEN staff checking the soil condition with the participants of program (right).】

It requires to keep watching out when burning rice husks, because too much burnt husks can’t contain enough moisture.


That is how the local Suri Lankans prepare for the constant droughts, applying multiple methods to save the water at the same time.

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

September 21, 2017 in Sri Lanka |

A village after liberation from the armed groups


The photo shows the entrance of a village in the Nineveh Plain near Mosul.

In this village, Sunnis and Shiites live together. They are both Muslims, but their beliefs and doctrines differ from each other.

When the armed groups invaded the village in 2014, one of the two sects fled, while the other remained. The sect who remained in the village thought that the armed groups shared the same beliefs with them, but, in fact, the armed groups had pretended to have the same faith as them.

After the village was liberated from the armed groups by the Iraqi army, JEN initiated several projects in cooperation with UNICEF. One of them is hygiene promotion where the village volunteers convey what they have learned to the other villagers.

The JEN staff and the hygiene promotion volunteers were often faced with difficulties in having members of both sects participate in the activities.

When the activities first started, people from both sects said that there was nothing wrong between them and they were living peacefully together, and indeed it seemed so. After being liberated from the armed groups, the leaders of the village were very pleased that the village had regained peace and the people were now free to start a new life.

However, as the project got on its way and the volunteers and villagers began to trust our staff, the volunteers revealed the prejudices in the village.

Although the people of the two sects were neighbors, they did not visit each other’s homes when they participated in hygiene promotion and other activities.

Those in the minority sect in the village believed that people from the majority sect had assisted the armed groups because when the armed groups invaded the village they did not flee.

The minority sect has formed a militia and has put the village under its control. For this reason, people from the majority sect do not have the power to urge those in the minority sect to participate in activities such as hygiene promotion sessions.

Under these circumstances, JEN, as a humanitarian organization, decided to provide children from both sects with an opportunity to spend time together in the village so as not to worsen prejudices between the two sects.

Our staff planned a hygiene promotion event for saving water on August 28. On the day of the event, more than 125 children gathered on the beautiful open lawns.

Children from both sects enjoyed games and other activities and received sweets and gifts prepared by JEN and UNICEF. After the event, the children held each other’s hands as they went home.

On the next day, we were so glad to see the children coming back together to the open lawns, expecting to join the same event again. Unlike their parents, they have no negative feelings towards each other, nor do they care about what their parents say or think at home.

The children gave us hope that someday people from both sects would overcome each other’s differences and live amicably together.

[Hygiene promotion volunteers carrying out an event]

September 21, 2017 in Iraq |


Training in Animal Husbandry 2

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.


Previously, we reported on the two-month training for the staff of the Bureau of Livestock as well as the livestock management volunteers. The training has been completed.

[A training on supplemental feed]

[A lecture scene]

The participants learned various things, and were awarded course completion certificates.

In the future, they are expected to play a big part in helping the repatriates with livestock management, production expansion, breed improvement and damage control.

[Participants at the end of the training]

September 14, 2017 in Pakistan |

The Improvement of Education for Girls

【Khadija and her classmates studying in the tent】

Every morning, 11-year old Khadija walks to school for 30 minutes. She is the 5th grade of a Girls’ School, whose facilities JEN supports.

Students learn in the tent at school. It’s cold in the winter, scorching in the summer, and they’re short of the simplest supplies such as black boards and chalks.

【The tents as classrooms. Khadija and girls are pleased with the facilities installed by JEN, such as classrooms, windbreak walls, a water reservoir, and toilettes.】

Even so, Khadija appreciates a lot, looking back at the old days with nothing;

“We used to study sitting on the ground or the plastic mat, or sometimes under the shades of trees.”

Mohammad Nabi, a member of the school management committee, also said;

“Before a class started, we had to bring the blackboard and carpet out, and take them in when it’s over. Whether we could have a class or not was up to the weather condition. Now we’re very grateful to JEN, for their help to maintain the school facilities.”

As the construction of school facilities started, the awareness of the education seems to be getting higher among the local community, he said.

【The construction of new classrooms】

It’s also expected that school attendance rate will be improved once the educational environment gets safe and attractive.

Not so long before, the lack of toilettes dissuaded girls to go to school after they reached to the age of first menstruation, a big obstacle for them to to keep the education. The improvement of school facilities will play a great role on the maintenance and increase of the school attendance rate.

【Students drinking waters from the reservoir】

September 14, 2017 in Afghanistan |


Counter-drought Agriculture

In Recent years, floods and droughts have broken out at the same time or alternatively in Suri Lanka. While floods cause the tremendous damages with landslides every year, the northern area has been suffered from constant droughts which dry up the reservoirs.

After a giant flood hit the country at the end of this May, JEN set an emergent support program in the south Ratnapura, for those who are forced to evacuate from their homes due to the calamity and the following landslide.

Meanwhile in the north, we’ve been engaged in the promotion of “counter-drought agriculture” as a part of our agricultural support program. Sponsored by Ford Motors, a new contest was held in April to invite widely for excellent examples to adopt the water saving ideas to the traditional agriculture.

Now we’re in the middle of the selection for the awards among the applications. (for more details on the contest, please refer to this page.)

Today, we’ll introduce one outstanding example among them.


This is a makeshift irrigation tower made with stacked dust bins.

Inside of the soil stuffed tower, a bamboo tube is located at the center with many holes on the side. Once poured down into the tube from the top, the water seeps into the soil through the holes, keeping it damped without constantly watering.



A faucet is attached at the bottom of the tower, so that the excess water is to be recuperated automatically and recycled.

This brilliant idea came from 11 old year boy (picture below, in a green shirt). His family planted the red peppers in each pod attached to the tower, which has grown well so far.



They’re excitingly waiting to enjoy the harvest 3 months later.

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

September 7, 2017 in Sri Lanka |

Drawing water from the Sinjar Mountains

The JEN staff working in Sinjar, Iraq, has sent us a photo that gives us a slightly different impression from our usual activities.


In the photo are girls riding donkeys to draw water from the Sinjar Mountains.

Click here for JEN’s past activities in water supply assistance.

September 7, 2017 in Iraq |