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People taking refuge in the Sinjar Mountains

In March 2015, JEN started supplying water using a truck to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Sinjar Mountains in the Nineveh Province, northwestern Iraq.


JEN’s water-supply truck on a path in the Sinjar Mountains

In August 2014, an radical armed group took hold of Sinjar city and surrounding villages. The Yazidis, the old inhabitants of the region, were persecuted by the members of the armed group, being killed and sold because they believed in a different religion. Having nowhere to evacuate to, the Yazidis barely fled to near the top of the Sinjar Mountains, which were surrounded by the armed group, and took refuge on top of the rough and blowy mountains, suffering from fear, hunger and thirst.

Still, there were newborns among them. Revîn is one of them. She was born soon after her family evacuated to the Sinjar Mountains. She is now four years old. “Revîn” means to “escape” in Kurdish. Many girls born that year were given this name.


Revîn with a JEN staff member

Revîn, unlike most other girls of her age, openly told us about herself. “I’m looking forward to going to school in two years’ time,” she said. “I have many dreams for the future. One of them is to become a doctor. So I’ll study hard and do well at school.”


JEN’s June 2018 interview survey on the water supply activity and the evacuees’ livelihood situations revealed that most of the people currently living in the Sinjar Mountains were originally from villages near Sinjar city. In the survey, most of them have said that even today, after their home villages have been liberated from the armed group, houses and basic infrastructure have been severely damaged, the ethnic balance in the nearby villages has been changed, and the mopping-up operation for the survivors of the armed group is still going on, and therefore returning home is risky and not feasible.


An evacuee being interviewed in a tent


JEN staff checking a water-storage tank installed in each settlement

August 15, 2018 in Iraq |


Seminar: Current Situation and Issues surrounding Single Parents and Children (Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture)

JEN has been supporting dining kitchens for children, “Shiokaze Kitchen” and “Shiokaze Dining”, operated by Social Welfare Council of Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture.

One out of seven children suffers poverty in Japan; especially the poverty ratio of single mother families exceeds 50%. “Shiokaze Kitchen” is a place where single parents, their children, volunteers, and staffs from Social Welfare Council of Miyako gather every month, cook, eat, and spend enjoyable time together, sometimes giving counsel each other. We are also aiming to have “Shiokaze Dining” which will be proactively held by those in the Miyako region.

About half of the participants of “Shiokaze Kitchen” are from families of single parents. This time, we invited Ms. Chieko Akaishi, President of “Single Mothers Forum”, to hold lectures named “Current Situation and Issues of Single Parents and their Children” and “Group Seminar for Families with Single Parents”, targeting those in the region who are supporting “Shiokaze Kitchen” and “Shiokaze Dining”.

Many people including social workers and governments joined this program!


We held a lecture in the morning. The former half of the lecture touched on the current situation and issues facing families of single parents and key points for supporters in offering counseling to them. In the latter half, we did “self-respecting training” where two people form a team and try to express shortcoming of each counterpart as strength. For instance, if someone’s shortcoming is “slow at work”, they can express it as “carefully and politely doing work”. Participants learned how important it is to focus on other people’s strengths in counseling and supporting others.


In the afternoon, we held “Group Seminar for Families with Single Parents”. Participants learned practical things such as the way to hold group seminar, key points in counseling, useful systems for families with single parents.

We were able to have a very meaningful seminar with positive comments from participants which will be useful for our activities going forward: “I was not able to proactively counsel others for the fear of hurting others’ feelings with my comments. Through this lecture, I felt encouraged to proactively counsel and support others going forward!”, “I’ll utilize what I learned from the seminar today in counseling others”, “I will learn about the systems for single parent families!”

workshop 01
workshop 02

August 14, 2018 in Tohoku Earthquake |