« September 2022 | Main


Lifestyle has changed after the completion of a well and water standpoints

The construction of a well and water stand points completed through the project for improving the water and sanitation environment in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. A handover ceremony was held to mark the occasion. Commemorative turbans and tools needed to maintain the well and solar panels were gifted to members of the Well Management Committee (WMC). From now on, WMC will take the lead in managing and operating the well, using the maintenance fees collected from the residents.

The construction of these new facilities has brought a positive impact on the lives of the villagers. The residents used to travel to streams and wells far away from their homes (often 3 km or more) many times a day. They would spend most of the day to secure water they needed for living. Since it’s common for children and women to fetch water, they couldn't go to school or had no choice but to sacrifice work or household chores. One of the villagers used to go to an unsanitary water source about 5 km away every day. She was delighted that the new water standpoints in the compound would increase her free time and would enable her to focus on the cultivation of agricultural products.

Children are now able to go to school and mosques, and have time to play cricket or volleyball. Some of the adults say, “We now have time to work in the city and can bring food to the table for our families”, and “We can focus on household chores, childcare and breastfeeding.” Some people can now make an income from home gardening, livestock or handicrafts.

Additionally, diarrhea has been reduced thanks to hand washing with safe water and soap with a proper hygiene knowledge. It has become possible to take measures against Covid-19 at home. Some people even feel that they have become healthier by the improved hygiene environment. The internally displaced people in the village with limited personal belongings expressed that the water tanks distributed by JEN helped them to secure safe water at home.

Previously, the water sources were so far away that there were various difficulties to the lives of the residents. However, the construction of a well and water standpoints has given them more time to spare in their daily lives. The better hygiene knowledge has improved their health conditions as well. Many possibilities have seemed to arise, which will lead to their independent future.


Solar panels that generate power for pumping, and the completed water reservoir


Training for maintenance of a well and water standpoints


Voluntary cleaning activities by WMC

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

“I’ve never used soap in my entire life.” <A participant’s interview>

Mr. Samar Ahmad[Male, 43 years old]

Location:Guldara Village, Chaparhar

“For the first time in my life, I heard about using soap for enhanced sanitation from the hygiene specialist. I have never even thought of using one in my entire life before.”

We interviewed Mr. Samar Ahmad, the head of the family of 13, wives of 2, sons of 6, daughters of 4 living in the neighbourhood of JEN’s project site for constructing a solar-powered pipeline providing clean water. Mr. Samar Ahmad was also keen on gaining new knowledge through the hygiene education sessions provided by JEN in September 2020.


Mr.Samar Ahmad on the interview. March 24, 2020

Mr. Ahmad: “I now have become aware of a method for water purification, critical times throughout a day for handwashing, various types of hygiene (personal, environmental and oral) and food safety.”

Q: “I heard you have never heard of soap, is that right?”

A (Mr. Ahmad): “Well, I knew about soap but I have never used it before because I wasn’t aware of its priority for enhancing our hygiene situation, and we couldn’t afford it. Although, ever since we received the hygiene education and the kits, we equipped ourselves with a new daily routine, and started using soap every day ”

Q: “I understand that poverty interferes with your affordability of soap. Would it be financially difficult to prioritize soap?”

A: “I don’t think so. For now, we use things in the hygiene kits that JEN gave us, which include 5 bar soaps, a nail clipper, 3 tubes of toothpaste, 6 toothbrushes, 3 toilet paper rolls, 2 boxes of tissue, 2 towels, a pack of sanitary pads, and 21L water tank. Even after we use up the soap, we’ll buy more because it certainly taught us the benefit of using one. Using soap in hand washing significantly reduced the likelihood of catching diseases and experiencing diarrhea caused by unfiltered water. We now confidently know that some health issues were related to unsanitary surroundings”

Diarrhea and diseases caused by contaminated water have been very common among people in this region as they had no custom of using soap in their daily lives traditionally. These problems have made it difficult for children to go to school and for adults to go to work.


The net over dishes prevents insects from spreading diseases.

Mr. Samar Ahmad: “I’m really grateful for the people in Japan for providing us hygiene education and the kits, and ensuring our access to safe drinking water by laying out pipelines and water standpoints per compound. We can save so much medical cost since we don’t get sick as much as we used to.”

“I would love for JEN to host livelihood support programs with human resource development in the future so that more people can become qualified for various employment opportunities. Thank you for your swift response.”


A new standpoint built in front of Mr. Ahmad’s house.


A newly constructed toilet.


The house of Mr. Ahmad’ family.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Progress of the water and sanitation project in Chaparhar district

The water and sanitation project in Chaparhar, Nangarhar province, which we started in September 2020, is close to the finish line. Here is an update on the project.

We construct a well, a water reservoir, and water standpoints through the project. The quality and the safety of water drawn from the well has been confirmed, and the water reservoir construction will be completed soon.

The residents can access safe drinking water easily upon completion of the water standpoints and the placement of pipes to connect between the standpoints and the reservoir.


Water reservoir will be ready soon!

Hygiene education is one of the main components of the project. We delivered lectures on the importance of public hygiene, which has not been taken so seriously in this region, and the necessity of proper hand washing with soap, which has become more important than ever under the Covid-19 pandemic, with respect for Afghan cultural background. We also handed a hygiene kit which includes soaps, toothbrushes, water tank, etc., to each household so that the people can put our lecture into practice.


Hygiene kits for practicing what the people learned are waiting to be delivered.


We handed the hygiene kits after the session. Participants checked inside the bags.

There were four sessions in the hygiene education course. Even before the completion of the course, we could see the change in the awareness and action of the people. Many people told us that they started cleaning up their premise or building a toilet.

We will finish this project by April. We will report the situation after the completion of the project on this website.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Conducted the Monitoring of Winterization Support

At the beginning of December, JEN distributed winterization relief supplies to 78 households who lost their house due to the heavy rain and flash floods in Eastern Afghanistan. One week after this, we visited 25 households who received the supplies to see if they had any problem or question on the use of the supplies. Sandali, one of the distributed items, is a heating material used with charcoal. At the distribution venue, JEN had explained the proper use of Sandali to avoid getting burnt or causing fire. This time we confirmed their ignition procedure and checked whether they understand it correctly.



We were able to confirm that all the households we visited utilized the supplies and were satisfied with these qualities.

These days, the minimum temperature in Charikar has been below the freezing point. JEN hope this project supports those who lost their house to survive the cold winter and to reconstruct their lives.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Dream Bags Project Amid COVID-19 crisis

JEN rushed the preparation of Dream Bag distribution because schools could be closed again anytime due to COVID-19. The distribution of 6241 Dream Bags was successfully completed in 5 days, between November 3rd and the 5th.

There had been some pupils who feel tiresome to go to school again due to the influence of the first shutdown of schools. However, after they heard about Dream Bag, they became active when they participate in classes and happily asked their teachers “When are the Dream Bags going to arrive?” .


A JEN staff explaining pupils how to open Dream Bags.

During this year’s Dream Bag distribution, JEN also conducted hygiene education, namely a proper way to wash hands, emphasizing the importance of such hygienical actions.


One scene of Hygiene education

Pupils were very happy to receive Dream Bags. They showed the contents of Dream Bags with each other.  Some pupils painted pictures as a sign of gratitude and friendship for Japanese children who sent Dream Bags.


Pupils receiving Dream Bags


Pupils when they opened Dream Bags

A second-grade girl who loves painting happened to receive a Dream Bag that contained 24-color-crayon and a stuffed toy, and was so excited. She told us so happily, “My dream is to have crayon that is available in various colors. I will use the stuffed toy and stationery that I received with my sister who I always play together. But this crayon is my treasure. I will draw pictures using this crayon throughout the winter vacation.”


Pupils showing pictures that they drew using the color pencils came with her Dream Bag.

A message of a JEN Afghanistan staff

Those pupils who received Dream Bags this time live in one of financially difficult areas in Afghanistan.  In this area, people sometimes cannot afford the costs of minimum necessity of pencils and notebooks for learning in school.

Despite such circumstances, pupils who received stationaries and toys told us “I want to be a math teacher for my country” and “I will study hard and will be a doctor.” Parents also commented “I could not continue my study because of poverty and civil war. So, my dream is that I let children go to school and live better lives.”

I think education is necessary for their dreams to come true. I am sure that the promoting education will help their dreams to come true and as a result, brings a peaceful future.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Dream Bags have arrived again at the town of Charikar!

Dream Bag project: JEN has been working on this project since 2005 in Parwan province of Afghanistan.

Dream Bags filled with toys and stationeries from Japan have arrived again at the town of Charikar in Parwan province!


November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Study of means of livelihood in Afghanistan

 JEN developed women empowerment project for Eastern area of Afghanistan, especially Jalalabad and surrounding area. This program aims to offer opportunities for education for female students, and to create means of livelihood for educated women.


 Means of livelihood of educated women will become clear through detail study of livelihood. JEN focuses on choosing means of livelihood in private sector that actively involves in educated women. JEN believes that connecting means of livelihood with private sector raise productivity and sustainability.


 JEN will employ one local livelihood specialist in order to conduct a detail study in cooperation with private sector. The executors of private sector include practitioner of small business and industry, women entrepreneur, public officer, and staff of humanitarian organization.


 JEN will pay attention to following two points with regards to choosing means of livelihood of educated women.

  1. Opportunity of means of livelihood is culturally appropriate
  2. Women entrepreneurs have proved it and have been successful


 JEN will learn valuable things from experience of successful local women entrepreneurs, and will cooperate with them to follow their means of livelihood, business type, and model case. Details would be discovered after detail study, but choice of means of livelihood includes training of information technology, business design and its operation, offering trained labor force to local industry, management of education academy and provision of related equipments.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Interview of a Girl Who Received a “Dream Bag” and Her Parents

 In April of 2019, we conducted distributions of “Dream Bags” in the Parwan province of Afghanistan.

 We were able to interview those who received the “Dream Bags” following the distribution process.



 Caption: A second grade girl who received a “Dream Bag” with her dad

 This girl`s father works as a sales representative at a store in Charikar Market. Much of the villagers struggle from poverty, and he says that he is one of them.

 “I receive very little pay and therefore, have a hard time supporting my family, which includes buying my children the necessary stationary and materials for school. Additionally, I must borrow money from my friends and family members in order for my child to go to school.

 I want my child to study a lot and become someone who can serve their country. I believe that both boys and girls should receive equal education and think that not letting girls attend high school is a bad idea. I currently own a small plot of farm land close to the village, but if I ever need the money to continue sending my daughter to school, I will sell it without any hesitation.

 Today, my daughter received a “Dream Bag”, and her excitement could be put in to words. She has always liked to study and go to school, but this will definitely make her like it even more.

 I know that Japan is an extremely safe country and have heard that the people are very generous and friendly. I vividly remember the time I met the Japanese staff of JEN 10 years ago at a meeting in Charikar. On behalf of my child, her classmates, and all of Afghanistan, I want to thank the country of Japan and the children who participated in the making of the “Dream Bags” for not forgetting about us.” He said.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Interview to the children who received ”Dream Bags”

We interviewed the children who received ”Dream Bags”.
Please click the play button and see their interviews.


▼Interview to Ahmad


▼Interview to Azuna



November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Art and Culture of Afghanistan (Part 2)

 Regardless of the current security and safety situation in Afghanistan, the Afghanistan people continue to pursue traditional practices between their various daily responsibilities. ‘’ATAN dance’’ is one tradition that is performed at times of celebration. Not only is this dance famous in this particular region, but is also well-known in the Pashtun region of Pakistan. This dance is typically performed at events such as weddings, engagement parties, college graduations, and other types of celebrations.


 Caption: The JEN team tried it out.

 The dancers form a circle and dance along to the sound of drums, a rebab, a harmonium, and a small drum called tabara. The dance usually starts off slow, and the tempo increases as the dance progresses. Traditionally, those who perform the dance should grow their hair out. This is because the dance involves moving one`s head, and the movement of the hair indicates the tempo and rhythm of the dance. However, it is not a requirement for every dancer to grow their hair, as there is an alternative way to indicate the tempo and rhythm; clapping their hands with each step.

 Both men and women perform this dance, but due to the local social customs, women are not allowed to dance in the presence of a man. Therefore, women dance in an all-women group when no men are around. Because this dance is performed or practiced on a daily basis, most people know the basic rules of ‘’ATAN dance’’, but actually performing the dance requires a bit of practice. Students living in lodging accommodations live far away from their families, so they typically perform the dance to have fun and not get homesick.


November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Art and Culture of Afghanistan (Part 1)

 For many of those that have never visited Afghanistan, natural disasters, war, and general unrest might be the only words that pop in to mind, and it may seem as if it is one the most difficult places to live in.

   On the other hand, Afghanistan acts as the gateway from Asia to Europe and Central Asia, and has been called the “Silk Road Intersection” giving birth to a composite of cultures. It is a place where people often come and go, and we believe that everyone should know that Afghanistan is one of the most developed countries in terms of art and culture. There are also many Gandhara and Islamic Art archeological sites scattered in the nation.

    Additionally, Afghanistan is home to a rich music industry, and has been the home of many famous artists that perform all around the world. Genres of their music include classical, folk, modern pop, and many more.


 Do you know what this instrument is called? This is a Rebab, one of the most widely known instruments in Afghanistan. It is a traditional string instrument that is played by plucking the strings, and its sound captivates the hearts of the Afghanistan people.


 The origin of this instrument is in central Afghanistan, but it is currently widely known in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Take a listen to the sound of a Rebab.

 Group Name: Chalpasah

 Take a look at this Japanese group that performs traditional Afghanistan music.



November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Interview with participants of previous programs

Mr.Ezatullah 65 years old
Chaparhar, Nangarhar

In 2016, many refugees repatriated to Afghanistan from Pakistan, which included Ezatullah and his family. He and his family immigrated to Pakistan in 1987, and lived as refugees in a camp called Pabbi in Peshawar. Living conditions in the camp were better than before, as they had opportunities to find work, receive resources such as food, education, and were able to access health care facilities, all from the help of  other organizations.

“After returning to Afghanistan, my sons and I had little to no opportunities to work and because of that, our family faced more problems than when living in the refugee camp. We bought a wheelbarrow and conducted manual labor to earn small amounts of money which was used to provide food for my family.”. “My eldest son currently sells fruits and vegetables using the  wheelbarrow we bought, and my second son carries sand and gravel to construction sites, but because their jobs are not full-time there is no stability in regards to employment”, he said.

“My family and I are currently discussing the possibility of immigrating back to Pakistan, where living conditions were much better compared to that right now in Afghanistan. However, the visa issues that will arise with the move are our biggest concern. My family and I currently all have Afghanistan passports, and therefore, if we were to immigrate to Pakistan, we will have to travel back to Afghanistan every month to renew our visas. I have asked the Afghanistan government to provide me with opportunities to find work in Afghanistan, which has been the reason why my family and I have stayed in this country, but it is unlikely that our living conditions here will improve.”


“We live in a small rental house in trilly, which previously had no source of water. We are thankful that JEN came to our village and supplied us with safe water.  If nothing else,  we now have easier access to safe water.


November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

A repatriated family and their challenges

Matiullah, a 35-year-old man, left Pakistan along with his family, which included his wife, four sons, and two daughters and returned to Afghanistan, his home country a few months ago. Immediately after their return to Afghanistan, they began to face various problems. They had to live in an extremely poorly made house, and had no access to safe drinking water.. His children were unable to go to school. Additionally, there were no bathrooms located in or near the house, and therefore, they had no other choice but to use their neighbor`s bathrooms, or go to the bathroom outside.

Little by little, Matiullah worked to renovate his age-old house, but the house remains wall-less. He has saved up funds, which were offered as financial assistance, and spent them only to construct a bathroom near the house. Because there were no clean water sources near the house, his family had to go to a place 300 meters away from their house to collect potentially contaminated water to use not only for their bathroom, but also for various other purposes. As a result, his family suffered from frequent diarrhea and stomachaches. In this area, collecting water took a long time, for women, children and even adult men.


JEN's team visited this area for research purposes and identified the area as vulnerable,where residents lacked access to clean drinking water. The team proposed to install a hand pump well in this area. Thanks to the assistance of Japan Platform (JPF), an international emergency humanitarian aid organization based in Tokyo, JEN immediately began working on the construction of the well, and was able to finish it as scheduled. Now, the residents have access to clean water without having to walk long distances as they did in the past.

Matiullah's eldest daughter Fatima said, "We are happy now. In the past, we had to walk long distances to collect clean water and so we could not wash ourselves even after working long hours outside, but now we can, thanks to the well. "




November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Safe water from constructed wells

From the 11 water wells JEN constructed in
Chaparhar District in Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan, people are getting
safe water of about 100 liters per person a day on average. Family members per
household altogether fetch about 200 liters one time with jerrycans as in the
photo. They go to the wells several times a day.


The global standard about the quantity of
water per person a day during emergency is 7.5 – 15 liters. This merely covers basic
drinking, personal hygiene and cooking needs. So 100 liters is well above it
and enough. On the other hand, the average quantity of consumption per person
a day in Japan is 375 liters
, more than triple of the
amount people we supported are getting.


People are saying, “Children used to be
busy fetching water but can now have time for school and playing”, “We can save
money since we no longer have to buy water”. We are happy and proud to be of


But Chaparhar is not free from safety, either.
A very saddening, unfortunate incident happened in which some water well
beneficiaries were involved and killed in a crossfire between the government
and an armed opposition group. Many people stayed away from home and returned
to find they have to start their new life from scratch. We helped them meet one
of their basic needs. I sincerely condone those victims and wish they’d rest in
peace and strongly hope people will resiliently survive in spite of












November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan | | TrackBack (0)

Behavior change

JEN conducted hygiene education for returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as constructed water wells in Nangarhar Province.
So many people returned and fled from conflict to communities that they had to share scarce water resources with native community people and so they needed to have proper hygiene knowledge to protect themselves and their families from diarrhea, etc.
The education focused on such topics as handwashing, food hygiene, and diarrhea and proper response to it. Proper handwashing is easy to do and can prevent most diseases.


[Hygiene education of a women’s group]

The education was followed by hygiene promoters’ home visit to see how much correct knowledge people gained and how well they practice what they learned and give them some advice.


[Home visit]

Ms. Saifora with four children said, “I came to know handwashing with soap is important because it can remove germs and prevent diarrhea, but I didn’t actually practice it at all.”
“One day, a hygiene promoter came to my home when I was busy collecting animal dung for fuel. I simply washed my hands and then welcomed her with a handshake. She smiled and asked what she had taught me at a session. She then asked my daughter to bring soap and pour water for me. She emphasized my family and I should practice it every day.”

[Proper handwashing]

We saw many people starting to properly wash their hands with soap. This is a small change but a very important one to protect people from waterborne diseases that still kill many children.

November 14, 2022 in Afghanistan |


Safe water delivered!

JEN completed construction of 11 water wells and they were handed over to communities in Chaparhar District in Nangarhar Province. These wells will provide safe water to people who rapidly increased with return from other countries and due to displacement.


Children are over joy with splash of water. Adults look relieved getting a stable water source.


From now on, people will responsibly take care of the wells. They learned the structure of a well and how to maintain it and made plans of maintenance.


We are proud we’ve provided small but essential support for people’s lives.


[Children over joy with splash]

[Construction completion ceremony]


[Well maintenance practice]

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Supporting people in need

Afghanistan has long been in the middle of conflict while rehabilitating its governance, economy and social services since the collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001. 2.5 million people are in exile as refugees.


Many people are forced to be displaced including ones who have been in neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Iran since the time even before the Taliban regime. Many of them, more than 1 million people, have been returning to their “home” where they already lost their land and houses and the young generation doesn’t really know. They settle and restart their life anyway, but some of them have to be displaced again due to conflict. Their fragile hope is broken.


As small support for those who returned and displaced in rehabilitation of their livelihood, JEN provided 1,000 households of returnees with non-food items such as water tanks, plastic sheets and kitchen utensils, provided 300 households of returnees, internally displaced persons and their host community people with hygiene education and constructed water wells for nearly 800 households.


This support may be a drop in the ocean. But there are many more well-wishers rendering support. No one must feel left behind or this world is nothing but a hell. Even though circumstances around people may be like a strong stream to drift them away or want to drown them, we working in hand in hand could gently catch them with open arms as if we were altogether an unbroken net against the stream.


Hideaki Nakajima (Senior Program Officer)

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Interview with Zabihullah

Zabihullah was 12 years old when he left Afghanistan and settled in Peshawar in Pakistan as a refugee. Since  then, he has tried to go to Europe twice. He said, “I studied up to the 10th class, but due to our poor economic condition, I was not able to continue my education. That’s why I left school and started working as a daily wage laborer. When I found nothing interesting in my life, I borrowed money to leave Pakistan and go to Europe to have a good life in the future but failed.”


Zabihullah returned to his place of origin in Afghanistan in 2016. But due to lack of farming land, his family resettled in Treli Settlement to have access to work opportunity. He says, “Now I am selling fruits on a wheelbarrow. It is reasonable and I earn 250 to 500 Afghanis on the daily basis which is enough to feed my family of 7.” 


“After I returned to Afghanistan, we spent whatever we had on construction of a two-room shelter where I and my brother are living. Actually, the space was not enough, so we installed two tents as well.”

Our life is getting normal and I hope for the better. We thought that the Afghan government would assist us on our return, but in fact, we just received 9,000 Afghanis. I’m so happy to have a water well, lack of which was one of the main problems we faced.”


“Since we settled here, we had been buying drinking water at 20 Afghanis per 25 liters. Then fortunately, I found a friend, Jamil, to whom I was familiar in Pakistan and who has a well about 800m far away from my home. While I’m  returning from work, I take my children to bring water from Jamil’s house.”


“I’m so thankful to JEN who gives me an opportunity to enhance my knowledge on well maintenance and I promise I will regularly maintain the well, contribute to fundraising and fund management for maintenance, keep sanitation of the well and its environs, maintain water quality and promote hygiene.”


“My neighbors have the same problem of lack of water. It’s really amazing while the well digging is not complete, children from surrounding houses come and ask, ‘when will the well complete? When can we get water? Should we pay for fetching water from this well?’ - It is all due to their happiness and they cannot hide it.”


[Zabihullah while talking about how they bring and store drinking water at home]

[Zabihullah while teaching his children and nephews under his tent. He says that he is optimistic about his children’s future]










November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Returnee’s situation after returning home

Name: Eyleas Khail
Age: 30 years old


Since 1988, we had lived in Pakistan as refugees. Life was going well there, but we came back to Chaparhar district, Nangarhar Province.


We cannot go back to our own house due to lack of money. We are right now in Chena village living in a rental house. My sons are not going to school because we need to work and pay for the rent of the house. My daughter is not going to school, either because the existing school is so far from my home.


Every morning, I and my sons went to town to find any work but unfortunately, we could not find any jobs. After for a few days, I contacted my neighbor to find any work. He said I should prepare one wheelbarrow for selling vegetables in town. At last, we found one but did not have enough money for purchasing it and again I went to the neighbors to lend me some cash for a new wheelbarrow. I bought a new one and am getting income from that. But I cannot do the business alone because I have a kidney disease needing some rest at home.


Right now, we expect a better life as we are going to have safe water from the well  constructed by JEN. We really appreciate this NGO. But we still need school buildings and shelters. We hope for more support for returnees from this NGO.


[Eyleas Khail’s family is using this makeshift latrine at their home]

[Eyleas Khail and his family live in this room]

[Eyleas Khail with all of his children]


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

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Capacity building of school management committee

School management committees (SMCs) are an integral part of  a school for continuation and strengthening its activities. In each year, JEN trains SMCs to build their capacity. Members of the committees are reminded of the responsibilities of SMCs. JEN also conducts meetings with SMCs from time to time. These meetings are conducted in the presence of Directorate of Education (DoE) and Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) representatives.


[SMC meeting in Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School.]

[ SMC meeting in Togh Berdi Girls High School ]

One of the main responsibilities of SMCs is to make sure that hygiene education and disaster risk reduction (DRR) education, which JEN supported the schools in conduction, are continued. SMC members are trained for this purpose.


[JENstaff member the meeting with SMC members of Togh Berdi Girls High School.]

The second most important role of SMCs is facility maintenance. During SMC training, it is mentioned and discussed, and the SMCs are required to take the responsibility of maintenance of their facilities because they are the real owner of the schools. Short trainings are conducted to build capacity of SMCs about the use of facilities and how to take care of them. They are also instructed on fund raising, connecting themselves with communities, finding needs and making plans for repair and maintenance of school buildings and facilities.


[Training on facility maintenance of SMC members of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School]

Regarding DRR, SMCs are asked to make comprehensive DRR plans. This time, they were asked to also include community people in their plans. In this way, comprehensive community DRR is expected with schools as focal points.


[SMC members of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Boy’s High School discussing their DRRE plans]

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

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Rehabilitation of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School

Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School is located in Charikar city as capital of Parwan Province and there was no building for the school. The students study in Mir Abdul Karim Boys High School’s building instead. They were facing many problems: the school didn’t have any chamber latrines or washrooms and each month, female teachers and students were absent for 4-6 days during their periods. There wasn’t any storage for drinking water and the surrounding wall was not high enough to fend off disturbance from outside.


In 2016, we conducted a survey about the construction of six classrooms, six-chamber latrines and a washroom, a water reservoir for drinking water and a surrounding wall. On the day of our survey, the administration of the school, teachers and students were very happy and helped us. We started construction of the above facilities on 1 July 2017 after engineering design stages. During the work, the principal and female teachers visited the work site for evaluation and appreciated our work, especially the construction of six-chamber latrines and washroom. In addition, the engineering teams of Parwan Directorate of Education, Directorate of Economy and other government offices highly evaluated the construction work.


The constructed latrines and boundary wall are expected to facilitate and motivate female teachers’ and students’ keeping going to school without disturbance or anxiety during their periods and outside them. The water reservoir will provide them with access to safe drinking water. This comprehensive rehabilitation of the school facilities also anticipates increase in students’ enrollment and attendance.

Parimah, the principal of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School, says, “Due to periods, female teachers including me and students used to be absent from school for 4-6 days and came back when they became alright. So there was so much absenteeism.Now all of us will perform our daily work without any problems. Representing all female teachers and students, I appreciate JEN for their support.”


[Parimah, the principal of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Girls High School ]

[Constructed six-classroom building]

[Constructed water reservoir]

[Constructed six-chamber latrines with washroom]

[Constructed brick masonry boundary wall]

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

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Eid ul-adha celebration in Afghanistan

The celebration of Eid ul-adha is one of the holiest celebrations in the Islamic religion. Meaning “feast of the sacrifice”, Eid ul-adha lasts for four days and dates of the holy celebration are determined each year by the Islamic lunar calendar.


Eid ul-adha is celebrated worldwide among Muslim communities. Eid ul- fiter and Eid ul-adha are the greatest celebrations in the Islamic religion that command such widespread worship and celebration. The Muslims celebrate Eid ul-adha for honors and willingness of prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son to show submission to Allah’s command.


Just when Ibrahim was about to kill his son upon Allah’s command, God put a sheep in his place. Muslims use Eid ul-adha to celebrate Ibrahim’s complete obedience to the will of God and this is a reminder of their own willingness to sacrifice anything to follow God.


The holy festival also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.


People send Eid cards to each other at this time. Muslim people also dress in their best clothes and attend a prayer service at their mosque. Some Muslims sacrifice a cow, goat or sheep in honor of Eid ul-adha. They eat meat as their basic meal and divide the meat of their sacrifices between families, friends, and the poor people. Muslims also give money for charity on this occasion.


[People sacrificing a sheep for Eid ul-adha]

[Families celebrating Eid ul-adha together]

[Eid ul-adha table with dried fruits and various candies]

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

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Role of HMC, HEMMT, DRRMC and DRREMMT for HE and DRRE programs in schools

Before 2017, the SMCs (school management committees) were the only committees helped to be formed in schools by JEN. These committees were established with 10 members including teachers, students and community elders. All members of SMCs were briefed about their responsibilities and the aim of establishing SMCs in the meetings which were conducted from time to time. In brief, SMCs had responsibility to create a comprehensive relationship between schools and the communities and assist schools to overcome their financial and social problems. Establishing SMCs solved many of schools’ problems and created great changes in the communities but over the time, the need of subcommittees with specified duties and responsibilities was more felt. The schools also needed committees to take care of facilities and environment in terms of hygiene and sanitation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) and to monitor the relevant educational programs.


In our current project, besides SMCs, two other subcommittees and teams were also formed in schools to direct, control, monitor and evaluate hygiene education (HE) and disaster risk reduction education (DRRE) programs. In addition to these responsibilities, committees and teams are also tasked to monitor school environment.


The monitoring team and the management committee have membership of teachers, students, Directorate of Education (DoE) and Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) representatives, school’s cleaning staff and security guards of the school. These members are always present in schools and with a closer relationship, they are able to conduct a fulltime monitoring of all HE and DRRE activities. Moreover, membership of DoE and ANDMA representatives gives them authority to conduct a wider direction on HE and DRRE components in schools as well as ability to make plans for continuation of HE and DRRE and for making the school environment hygienic, safe and risk free.


[HMC of Togh Berdi Boys High School during monitoring school environment]

Although HE and DRRE management monitoring teams and committees in the schools were established for the first time, the result was remarkable. The members of both HE and DRRE management monitoring teams and management committees were very active. They also ask for ideas of teachers and students for betterment of programs. At the end of each monitoring, JEN team and the management monitoring team of each school shared their remarks about students’ hygiene and DRR knowledge improvement and discussed if more practice was needed.


By establishing these teams and committees, significant changes were visible in knowledge and behaviors of the students on hygiene and DRR also through improvement in teachers’ teaching attitudes and methods.


[DRREMMT members of Mir Abdul Karim Maqol Boys High School are fixing fire extinguishers in the school which were distributed by JEN]

[HMC of Togh Berdi Boys High School beautifying school environment by bringing flowers pots]

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



November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

The strong bond between local people and Afghan refugees in Pakistan

Chakdara (my village) is the gateway to District Lower Dir. It lies on the north of Malakand on the north bank of the Swat River. District Lower Dir, especially Chakdara, is home to thousands of Afghan refugees when they fled war during the late 1970s. Most of the Afghan refugees were born here but are still citizen of Afghanistan. They are under the protection of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). A Refugee camp has been in Chakdara since Afghans were displaced from their home land. I have lots of Afghan refugee friends from my school days. We studied and grew up together. We have participated in each other’s ceremonies for the last 40 years. The culture of our Afghan friends is almost the same as ours. Majority of the Afghan refugees are Pashtu speakers which is also the native language in my hometown. The language, clothing, food, art, music and ceremonies are same. We also have the common religion and beliefs. Even the physical appearances are the same so no one can differentiate between the afghan refugees and the local people. Lots of local males are married to Afghan women and vice versa. In short, Afghan refugees and Pashtuns in Pakistan have a strong bond and connection due to their common roots and culture.


[Local people buying vegetables from shops owned by Afghan refugees]

As Afghan refugees don’t have many job opportunities here, most of them prefer to do their own business. They are doing every kind of business like shop keeping, hairdressers,  property dealers, and gem dealers. But the majority of the refugees are doing the business of selling vegetables, fruits and cloths. The shops of fruits and vegetables are almost completely owned by Afghan refugees. Besides that, a large number of Afghan refugees have invested hugely in the business of clothes. Apart from that large number of Afghan refugees are daily labourers.


[ Fruit business is one of the preferred businesses amongst Afghan refugees]

The Afghan refugees in the area mix up with local people and both have been living together in peace for the last 40 years. Currently, a large number of Afghan refugees are returning to their homeland. Hopefully, they bring back the pleasant memories of their long stay in Pakistan.
Some more photos are given below:


[A view of an Afghan refugee in his shop]

[A view of vegetable shops owned by Afghan refugees]

Hanief Khan
Senior Programme Assistant


Pakistan is not a party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees/1967 Protocol and has also not enacted any national legislation for the protection of refugees nor established procedures to determine the refugee status of persons who are seeking international protection within its territory (http://unhcrpk.org/about/asylum-system-in-pakistan/). Therefore, refugees’ life depicted in this article may differ from that in other countries.


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

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

Measuring the impact of DRR programme through KAP survey, A case study of 2017.

For the first time JEN implemented community based Disaster Risk Reduction training in district Charikar. Women were the main targeted group for this training program.  The aim of this program is to empower communities to prepare and stand against potential hazards effectively before they turn into disasters. For this purpose, the most vulnerable parts of the city were targeted and the trainees were registered from those areas. Apart from students 600 community members were targeted in the DRR training.


As women in the area were very familiar to the disasters such as flood, earthquake etc. Good point is that in this training program, women participated very actively. They were very interested to learn how to reduce the risk of the disasters.
JEN team conducted some interviews with the community people after the training to record their views. Bibi Shirin is a 63 years old woman. As per JEN team “when I asked her about natural disasters, she answered: the disasters are from side of God and we can’t do anything to stop them. What we can do is that we should escape its not a good way to stand and see God punishment.


After the training she was very thankful to JEN and said: “I learned that I was wrong. What I learned here in this training I am going to transfer them to my family. The important lessons were what to do before, during and after an earthquake, risk assessment, firefighting and First Aid to help other if they get injured.”


[Bibi Shirin giving interview to JEN staff.]

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

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

The Distribution of Dream Bags

Harid is a 3rd grade student of elementary school, very eager and calm according to his teacher. He lives away from his father, who is a taxi driver in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. A week ago, he learned about Dream Bags project from his school teacher.



Once getting his dream bag in his hand, he was so excited to find stationaries and more in it. He made a promise to himself to go to school every day.


【Harid excitingly opening his dream bag】

There many families in Afghanistan who cannot afford to buy their children the stationaries. Our Dream Bags project is to offer such children the joy of learning and the dream for the future.

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

To Enlighten the Housewives on the Disaster Prevention & Mitigation

Afghanistan often suffers from many natural disasters, so it’s crucial to educate the residents on how to prepare and respond to them. The most efficient solution is for the whole community to tackle on this issue.


Unfortunately, it’s women who suffer the most at the natural disasters. Many of them haven’t been properly educated, not capable to teach their children and family how to prepare and handle the disaster. However, it’s also women who conventionally take care of family, so it means a lot to enlighten them on the disaster prevention and mitigation.

That is how JEN held the first workshop for female residents. The participants were very eager to learn on the appropriate preparation and response to the earthquake, flood, and wild fire.


Mina, one of the participants, told us;


“Most of us climb up to the roof on the earthquake, believing it the safest place. But I learned in this workshop that is wrong, and I will teach other women in turn.


【Mina and our staff】

In this 3-day workshop, there were also the video sessions and group works. Another participant told us when her child got injured.


“The clinic was located very far, the pharmacy was closed, and I had no idea how to stop bleeding. Asking the neighbors for help, they told me to rub the ashes onto the wound. I did so but then the wound got worse. This workshop was a good opportunity for me to learn the right treatment.”


【Practicing the appropriate treatment】

“I’m so pleased that women, the victims of disasters, now finally can take a key part in the prevention and mitigation of them.” said the other participant. It’s highly expected that more women will play a significant role in their family and community.


【Female participants】


Zuflar Afshar,
A field officer of JEN office in Afghanistan

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |

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】

November 2, 2022 in Afghanistan |