03/16/2017

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


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March 16, 2017 in Afghanistan |

02/23/2017

House-to-House Survey on Hygiene Education Project

Each year, JEN conducts a house-to-house survey to confirm the efficacy of hygiene education.

In January, JEN’s staff visited the houses of students who had received hygiene education last year to check whether the students reported what they had been taught in the project to their families.

JEN’s staff interviewed 75 households in areas around 30 schools in Charikar, COUNTRY. Some questions asked to the students and their families were: “Did you explain to your family what you had been taught in hygiene education?”, “How much did you understand what your child/children learned in hygiene education and did you implement its practice?”,

These interviews covered water purification, food sanitation, making oral rehydration salts, washing hands, and toilet use. “Who taught you about hygiene?” was also on the questionnaire.

JEN’s staff asked students’ families to show how they wash hands with soap, and took photos of bathrooms and the condition of purified water of each hose they visited.

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[House-to-house survey conducted in the community of Totomdara Ulia Girls’ School. A child and his mother are washing hands with soap, the way they were taught.]

After all the questions, the subjects were asked what they thought about JEN’s hygiene education project.

In a survey in Aljehad Totomdara Ulia Boy School area, Pista Gul, aged 70, said;
“I think the children’s hygiene education project is a very good way to spread knowledge on health. People in this village including myself weren’t taught about hygiene at school, so we have a lack of knowledge about the matter.
However, my grandchildren received education about hygiene and taught family members what they learned from the project.”

Gul referred to an irrigation ditch near her house, the only source of water,
“We used to have diarrhea often before the hygiene education. We had no idea why.
However, after we learned that it is caused by the water from the irrigation ditch, we disinfect the water with chlorine before we drink it. I thank JEN for the hygiene education.
I wish I had been taught about hygiene earlier. ”

JEN is going to analyze the house-to-house survey and expect the results to be positive.

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[Pista Gul being interviewed by a JEN staff member as part of the household survey.]


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February 23, 2017 in Afghanistan |

12/22/2016

The Next Big Challenge: The Refugees’ Return

During the past three decades many Afghans have migrated to Pakistan, Iran, and other countries as refugees in order to flee from the conflict in their home. This conflict and diaspora has deprived them of a normal life.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan, and this has become a major humanitarian crisis. These people have a variety of problems, including that they have returned to a place where violence is an everyday occurrence and where they have to cope with severe winters.

Since the beginning of 2016, millions of people have returned to their countries of origin. Many of them had lived in foreign countries for decades. For this reason, they need assistance from the government and humanitarian organizations immediately after their return.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 239,724 unregistered refugees have returned to their home as of December 3, 2016. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and IOM a large majority (80%) of the returnees have indicated a preference to return to Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.

The cultural similarities between Nangarhar and adjacent areas of Pakistan inspire this preference, as well as the refugees’ limited ties to their areas of origin after their prolonged absence.

Unfortunately however, less than 12% of unregistered returnees have reported that they have received some form of assistance, with the majority having received money and/or food.

In order to understand their current conditions, the JEN Afghanistan Team has met with some returnee households with the other international humanitarian organization, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), and the Department of Refugees and Repatriations of Parwan (DoRR Parwan).

It is apparent that there is not sufficient infrastructural support for the large number of returnees, and the arrival of the severe winter cold is the main concern.
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[JEN staff collecting basic information from returnees]

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[Severe winter is making the conditions worse for returnees]

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[There are not enough infrastructures for returnees]

December 22, 2016 in Afghanistan |

12/08/2016

Establishment of School Management Committee (SMC)

The main work of SMC is finding solutions and meeting demands in school. The committee mostly consists of parents, teachers, school principal, and village elders. Its members accept some roles in maintenance and management of school, thereby making the connection between the school and people involved with it.

JEN sets up SMCs for 30 supporting schools. Their members are from the Department of Education and the National Emergency Operation Center as well. JEN conducted disaster prevention and mitigation measures, along with hygiene education for the SMCs. Moreover, it held seminars on account and equipment management.

The SMC mainly manages the budget and arrangements with people involved for the maintenance and management of the school. In addition, the SMC manages teacher training for disaster prevention and mitigation measures, as well as hygiene education. The SMC also makes connection with investors, the government and the NGOs.

Main Shakh female school has a water tank and a well, but the handle of the well’s pump has been broken for many years, so it couldn’t be used for clean water. Therefore, JEN held seminars on account and equipment management, and instructed how to deal with this sort of problems and find solutions. Ultimately, the SMC succeeded in collecting donations from teachers and students, and repaired the well. Thus, the school finally regained access to clean water.

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【Taken during the seminar on account management and hygiene education for the SMC in male high school】
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【Taken during the seminar on account management and hygiene education for the SMC in female high school】

Bayan male school, which was constructed by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), hadn’t paved the sidewalk inside the school, thereby making it difficult for students to use it. However, the establishment of SMC helped the school to collect donations for sidewalk pavement and some of the local community also helped by providing labor.

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【Sidewalk paved by the SMC】

It shows that all the students, along with the local community and the connected people are responsible for the maintenance and management of the school, security, and tree-planting in its ground.
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【Flower bed planted by the SMC】

The establishment of the SMC and the seminars conducted brought great benefits to JEN and the Department of Education.

JEN Charikar office
Field Officer  Sultan Mohammad Khamoush

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December 8, 2016 in Afghanistan |

11/24/2016

Preciousness of each drop of water

It is as easy to drink unpolluted water as it is to breathe clean air. People of rich countries would think so. However, in a country like Afghanistan it is not easy as it seems.

In developing countries it is said that about 80% of diseases are caused by drinking unsanitary water. City dwellers in developing countries have difficulty in obtaining drinking water that is sanitary and suitable. In rural parts of these countries the situation is much more severe.
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[Animals drinking polluted water in a pond]

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[Spring water from a mountain]

Women and girls living in rural Afghanistan walk many kilometers to get water. Also in some places people and animals use the same pond for drinking water. If you are interested in the water crisis throughout the world and its impact, you can notice that 1 out of 10 children are dying by diseases caused by drinking unsuitable water.
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[Children carrying water from a water source]

Drinking water is crucial for living. However, even in this age where investigations are conducted as to whether there exists water on other planets we still have to say that clean water is a dream for many people on Earth. It is pity, but this is the reality.

Water is essential to brush teeth, shave a beard, wash hands, clothes and dishes, have shower, flush a toilet and wash a car. If you look at your daily life, you may feel that you are wasting too much water.
Think about the people of the world again before you open a faucet. Can you imagine mid-summer with no water? It is not easy to imagine the reality of an area having difficulty in accessing water. What we can do is to stop wasting our water resources otherwise we will also lapse into water shortage.
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[Water supply facility built by JEN]

Samah Batt
Accounting Assistant

November 24, 2016 in Afghanistan |

11/10/2016

Global Handwashing Day

On 15th October, Global Handwashing Day was held across the world. People in both Afghanistan and Iraq, where are supporting countries of JEN, also celebrate the day.
I met with a female student at a Global Handwashing Day event in Qalacha Girls High School. Her name is Sajida and she was in third grade.

She said, “I was not aware of the importance of handwashing before our teachers had a training for hygiene education from JEN. After that training, our teachers learned and taught us all about health and hygiene”.

She also said, “I learned from my teachers how to keep my hands clean. I also learned about the importance of nail cutting. I learned that if a person cuts her/his nail, she/he should always be healthy”.
Sajida also talked about tooth brushing.

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[Sajida talks about the importance of nail cutting and handwashing]
She said, “When I learned from my teachers about hygiene, I started taking care more of my health so I am healthy now. If a student takes care of her/his health and washes her/his hands properly, she/he will never get sick. As a result, she/he can attend school every day.


Before, I did not know that handwashing has a global day that is celebrated throughout the world. However, in this year before this day arrived, our teacher said that on October 15th, we would celebrate Global Handwashing Day."

Sajida further added that when she heard about it, she was very happy.

Today, she understands that celebrating this day is also very important. If all people generally celebrate this day every year and educated people talk about the importance of handwashing, all people could be informed that handwashing is very essential for everyone, especially for those who prepare food for others.

She also said that if the elders of a family wash their hands by soap and take it importantly, their children could also adopt the habit of handwashing using soap.

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[Sajida talks about health and hygiene during the celebration of Global Handwashing Day]
By, Engineer: Najibullah Khalilzai


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November 10, 2016 in Afghanistan |

10/27/2016

IDPs escaped from Kundoz Province to Parwan Province

In early October 2016, the Taliban opposition group attacked the Kunduz Province and the war began in the residential areas. The group used houses as shelters to fight against the Afghan military forces. Many of the locals became displaced and flee to the nearest provinces such as Takhar, Baghlan, Balkh, Parwan and Kabul. I kept my attention on a family with three disabled sons. They cannot speak nor walk. They needed help with their two sisters and their mother every single day. The father is a day laborer now and the family could only afford to eat twice a day.


While they became Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Parwan, the family has no relatives neither social provision. At the beginning of their life there, they could not afford food. They have a life but it is far from being sufficient. Moreover, the lack of money makes it difficult for the family to go back to Kunduz. The anxiety towards losing all their assets in Kunduz through theft remains due to this turmoil.
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[The father, talking about his family]
Written by: Shir Ali, Chief Engineer

October 27, 2016 in Afghanistan |

10/06/2016

Disaster Risk Reduction Emergency Drills in Schools

Earthquake is a very common natural disaster in Japan as well as in Afghanistan. Historical records report destructive earthquakes in Afghanistan during the last centuries and modern seismograph networks show that earthquake activities are widespread throughout the eastern and the northern parts of the country more than others.

However, due to the lack of knowledge, the buildings are poorly designed and are not able to stand against strong quakes so they can be easily affected by strong jolts.
In addition, what makes people even more vulnerable is the lack of information in case of emergency. It is needless to say that people in Afghanistan need to know in advance what specific preparation is needed before, during and after hazards.

After a strong earthquake which struck Afghanistan and Pakistan on 26, Oct, 2015; JEN decided to include a new component of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in its Japan Platform’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene  project 2016. The DRR component aims to strengthen children’s skills so that they understand the risk of disaster and are able to take the lead in reducing the risk and impact of potential disasters. It is worth mentioning that JEN is the first to conduct the DRR activities in Parwan province.

Firstly, JEN conducted the DRR refreshment training for Master Trainers from Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) followed by the DRR trainings for 453 teachers of 20 schools in Charikar by the ANDMA trainers. The trained teachers are obligated to teach and pass the DRR lessons to some 20,000 students at targeted 20 schools. The students will then transfer the DRR messages to their families and the community.

After months of the DRR learning  in the schools, JEN team conducted the DRR emergency drills in the 20 schools of Charikar district, in which teachers and students brought all techniques into practice. The students assumed that they were in a real earthquake and not only tried to find a proper awning for preventing injuries or evacuated from the building in a proper way, but they also learned and practiced what to do after an earthquake that is assisting injured (if any) by using the first aid kit which was already distributed by JEN to targeted schools.

Sultan Mohammad, the Principal of Bayan Ulia Girls High School, appreciated JEN’s efforts in this regards. He commented
“at the last time when the earthquake struck Parwan and all Afghanistan, on the first jolt the students started screaming, rushing and pushing each other to the exit. It was caused by two students’ minor injuries and one student’s trauma.”
He also said that now the students can deal with planning evacuation maps, choosing safe escape ways and paying attention after shock hazards.
Finally, he carried on his words confidently
“we are ready for it now.”

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[Sultan Mohammad, the Principal of Bayan Ulia Girls High School]
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[The DRR emergency drill in Qalacha Girls High School]
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[The emergency drill in Qalai Naw Deh Mula Yusuf School]
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[School staff helping an injured student during the drill in Naw Abad Topdara Primary School]

October 6, 2016 in Afghanistan |

09/29/2016

Educating the future generation: A small but use full donation by Chikuma to the needy students of Afghanistan

JEN is committed to provide support and assistance to the needy people of Afghanistan. For this purpose, JEN is not only conducting big projects but it also manages small donation from every possible donor.
This year, JEN once again assisted the students at “Charikar Orphanage School”. JEN provided stationary to the students at the above mentioned school through the help of Chikuma. The orphanage school has 160 students (boys) who are from Kabul, Kapisa, Panjshir, Takhar, Baghlan and Badakhshan provinces and 10 districts of Parwan province. JEN provided 160 notebooks and 1,600 pencils to the students. All of the students stay in the orphanage’s hostel and since the beginning of the orphanage, 1,320 students have graduated. JEN distributed the stationery to orphan students in a small ceremony on 25 April. The ceremony was attended by DoLSA (Directorate of Labor and Social Affairs) of Parwan and DoEC (The directorate of Economic) representatives. The distributed items were greatly appreciated by orphanage students, its staff, the DoLSA and the DoEC.

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【A view of colorful pencils which were distributed to the students】
This is not the first time that JEN assisted the students at this school. In 2013, JEN also distributed stationery to its students through Chikuma project. Apart from that JEN repaired existing classrooms, kitchen and latrines of the orphanage school in the past, JEN distributed cloths of UNICLO to 160 students in 2015. The basic aim of providing these items was to help those students who cannot buy these items.
The institution still needs a lot of support and assistance. The conditions of the building/hostel and kitchen are not good and need repairing. They do not have access to safe drinking water and presently they are using water from a canal which is filthy. The personal hygiene of the  students is not good and unfortunately, besides the students and the orphanage staff are not following proper hygiene education methods which cause various diseases among them. Whenever there is any possibility, JEN will extend support to the needy and deserving the students of this school.
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【Happy looking the students after receiving pencils and notebooks】
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【The smiling faces show that these things (stationary) really matter to them】
By,
Muhammad Hanief Khan, 
Senior Programme Assistant, 
JEN, Islamabad.  

September 29, 2016 in Afghanistan |

09/01/2016

Dream Bag distribution in Charikar

Dream Bag project (since 1994) is implemented by Rissho Kosei-Kai organization (RKK) in some of the poor countries around the world every year. Participants in a movement named Donate-a-Meal (related to this organization) skip a meal several times a month and contribute the relevant mount of monetary donation to RKK.
The collected fund through the movement is spent for peace projects such as Dream Bags. The aim of distribution of Dream Bags is gladdening and encouragement of the children who are suffering from poverty caused by conflict.

These Dream Bags contain not only material objects but messages for encouragement of the children and prayers for world peace. They are distributed to children with cooperation of local partner organizations.

JEN is one of the organizations who cooperate in the Dream Bags distribution with RKK. This year, totally 5,096 students of grade 1 to grade 3 at 8 schools in Parwan province are selected to receive Dream Bags.

Children are excited when opening the bags and seeing toys and other items in the bags. They laugh and show their toys to each other with noises, “Hey I have this doll. Oh, I have color pencils”, etc.

Madina, a student of grade two at Mir Ali Ahmad Shaheed Girl's High School, was very excited and said, ”I’ve always been dreaming about having a teddy bear so I asked my father to buy one for me. He said that he would buy one on the eve of next Eid-ul-Azha. Now I am very happy because I don’t need to wait that late and have my teddy bear now. In addition, my father won’t spend his money on it because I know he isn’t a rich man.” “I would like to say thanks to RKK and JEN for these gifts and making my dream a reality.”

[Madina, student at Mir Ali Ahmad Shaheed Girl's High School, received a Dream Bag on 15, Aug, 2016]
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At Hofyan Sharif Boys Middle School, I saw a student named Haris, who was playing with a trumpet /whistle toy. He said, “I’m very very happy because besides my family, someone is there who loves me and sent these toys for me. I was always dreaming of having these kinds of toys but unfortunately, they are not here in Charikar city.”
Haris also said, “I wish I would also buy and send these kinds of toys and stationery to other children around the globe who are in needs.”

[Haris blowing a trumpet from the Dream Bagfor him]
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[Students at Hofyan Sharif Boys Middle School received Dream Bags on 17, Aug, 2016]
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By:
Zuhra “Afshar”
Field Officer
JEN-Afghanistan

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September 1, 2016 in Afghanistan |

08/12/2016

Charikar

Charikar is the capital of Parwan province in the center region of Afghanistan and the main city of Kohdaman valley. The city lies on the road 69 kilometers from Kabul to Northern provinces and is at the gateway to Panjshir valley. People would need to pass this city when they want to travel to Northern provinces like Baghlan, Kunduz, Samangan, Takhar, Balkh, Badakhshan, Bamiyan and Daykundi.

[View of the main square of Charikar city ]
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Most of its residents are Tajiks and the spoken language in Charikar is Dari. Charikar is known for its arts, poetry, fruits and vegetable products such as grapes, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. Charikar city is mainly known for its beautiful nature which has brought many beautiful promenades like Gul Ghundi (a beautiful mound full of purple flowers) where people come from other provinces for a picnic. Every year, the government officially celebrates the ceremony in Gul Ghundi.

[View of Gul Ghundi]
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Ancient history says that Charikar was found by King Jamshid (known as King Yama) and later established by King Kanishka or Kushanians. After establishment of a new
textile factory in Jabal-u-Saraj in 1930s, the modern history of the city began.

[View of a carpet store in Charikar city]
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But after that, Charikar turned into a battlefield during Soviet war and then Mujahiden war which lasted for many years and caused uncountable damages to the culture, knowledge and economy of the people. Since Charikar is a strategic city and the main gate to enter Northern provinces, the city was a border line between Taliban and North alliance during Talibans’ government which ruined the city and unfortunately,  for the last 15 years, the new government has not taken any development steps in Charikar.

Charikar is a small city with big population. Its single road has huge traffic (as it’s the main gate for Northern provinces). A person can find everything in this small city which were imported mainly from Kabul. Most of the population is farmers, some of them are government employees and others are skilled and unskilled labors. Many people’s economic condition  is under the poverty line.

Charikar is counted as one of the water scarce cities in Afghanistan, in which more than 80% of the people does not have access to safe drinking water. So a watering channel was designed and constructed in 1977. This channel comes from Panjshir river and flows towards south and finally enters Charikar. This water is not safe to drink but most of Charikar residents use it as drinking water.

Every day, many people and especially children are infected with different diseases caused by low levels of hygiene and drinking unsafe water. According to a research from 2015, most of these diseases are caused by drinking unhygienic water which comes from low level of economy. Another reason for inadequate healthcare is
unawareness of people on hygiene education and big population but a few health facilities.
In these circumstances, construction of new schools and clinics, upgrading  existing schools and clinics, conducting trainings and increasing awareness of the people can help the new generation enjoy a healthy life.

JEN has been working in Parwan province since 2002 and began implementation of WASH program in Charikar district from 2005. Another WASH project is planned for 2017 which aims to improve school environment and sanitation and hygiene through school teachers to their students and through them to their families and communities.

Zuhra Afshar
Field Officer

[Main Street of Charikar’s market]
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[Cheese shop and on the back side view of a dry fruit shop]
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August 12, 2016 in Afghanistan |

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 |

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.
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July 14, 2016 in Afghanistan |

06/30/2016

JEN’s Hygiene Education Program

Most of the children in the community were always getting sick, they always affected from diarrhea, cold and many other diseases. The reason is community use of open defecation, not washing hand with soap regularly, open water sources often contaminated by animals or by students and villagers themselves and a lack of understanding about basic hygiene practices and health.

The importance of hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many diseases. When the kids come into contact with germs, they can unknowingly become infected simply by touching their eyes, nose or mouth and once they are infected, it's time the whole family comes down with the same illnesses.
JEN has provided three days Hygiene training for teachers through teachers to their students and families to increase the knowledge of students and communities regarding the importance of hygiene in life like hygiene of water, Personal hygiene, Environmental hygiene and Food hygiene.

[A view of the teachers during JEN Hygiene Education]
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[Teachers while practically washing hands with soap during Hygiene Education]
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In these three days training teachers learned enough about hygiene education. One of the teachers expressed his happiness and said that the program was very interesting and useful. I appreciate JEN for organizing such training. He said that we did not take care of our personal hygiene before; we took it easy although it was so important.

A female teacher added that we learned about hygienic and unhygienic food. The unhygienic food can put our life at risk. Food hygiene is essential to ensure that the food our family eats is safe because we cannot see germs. Correct food storage and preparation is necessary to keep food safe and to help our family against germs. So we need to make sure our kitchen and the foods are safe and everything is protected from germs. It is important to wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water before cooking foods.

She said that besides practicing these messages in our daily lives our commitment with JEN is to transfer these HE messages to our students, inspire them to practice these messages and in the end emphasize them to transfer these messages to their families and community which is the main purpose of JEN’s Hygiene Education training to teachers.

[A view of female teacher while interviewing]
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During student’s hygiene education PRE-KAP survey a teacher said observing of personal hygiene play positive role in our student life, if our students take care of personal hygiene, wash hand with soap properly, know the time of teeth brushing, so it could rescue them from the diseases.

It is mentionable that JEN’s Hygiene Education training for teachers covered 748 teachers of 30 schools in Charikar who are going to teach the Hygiene Education messages to their students during next 6 months.
During this 6 month teaching process JEN will have a 3 time monthly monitoring of students Hygiene Education activities. A student’s POST-KAP survey and Door to Door survey of students household will be conducted in the end of the Hygiene Education program to show Hygiene Education program impact on students, on their families and community.

[A student during PRE-KAP survey with JEN Field staff]
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June 30, 2016 in Afghanistan |

06/16/2016

Spreading the hygiene education and Disaster Risk Reduction messages to the community through School Management Committee

JEN is committed to bring positive changes in the hygiene habits, attitude and behavior of the people in its targeted area. For this purpose JEN mainly focuses on students but beside that JEN also aims to spread the messages to the masses and change the attitude and behavior of local people. This year’s JEN included Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) along with hygiene education (HE) program to aware the students and local community about the methods and techniques survive through the disasters.

For more and widespread impact, JEN plan to train the School Management Committee (SMC) members on hygiene education and DRR. After getting trained these SMC members will not only implement the knowledge to their daily lives but they will also spread the messages to their respective families and communities.. SMC is the best tool for spreading the messages in the entire communities in an easy, efficient and effective way.

As mentioned above JEN planned to train SMC members on hygiene education as well as Disaster Risk Reduction. For this purpose JEN organized training on hygiene education for SMCs. The training will be conducted to SMCs of 30 schools in district Charikar. Hygiene education training was started on May 17th 2016. The trainings will be completed on June 14th 2016.

Apart from that JEN organized Disaster Risk Reduction training for SMCs of 20 schools in district Charikar. The training sessions were started on May 16th 2016 and completed on June 9th 2016. SMCs will be responsible for reinforcement of DRR education at school and community levels. JEN staff will follow up the role and progress of SMCs. A follow up training for SMCs will also be conducted. At the end of the project JEN will give plan of action to the SMCs to continue their role after JEN evacuation. In addition JEN will link SMCs with Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) for future trainings and follow up by the government department. This mechanism will ensure sustainable integration of the DRR education into schools and community. 

Keeping in mind the experiences of previous years, JEN is sure that these SMC members will not only adopt this knowledge into their daily lives but they will definitely pass it to their families and community.

[JEN field team giving training on Hygiene education to the SMC members at Hofyan Sharif Boys Middle School on 19-May-2016]
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[A view of SMC members during DRR training sessions at Omer Farooq  Boys High School on 08 to 09-June-2016]
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June 16, 2016 in Afghanistan |

06/02/2016

Interview with Qadam Bai regarding Heating material distribution

Name: Qadam Bai
Age: 47
Village: Khumbak

Comment:
Last year during spring the flood came and collapsed my house completely which located in that valley. Then I construct the new house here in main village and shifted to the new house but unfortunately the previous earthquake struck it very hard and destroys 2 rooms of my house.

Both of these disasters were tragedy for me but the difference is that last year no one help me but this year you (JEN) and other NGOs assist me for FI, NFI and heating materials.

I am so thankful to JEN in this regards that help me and other villager for heating materials to have a safe and warm winter and would like to suggest JEN for providing shelter construction and Disaster Risk Reduction training.

[Qadam Bai house which hardly struck by earthquake]
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[Qadam Bai with his children while using JEN’s heating materials]
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June 2, 2016 in Afghanistan |

05/24/2016

Journey from the Beginning to the End of Life

Today, I would like to talk about enjoying life until the last breath. I think that it is good timing to brace yourself for sorrow or death when you are young and healthy. I decided to talk about this topic this time because I recently encountered the sudden death of a JEN Afghanistan Project Officer, Syed Enayat Ullah.

He served with JEN for 14 years from March 2002, when he started working as a field officer at the Charikar office, to his last moment on 18 March 2016.

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(Photo) Syed Enayat Ullah

Having been diagnosed as having renal failure, he headed to Karachi (the capital of Sindh province of Pakistan) to receive living renal transplantation.
 
The last time I saw him, he looked good. But actually, both of his kidneys were not functioning. Two weeks before his death, he was working as usual and cheerfully having a chat. This unexpected news shocked all staff.

Yet, death comes to everyone eventually. Every now and then I wonder whether mental preparedness to positively accept death may relieve some of the sorrow that we feel. I would like to be prepared like that to stay calm for myself and my loved ones even when something happens.

Samar Butt
Finance & Accounts Assistant
Islamabad Office


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May 24, 2016 in Afghanistan |

04/28/2016

Impact of School Health Committee (SHC) to prevent students from the use of unhygienic water

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I was impressed when to know this activity which staff done in schools. Children are innocent and they need protection from hard environment and poor health facilities. This is something lovely support to them. JEN and JEN staff is performing very well in such kind of activities. JEN is committed to provide healthy and hygienic environment in all targeted schools in Afghanistan. For ensuring the provision of safe water and awareness of safety to the students, JEN conducted water tests in all targeted schools, to know the quality of drinking water. Through these tests it was revealed that water in 25 schools is unhygienic and cannot be used for drinking purpose. JEN installed warning boards in all 25 schools. The purpose of the warning board installation is to prevent students from drinking contaminated water.

For further ensuring the safety of the students, School Health Committees (SHC) was established in these schools. SHC consist of 10 members. These members include 8-9 students and 1-2 teachers. These students were trained by JEN staff. Their training includes the following topics: Students’ health care, To aware the students about safe and unsafe water, Prevention from drinking of unsafe water, Discussion about warning board installation, Sharing the data with School Management committee (SMC), Reporting to DOE health officer on monthly basis (School Administration staff).

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SHC held group sessions & individual sessions as well with all students. Each morning, one member of SHC checked the personal hygiene of students. During the break time, they regularly monitor the students, whether they go for taking the contaminated water or not. If yes, then to facilitate them in detail not to use this water and explain why students cannot use. Besides, SHC work in collaboration with SMC. SMC is also working in the schools for the facilitation of students.

To measure the impact of the SHC, Pre and Post KAP survey was conducted in these 25 schools. In each school 10 students were interviewed. In total 10 questions were asked from each student.

•How many types of water are there?
•How many source of water do you know?
•Which source of water is healthy?
•Which source of water is unhealthy?
•Does water you drink smells bad?
•Does water you drink taste bad?
•Do you think water can carry diseases?
•What is hygiene of environment?
•What is important of handwashing?
•What is time of hands washing?

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Based on a certain criterion, three categories were established. On the basis of their answers, students were put in three categories i.e. high, middle and low. Students with very good knowledge and practices were put in the high category while students with moderate knowledge and practices were put in the middle category. Students with almost zero knowledge and practices were put in the low category. The Pre KAP (Knowledge, Attitude, practice) survey showed that there was no student in the “high” category, they know nothing about the asked questions answers. According to the Pre KAP data, 214 out of 250 students were placed in the “middle” category, while 36 out of 250 students were placed in the “low” category. After providing awareness to the students in detail about asked questions and unhygienic environment, post KAP survey showed 243 out of 250 students were placed in the “high” category as compared to 0 in the Pre KAP survey and there is no student in the “low” category currently.

The above data clearly shows that SHC is doing their responsibilities efficiently. They successfully spread the message to the students. SHC is sending their activity report to department of education on monthly basis. According to the post KAP survey result, the students are now aware of the side effect and disadvantage of using dirty water and no one is using the contaminated water now. Besides that there is a strong bond of connection between SMC and SHC in these schools and they are helping each other in carrying out the tasks.

Humaira Wahab
(Administrative and HR Assistant)

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April 28, 2016 in Afghanistan |

04/21/2016

DRR Refreshment Training for Master Trainers

JEN team organized two day training for master trainers regarding Disaster risk reduction (DRR). Proceedings of the training for disaster risk reduction were very interesting and greatly appreciated by the concerned department and participants. I have seen strong potential of publicizing the standard information that must be a program that could have a chance to grow further in the future.

The head of department appreciated JEN and said through your program we can take basics of safety from paper to practice.

There was a story reminded by the member of PDP (Provincial Disaster Prepares program) who said that:
it was one evening the sun was going down, darkness was coming slowly. I was walking toward river and seen a boy jumped from a wall to the ground and broke his leg. I immediately run to him and tried to help him, asked reason for the panic. He said, I was on the wall to fix some cracks. I felt that the wall is shacking. I thought earthquake is coming so I jumped. The person said I was not familiar with first aid and tried to take him to the hospital. So without any proper preparation, I just hold him on my shoulder and moved toward hospital. When I reached the hospital the doctors told me that I have made a huge mistake and carried the person without preparation and stabilizing his injured location, which resulted to bigger crack in his bone. He further added that instead of being happy that I helped someone, I was in a deep shame. From the day I promised myself to learn basic standards of providing support to others. So I have joined PDP. Although I have participated in many workshops and learned lots of things but I was not able to share my experiences with others.

Today I am happy that with support of JEN I will share my all experiences with others in my community.

[2 days DRR training session in Charikar office, JEN colleague share information regarding DRR]
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[A Master Trainer who is sharing his Ideas about DRR ]
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April 21, 2016 in Afghanistan |

03/24/2016

Mysteries of Success in 2015 Project

Province Name: Parwan

Districts Names: Charikar center and Shinwari districts

JEN-Afghanistan team successfully implemented JPF WASH 2015 project in district Charikar and Shinwari. It was not just implementation but it was a lesson learning process and a life time experience for all JEN’s staff. After regular coordination with DoE and Department of finance, JEN conducted a need assessment survey to know about community needs (WASH & Non WASH of schools). After project approval and informing DoE, we (Engineering team + Field Officers) went to have a site visit in targeted areas and had a long discussion with school administration and community leaders. In the meeting we briefed them regarding JEN vision, mission and goals/ objectives of the program (WASH+ Non WASH of Schools). We also gave them orientation of the program, community contribution, introducing construction companies and information sharing.
At the end of the session JEN, Community, School administration and DoE responsible person established a committee (Establishment of SMC) and signed a tripartite agreement.

During implementation of the project we carried out daily monitoring, weekly meetings with contractors, (discussion of progress of work, quality and quantity of construction according to specification of MoE), Risk management, weekly reports, Progress of work, supervision and evaluation.

As our operation areas were critical and complicated, we established strong coordination with community, stake holders and DoE due to which JEN was able to implement these projects.

Due to the transparency in JEN program, direct and indirect beneficiaries in the community appreciate JEN’s efforts and especially high quality of construction work.

The success of our construction projects was the result of JEN team great struggle and hard work, cooperation with each other, high inspiration and motivation to achieve goals and desire to help all vulnerable Afghan people in the target area to have a bright future for them.

[Project information meeting with SMC and DOE representative in Shinwari district]
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[Project layout of 6 class room building for Faiz Muhammad boy middle school in Shinwari district]
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[View of Wooden truss work of Faiz Muhammad boys middle school in Shinwari district]
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[Elegant view of 8 class room building of Darul Alum Markaz Parwan high school in charikar center]
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Shir Ali
JEN Afghanistan  Chief Engineer





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March 24, 2016 in Afghanistan |

03/10/2016

Looking back our activity in 2015

JEN is providing support to Afghanistan from the last so many years. Currently JEN is facilitating in Parwan province.
In 2015 JEN constructed water supplies and sanitary facilities, and school facilities in 3 schools in two districts of Parwan province. In total 2354 students and 72 teachers are the direct beneficiaries of JEN project. 
Apart from that, Hygiene education workshop targeting 1,046 teachers and 31,952 students from 20 schools in Charikar District were conducted in order to disseminate and establish hygienic practices. In total 31952 students, 1046 teaching staff and 118 Mullahs received these training. The basic aim is that through these mullahs the message will be spread to the masses in the mosques during prayer sermons.
In 2015 JEN established and trained SMCs (School management committee) SMC in 21 schools to disseminate the concept of hygiene education to low grade students in a more easy and convenient way.

【A student answering a question after watching Mobile Cinema】
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Apart from that through Dream Bags project, JEN distributed stationery and toys to children of Afghanistan this year again. This year, we distributed to 5,090 children of 17 schools in Charikar district.  By receiving dream bags students were motivated to attend the classes regularly which have a positive impact on the quality of education.

【Students received Dream bags】
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Apart from relief operation, JEN provided heating materials to 625 earth quake affected families in district Kishm of Badakhshan province and 235 affected families in Baghlan province. The affected community was facilitated by providing heating materials as people were prone to the harsh winter in the area.

【Heating material that JEN distributed 】
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【Interview from affected people after distribution of heating material】
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March 10, 2016 in Afghanistan |

02/25/2016

A letter from a girl regarding getting Dream bags

I am Hadissa a girl like other girls in the world. I never saw the face of Barbie, I have never known what a bunch of pencil means and I have never had two notebooks. I know other children in the other part of world have access to all what I lack but I am happy.

In the morning I tied up my books with a small rope which I always keep, wore my school uniform which has many holes. I always dream if I had a doll, if I had so many pencils, if I had notebooks. I walked through the path way which crosses from grape trees and bushes to my newly built school, in the yard of school so many flowers are planted, water flow is ongoing endless. My dog found a corner in the school and stood there waiting for my return.

I entered my class room located at left hand on the second room in the long corridor. Teacher was already in the class, he continued talking about the subject and at end he announced; all student should wait as we have a surprise for all of you. We were waiting while regretting the time we lose for play outside the class.

Two gentlemen entered the room. We know them, as they are coming with cinema and coming to ask us if we are washing our hands with soap and reminding all of us to make sure we wash our teeth. They brought cartons to the class and took out little color full bags. They said these bags are called (Dream Bags). I was very eager to find out what is in the dream bag. Teacher told me Hadissa open your bag, I was the first person to open my bag, I have slowly started to open my bag.

Oh My God! 

A big bunch of color pencils, Pens, pencils, handkerchief and a glass. Five little dolls which introduced by teacher to me, the little girl was Barbie, the name of little deer was Poh. Deferent types of notebooks, more importantly a color full card in which something was written in English which I was not able to read it. Those who brought the dream bags took the card and read it.
The message was that “I love you from Japan. I wish one day you will have peace and education.”

All my dreams come true and were not able to control myself. The teacher was thinking I am crying because I am not happy with my bag. I was crying because what I have dreamed that someone felt it far away and gathered all my dreams putted in a lovely bag and sent it to me. It is not just a bag but what
I have is a pure love of humanity which I am sending through this letter to you my best friends in Japan and remember I love you from Afghanistan.

【Hadissa while opening the dream bag and take out bunch of color pencils】
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【Hadissa while talking about her dreams】
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Hameedullah “Hamid” 
Senior Field Officer 


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February 25, 2016 in Afghanistan |

02/12/2016

Role and importance of JEN hygiene education program on student’s hygiene habits

JEN is conducting hygiene education program in targeted area since 2011. The basic purpose of JEN hygiene program is to impart and aware students about safe hygienic practices. It is observed that JEN hygiene education program transmitted safe hygienic habits and attitude in students in the previous years. The students adopted these habits in their daily lives. Also it is observed that students further transmit this knowledge to their parents and community. Various surveys by JEN show that hygiene education program has a very positive impact in improving the hygiene habits of the students.

This year JEN conducted hygiene education program in 20 schools in district Charikar. In total 31,952 students and 1,046 teachers got knowledge and awareness regarding hygiene education. Apart from that 118 mullahs were also trained on hygiene education. It is expected that through mullahs the concept will be circulated among the masses. Mullahs discuss the importance of hygiene in the mosque to aware more people.

Pre & Post Kap data was conducted in 20 schools in district Charikar in 2015. The purpose is to measure the impact of JEN hygiene education program in 2015. The results are very encouraging and show the huge success of hygiene education program. The results are briefly discussed in the following lines. In total 200 students from 20 schools of district Charikar were targeted in 2015. Like each year Pre Kap survey was conducted in April 2015. According to Pre Kap survey, before JEN intervention 0 students were placed in the high level which was very alarming. The results further showed that before JEN intervention, 37 students were in the middle level while 163 students were placed in the low level on the basis of JEN Pre Kap survey.

Afghan field staff conducted post Kap survey in November to find out the positive impacts of JEN hygiene education Program. Basic aim of the Post Kap is to measure the change in student’s knowledge, attitudes and practices as a result of JEN hygiene education program. The survey showed that 191 students are now in the high level, comparing to the 0 in the Pre Kap survey. The number of students in the low category reduced from 163 to 0.

The above mentioned figures showed that JEN hygiene education program is a huge success and plays a very important role in correcting the hygiene habits of the students.

[View of students during monitoring of Hygiene education practice and knowledge in class in district Charikar.]
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[Students are practically Making ORS during Hygiene education monitoring in Darul Alum Markaz Parwan High School in Charikar district]
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[A student cutting his nails during Hygiene education activities monitoring in Isteqlal High School in District Charikar]
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Hanief Khan, 
Senior Program Assistant, 
JEN Islamabad 




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February 12, 2016 in Afghanistan |

02/04/2016

Interview with Beneficiary regarding Heating Materials distribution

Name: Khalifa Aziz
Age:  43
Village: Wakhshe

Comment:

As you know that all Afghanistan was jolted by the heavy earthquake, which badly impacted Badakhshan province. In that time I was in Kabul where I was working with a construction company as a daily labor. After the earthquake I was trying to call my family and ask about them. I was worried because the mobile network was not working, after few hours I received a call from my daughter who said our house was collapsed but they all were fine (Thanks God!).

On the day after, I arrived to my village and met my family who were living in my sister-in-law’s house. On the next day I found a rental house in Kesham district bazaar and transfered my family there.
It is really hard to leave your lovely village, lost house and live in a rental house in such a cold winter.

I am so thankful to JEN who distributed us heating materials (woods, coals and stove) in this totally cold condition.  It is not that only I needed heating materials but actually all of the beneficiaries who were struck by the quake really need it.

Now I am not worried about winter which I believe I can pass through it. The main concern is that I have to reconstruct my house which I cannot afford. I will borrow money from someone and start my home construction.

I would like to thank JEN once again for all their effort and struggle in this regards and I hope JEN will also assist us for shelters construction too.

[Khalifa Aziz with his children]
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[Khalifa Aziz while talking about impact of heating materials distributed by JEN]
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Regards,

Hameedullah “Hamid”
Senior Field Officer

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February 4, 2016 in Afghanistan |

01/28/2016

Interview with Makhdom regarding Heating Material (NFI) distributionName: Makhdom

Name: Makhdom

Age: 39

Comment:

5 years ago I returned from Iran to my home land with my family. Last year whatever I had, I spent and newly constructed 2 rooms to have a good life.

I started my new life in new house and was very ambitious about my future that I will have a happy life with my family, but the earth quake buried my ambitions under soil. I am thankful to God and feel happy that I did not lose my family members.

Now I am living with my brother who gave me a room to settle. Before I receive JEN’s NFI kit we were burning wooden poles and wooden boards from the newly built home for fire purpose and heating of room.
I am so thankful to JEN and Japanese people for distribution of heating materials to us to solve our problems and have a good winter.

After winter I am going to start work on my home reconstruction again and I hope that Government of Afghanistan or INGOs like you (JEN) will assist me in this regards to start my life normally once again.

[Makhdom House which was destroyed by 26 October Earthquake]
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[Makhdom with his mother while talking about JEN’s NFI kit]
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Inayatullah “Hashimi”
Project Manager
JEN-Afghanistan


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January 28, 2016 in Afghanistan |

01/21/2016

Interview with Noor Mohammad regarding Heating Material distribution

Name: Noor Mohammad   
Age: 71
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Comment:

“I am so thankful to JEN and Japanese people who provided me and my villagers with heating material (Stove, Fire-Wood and Coal) in this winter.

The reality is that the last earthquake struck my house very hard and destroyed boundary wall as well as one room of my home. It is not that I am afraid to die but I am worried about my orphaned grand-children who lost their father 2 years ago in a conflict between Armed forces and ANA (Afghan National Army).

My family consists of 11 people. One of my sons who is working in a company sends us money every 4 months, which is the only source of income,” He smiled as he was thinking about his son.

“After receiving this kit I am relieved that at least now we can protect ourselves from harsh and cold weather. But now I am worried about my house reconstruction because I cannot afford the expenses of construction.”

“I really hope that the government or one of international NGOs will provides shelter for me and my other villagers who are affected by the earthquake. We need shelter, WASH support, education, livelihood and infrastructure such as road and bridge and heartily request JEN to provide assistance in this regards.”

In the end of interview he once again thanked JEN for providing heating material kits.

[Noor Mohammad while giving finger print in beneficiaries list during NFI distribution.]
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[Noor Mohammad while recieving NFI kit during distribution]
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Regards,

Hameedullah “Hamid”
Senior Field Officer
JEN-Afghanistan


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January 21, 2016 in Afghanistan |

01/14/2016

Heavy Earthquake affected families in Kesham District

Interview with: Mohammad Asif
District: Kesham
Age: 55 years old

A powerful earthquake shacked Afghanistan on 26 October 2015. It affected many people and infrastructures in Badakhshan province.

Mohammad said “my house was cracked deeply in this heavy earthquake. We had to stay with our family members in the existing cracked house. Before that heavy earthquake happened, my young son was working as laborer in Iran.  He collected money by his hard work in order to build a simple muddy house for the family. When he returned back from Iran, we did so. We spent all his money on the construction of this newly built muddy house. But then, this earthquake happened and badly damaged our newly constructed house.”

He then continued, “after earthquake cracked my house, I couldn’t sleep all night. I feared that if I sleep the bedroom in which we live, it will be collapsed. Each morning when sun rises I am happy because we can stay out of rooms in the sun shine and can be safe from dangers of house collapse. But when night begins I count the minutes again and pray to ALLAH Almighty that my room do not collapse and protect us from cold weather.   “

“I wish I could move to a safer house, but cannot find money to rent a small house for living. There is no job for me and I cannot do hard work, because I am too old to work as a laborer. My children are much afraid of collapse of room in which we live. I am not the only person to face these problems. Many people have same problems. We request you for shelter and winterization kit so that we can protect ourselves from cold weather and collapse of our houses.”

[The resident of the house giving details of his cracked house]
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[Inside view of house in which crack are very visible]
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[Inside view of the cracked room which is dangerous for living]
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January 14, 2016 in Afghanistan |

01/07/2016

Work of Beneficiaries Identification Committee and its effect

In order to deliver the most effective services as quickly as possible to those who are affected by the earthquake, JEN established a beneficiaries Identification committee (BIC) which included 4 persons (2 from JEN, 1 from ANDMA and 1 district representative). The procedure as such had never taken by any organization in the province of Badakhshan.

The BIC takes much responsibility. For example, they facilitate community mobilization, gathering of beneficiaries to a main point in a village, verification of beneficiaries, Introduction of JEN and orientation of earthquake emergency project in Badakhshan. They make and distribute coupons for items. They are also present at the time of distribution to help and facilitate the smooth distribution process.

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Badakhshan have harsh weather and JEN team mission to field was not that easy but it was a great way to distribute coupons and to have close communication with community. The people in the community see the work of JEN and BIC and appreciate our work. 

This will pave the way for friendship between JEN and community.

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January 7, 2016 in Afghanistan |

12/24/2015

What matters: “Transparency like JEN”

Name: Abdul Ghafar
Age: 63
Village: Wakshe

Comment:
“About 21 days ago an organization came here for distribution of food items in my village. At that time I was in a different town to go to a clinic for my grand child who had chest problem. When I returned to my village I found that my entire villagers received the kits but unfortunately I did not. When I asked about mine, one of my villagers said that I was not in the beneficiary list. This is not because I am not eligible but because they didn’t consider on existing beneficiaries list.

Till this date I was disappointed and thought you (JEN) would also be the same as the other one-missing someone and someone will be unhappy.  But I was wrong. When you announced in loudspeaker to our villagers about coupon distribution and the items you have for distribution, I got that your procedure would be 100% perfect. You called every single villagers name in front of everyone, assuring no one would be left behind. JEN was checking every beneficiary ID card individually and after that distributed coupons making sure no one would receive extra items.

I just received my coupon for now but I feel happy because I never saw this kind of distribution process which you have. It’s a great way to avoid corruption, deliver the assistance to those who are in real need and if someone asks me what is transparency I will say “transparency like JEN”. 

After that powerful earthquake I’m alive. I wish I will live for long. I may construct my house along the way and continue my normal life but I will never forget the way you people treated us. Thanks for the emergency response which you are going to provide us. Thank you.

Note:
As the interviewee said, feeling of doubt and/or tension between beneficiaries may arise if a supporting organization lacks care. JEN always strives for delivering support in complete and transparent manner so that those who receive our support would feel at ease without sense of doubt.

For coupon distribution we established “Beneficiary Identification committee (BIC)” to identify beneficiary identity, check his/her ID card then distribute coupon. The members of BIC were 4 persons (one person from district, one person from ANDMA and 2 persons from JEN).

[Coupon distribution]
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[Abdul Ghafar posed with his coupon]
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[Abdul Ghafar during interview]
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[.Abdul Ghafar's house which hardly struck by earthquake]
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By:
Waheed Ahmad
IT, Admin Officer
JEN-Afghanistan


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December 24, 2015 in Afghanistan |

12/17/2015

Interview with the earth quake affected person in Badakhshan Province

Name: Abdul Hadi
Age: 41

Mr. Hadi is one of the people to whom JEN team conducted interview.
“Our village is one of those which are severely affected by the earth quake. I lost everything including my house but I’m pleased that my family members and other villagers are safe because nothing is important than our lives.” He now lives with his in-law family in the same village.

In the start of interview I asked him where he was going in this cold weather. He replied “I’m going to buy fire-wood because the weather is too cold and snow is falling down which may continue 2 or 3 days. I wish I could rebuild my house but I don’t have the money to do that. And now the winter has already started it is impossible even if I had the money. So at the moment, the most important thing and something I can do is to keep ourselves warm. “

All 150 famlies in his village will receive winterization kit distributed by JEN. We hope that our project will ease their hardship during this winter.

[Abdul Hadi during interview]
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[Abdul Hadi while talking about Earthquake devastation in their village]
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[A view of Abdul Hadi’s house which was destroyed during earthquake]
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[A closer look at Abdul Hadi’s house which ruined during the earthquake]
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December 17, 2015 in Afghanistan |

12/03/2015

After earthquake in Wakhshi village, Kishm District. Badakhshan

A powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan on 26 October 2015. The impact of the earthquake was felt throughout most of Afghanistan but most predominantly in Badakhshan province. Several districts such as Kishm and Baharak were affected badly.

According to the community elder of Wakhshi village, Kishm district, Badakhshan, most of the infrastructures were destroyed by this powerful earthquake. The houses in the village, which were constructed by muddy soil and plastered by straw soil, were also affected.

He added that their water supply network, which is 10 km in length, was damaged by this powerful earthquake. The pipe line was damaged on ten different parts and right now the people of this village face huge problems of supplying water. Currently they do not have safe water and they are bringing water from river by donkeys or by hand to their houses.

Heavy winter seasonal snow fall in the area is already started which further aggravate the situation. He further said that they will stay in these earthquake affected houses because they do not have any other option for their families. Staying in these damaged houses in the heavy snowfall is very dangerous.

The people in the village are currently waiting for tents that are going to be distributed by international organizations. JEN will provide winterization materials such as coals and blankets as soon as procurement is finished.

[Community Elder, Haji Din Mohammad from Wakhshi Village stands inside his cracked house by earthquake]
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[Water supply network of Wakhshi village was damaged by powerful Earthquake]
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[In Wakhshi village house was destroyed by Earthquake]
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December 3, 2015 in Afghanistan |

11/26/2015

Humanitarian aids for the people of Badakhshan

A powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan and Pakistan on 26, Oct, 2015 which caused 115 fatalities, 524 people injured, 6,929 houses destroyed in Afghanistan. (UNOCHA 12 November 2015) Badakhshan is one of the most critically impacted earthquake-affected provinces in Afghanistan.

Due to security concern, lack of communication and difficult terrains approximately 20% assessment remained in Badakhshan which is still a challenge. The 80% of assessment verified that the affected people are in crucial situation who are in need of humanitarian assistance and their urgency identified as Food Items, Non-Food Items, Winterization and Hygiene kits, Shelters and Healthcare to be provided immediately.

Unfortunately the expectation is that the affected people will face comprehensive risks which may cause another tragedy in Badakhshan, because Badakhshan province has harsh winter and most often affect by natural disasters like avalanches, landslides, snowstorms and floods. The clock is ticking and the people who have lost their homes and related morbidity need immediate support to ensure their safety and well-being during upcoming winter.

The government is leading assessment and response efforts to all disasters in Afghanistan, but has less capacity to cover entirely, thus far the United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Afghanistan are supporting the government to assess and respond to people impacted by the quake. To provide long-term recovery and resilience of earthquake for affected people it is needed the provision of humanitarian assistance in Badakhshan.

By:
Hameedullah “Hamid”
Senior Field Officer

[ The disable Household whose house damaged (Baharak district-Badakhshan).]
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[ Completely destroyed house struck by Earthquake (Baharak district-Badakhshan).]
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[ Earthquake affected elder who are presently living in a tent (Kesham district-Badakhshan) ]
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[ Earthquake struck family members whose house damaged (Shohada district Badakhshan).]
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[ Ruined houses struck by earthquake (Kesham district-Badakhshan)]
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November 26, 2015 in Afghanistan |

11/19/2015

Assessment in Badakhshan Province

The assessment of earthquake affected people is ongoing in the four earthquake affected provinces (Badakhshan, Kapisa, Takhar and Baghlan provinces). Badakhshan was the most affected of all these. According to UNOCHA latest report 12 people were killed, 20 wounded while 2,344 houses were damaged in Badakhshan province.

[Majority of the houses were destroyed due to the earthquake in village bulbul Dara, district Kesham, Badakhshan province]
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[A view of completely destroyed house in village Wakhshi, District Kesham, Badakhshan province]
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Afghan team reached to Badakhshan province on November 5th. Then we conducted meetings with local authorities to confirm latest information and visited the area to have site assessment of the affected individuals. We will make good use of this information obtained by the assessment for our emergency support activities.

[JEN assessment team is visiting the affected areas in village Wakhshi, District Kesham, Badakhshan province]
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[An elder person standing alongside his damaged house in village charmaghz, district Kesham, Badakhshan province]
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November 19, 2015 in Afghanistan |

11/12/2015

Launch of the emergency assistance for Afghanistan earthquake

As many people know, a massive earthquake occurred on 26th October 2015 in Afghanistan. Since the hard winter season will start soon, we decided to launch the emergency assistance for Afghanistan to support the affected people.

Firstly, JEN team visited Kapisa province to assess the initial damage on November 4th 2015. JEN team attended a meeting which was chaired by the head of Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA).

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In the meeting the head of ANDMA shared the detail of damages caused by the earthquake. At the meeting the head of ANDMA said that in Khoshi village a soil hill has got crack during the earthquake and created a serious threat to the 45 houses located at the bottom of the hill.  They recommended that houses located in the area must evacuate, as cracks will develop further and land slide will occur during this winter.

JEN team accompanied by the head of ANDMA visited the location and found out that cracks were more than 25 cm wide and 65m long. This creates a threat to the houses located nearby. The people who live in such a dangerous place just need the emergency assistance now.

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November 12, 2015 in Afghanistan |

10/30/2015

A damage situation in Charikar

We have got pictures of the damage situation in Charikar, Parwan Province.

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October 30, 2015 in Afghanistan |

10/27/2015

【Breaking news】JEN making action as an emergency assistance for the earthquake in Afghanistan and Pakistan

A day after the Afghanistan and Pakistan earthquake, which happened in the north Afghanistan, more than 300 casualties were already confirmed in the affected area. The affected area in Afghanistan is the area  under the control by the armed group.  Therefore, there is only a little access to the information and we are trying to get a whole picture of damages there. As the damages in Pakistan become clear, we assume that the situation and the number of the victims in Afghanistan will get worse.

JEN has already been working in the area around the epicenter. Since the affected area is located in a mountainous area, there is a high possibility that those affected area is left behind the assistance. Considering those facts, we concluded that emergency assistance is urgently needed.

Please kindly support our emergency assistance for the earthquake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We are truly appreciated with your contribution.

For the donation by credit card, please visit here.

October 27, 2015 in Afghanistan |

10/26/2015

2015 Hindu Kush Earthquake

We received a follow-up report from JEN staff in Pakistan.
The safety of all the staffs working in both countries on Afghanistan and
Pakistan has been confirmed.

This is because the earthquake epicentre was near the mountainous area of Hindu Kush (It is 3000 meters high and runs east-west from Pakistan to Afghanistan), we
are concerning about the influence on our fields in both countries.

We will continue to collect information.




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October 26, 2015 in Afghanistan |

Earthquake hit the Northern Afghanistan. We have begun collecting

At 18:09 Japan time (13:39 local time), a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
occurred.

JEN has begun collecting information about the damages caused by it.

The impact of the earthquake, which centered in the Northern Afghanistan,
is said to be far and wide.

We have been collecting information after receiving an immediate report
from our regional staffs.

October 26, 2015 in Afghanistan |

10/22/2015

Need for Educational Revolution

The Afghan education suffered a lot from lack of qualified, trained teachers. Indeed, many teachers had no more than a primary-school education and/or inadequate knowledge of their subjects and no modern teaching methods. This is all because Afghanistan has passed many years of war and still they are burning in the war. As you all know that no nation can develop without quality or modern education, that builds the nations and become the cause of prosperity which gives the path that leads towards bright future. JEN has worked a lot for the last five years to help Afghan students to make their education level in good manner.

JEN conducted need assessment for 2016 in districts Charikar and Shinwari in Parwan province. In total 106 schools were visited during need assessment survey, 63 schools in district Charikar and 43 schools in district Shinwari. Besides having unqualified and untrained teachers, the need assessment survey showed the lack of wash facilities, schools building in bad condition, no boundary wall of schools and on the top of all these schools had no safe drinking water.

All these things needs to be addressed to help Afghan students getting their basic rights of good education so that they can improve their standard of living and can help their socioeconomic matters. JEN is looking forward to improve facilities of these schools and to train teachers as much as possible. Contribution from each sector of society is required to join hands to realize afghan educational revolution.

[School in Charikar district]
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[School in Shinwari district]]
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Finance & Accounts Assistant
Samar


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October 22, 2015 in Afghanistan |

10/08/2015

Education in Afghanistan

This time, we try to tell about the environment surrounding Afghan education.

Regarding the literacy rate of people above 15 years old, it is 45.4 % in male and 17.0 % in female※.
When we compare it with Japan’s rate which is almost 100%, we can see that there is a very big difference.  The school environments surrounding education are not in sufficient condition either. Since about half of schools do not have usable building, they manage the classes in the field. About 70% of school buildings lack boundary walls, 30% of schools lack safe drinking water and 60% of schools lack sanitation facilities like toilets※. Such a situation prevents children from attending school. So, it can lead to a decrease in the school attendance rate. And, as mentioned above, it becomes the cause of a decline of literacy rate.

In such Afghanistan, JEN has conducted in 3 schools environment improvement projects by the grant of the Japan Platform since March of this year. And in two schools, the construction of classrooms, the toilets, the boundary walls and the boundary walls was finally completed last month in September. We were able to be one step forward so that Afghan children can receive classes in secure and safe environment.

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We just hope Afghan children to attend school with more confidence and take more opportunities to touch on education along with our support.

※ Afghanistan National Education for All Review Report, 2015



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October 8, 2015 in Afghanistan |

09/24/2015

Dream bags distribution to students in 2015

Every year JEN distributed dream bags to the selected schools in the targeted area. The main purpose of the distribution is to help the deserving students and bring smile to their faces. Those areas were selected where the economic situation is not good and people are in trouble. These bags are distributed by the help of RKK.

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Like previous years, JEN decided to distribute the dream bags to the students in 2015 as well. JEN decided to distribute 5,090 dream bags to the students in 2015. These dream bags will be distributed to the students of 17 schools in Charikar district. Afghan team started the distribution to the students on September 8th 2015. The distribution will be completed by October 5th 2015.These schools were selected because the children in these schools are poor and face financial difficulties. Their parents are mainly farmer or skilled / unskilled labor.

The targeted children are from first to third grade in elementary school. Dream bags contain stationeries, toys and small color pens, which are not affordable for the parents. Students can use stationaries for their class work and home work, while toys can bring joy and smile on their faces.

RKK dream bags distribution is very important and it can play a vital role in the life of small students and their parents. Parents struggle for their children to make them educated and spend good life, not like them to work in farms because of being uneducated. It can also help in controlling the drop out in the schools.

The number of targeted areas is increased from one year to another year. Number of dream bags was 4,770 in 2014, while number of dream bags was 5,090 in 2015. Keeping in mind the importance of RKK dream bags, JEN will continue this activity in 2016 as well and so on.

[View of dream bags distribution]
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[Students looks busy while checking their dream bags]
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[View of a happy students after receiving her dream bag]
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Humaira Wahab
(Administrative and HR Assistant)

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September 24, 2015 in Afghanistan |

09/10/2015

Afghan team with the Samurai spirit

I have been involved in project operations in remote system from the Islamabad office of Pakistan as a Program Officer in charge of Afghanistan project. I have been always proud and honored to be able to work together with the Afghan team in the local because working with the Afghan staff has brought me lots of learning and countless excitement.
They have never complained no matter how hard the work is. They are always dedicated to do their best in silence and they have always put out the results. They turn themselves inside out to deliver what they promised, which gives me the impression as if they are Samurai. It is great, beautiful and touching that they strive for JEN’s duty with the thought and passion for reconstruction and development of the country.

Last year, there was an event that represented the temperament and spirit of Afghanistan staff. Since the project budget decreased last year, the number of maintenance to schools has been reduced. In the result, we had to terminate the employment contract of an engineering staff in December 2014. When I told it to the staff, he thanked me saying “one and a half years when I have been working with Jen is like a dream for me. I really thank you for hiring me. Even though I have to change my job, I am happy because I could find a lifelong friend at Jen. And, I would like sincerely to thank you for coming all the way to dangerous ground from Japan, and working for Afghanistan's national reconstruction. I appreciate from my heart.” I was so impressed by his straight words and feelings that tears overflowed. While I was very sorry for not being able to renewing the contract with him, I received gratitude to reverse. He made me think the important thing as a person. Later, we had an engineering post vacant in 2015, he came back again to JEN in April 2015.

As Afghanistan became the victim of a lot of wars and infightings, the security situation has not been stable and there have been lots of negative images such as terrorism. Therefore, I feel sorry that the good aspects of Afghanistan have not been transmitted to the world. I sincerely hope that someday, peace will return to Afghanistan and the beauty and the splendor of Afghan people will be known around the world.

Thank you very much for the people, who have always been supporting our Afghanistan projects. Taking this opportunity, I would like to offer warm thanks to you. And I am looking forward to your continuing support to Afghanistan.

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Megumi FUJITA
Program Officer for Afghanistan
JEN Islamabad Office


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September 10, 2015 in Afghanistan |

08/27/2015

Warning Boards Installation and School Health Committee in 25 schools

JEN is committed to ensure the provision of safe drinking water or hand washing water (not for drinking) to the targeted schools. For this reason JEN conducted water quality tests in all those schools where JEN did activities. The test revealed that water from some schools were not safe for drinking. We encouraged to chlorinate water, some of which became drinkable after treatment. However, the water of 25 schools were not treatable due to chemical issues and this water can be used only for washing hand. In order to prevent school students from drinking contaminated water, JEN designed a comprehensive and separate activity.

First of all, JEN decided to install warning boards. The content and design of the warning boards was created by Afghan staff in consultation with Department of Education. The warning boards have a clear message that students should avoid drinking water from the water reservoirs in school. To further facilitate the students, a picture was also included in the warning boards, making it easier for the younger students to understand the message. So far warning boards were installed in 21 out of the 25 schools. Warning board installation in four schools in district Ghorband is still pending due to security situation in the area. It will be installed once the security situation improves.

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To further ensure the prevention of students from drinking unsafe water, School Health Committee (SHC) consisting of around 7- 9 students and a teacher will raise awareness of the students. JEN organized workshop for SHC in 21 out of 25 schools to prevent students from drinking contaminated water. SHC will do several activities such as holding discussion among students. SHC will make their future plan to prevent students from drinking unsafe water in September.

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To measure the performance and effectiveness of the activity before and after workshop, pre and post KAP (Knowledge-Practice-Attitude) survey will be conducted for 10 children of the 25 schools. So far Pre KAP survey was conducted in 21 schools. As per the pre KAP survey, the situation in these schools is not good but hopefully the result will be different after warning board installation and SHC activities.



Hanief Khan
Senior Programme Assitant
JEN Islamabad Office



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August 27, 2015 in Afghanistan |

08/13/2015

Bringing happiness and improving orphan children living

Parwan is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan which has suffered a lot during last three decades of war. People of Parwan province are mostly poor and their main occupation is agriculture i.e. grapes gardening & vegetable cultivation.
Parwan province has only one orphanage school which was established in 1985 by governmental fund. It is located in Charikar city. Since its establishment in 1985, 1035 orphan students graduated from Charikar city orphanage school. Currently 160 students from 6 different provinces of Afghanistan are getting education from the school. Out of these 160 students, 2 are girls and remaining 158 are boys and all of them are residing in hostel of the orphanage school. Currently the orphanage school building (Hostel building and Classrooms) status is not good and no governmental or non-governmental organization pay attention to school building problems.

This time JEN takes initiative to distribute 1760 different pieces of winter and vernal clothes to 160 students of Charikar orphanage school which were donated by UNIQLO in June 2015. The donated clothes were stylish and of high quality stuff. During the distribution, it was observed by the JEN field team that children were so excited after receiving the clothes. The donations brought smiles on the faces of the young students. It was very clear from their faces that were much delighted by receiving these clothes. Now they have many options for daily clothes to wear as before they had just one or two pairs. I must say it is the best moment of life to see smile on the faces of cute little angels.

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Acting head of Charikar city orphanage school, teachers and students thanked UNIQLO and JEN, appreciated our hard efforts, assistance, cooperation and requested more cooperation and assistance in the future to support the orphanage students.

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Finance and Accounts Assistant
Samar Butt


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August 13, 2015 in Afghanistan |

07/30/2015

Ramadan

Afghanistan is a dominantly Muslim country, so people there practice Ramadan every year.
The Fitr Eid vacation after Ramadan (the month of fasting) ended last week, and  Pakistan and Afghanistan offices returned to normal business hours.

This year, I also tried fasting just for a short period of time.  In Ramadan of the Islamic bloc, people do not eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. We heard they do not swallow even their own saliva. In Islamabad, approximate time of sunrise of July is 5:00 am, sunset time is 7:20 pm. So, during about 14.5 hours, people do not eat or drink at all. Ramadan period shifts slightly every year because it is determined by the Islamic calendar (lunar calendar). This year, Ramadan overlapped with the time of the longest sunshine in the hottest season.

At first, I intended to try a full fasting. However, as it deprived me of power for working, I was doing a partial fasting with water for a little more than 1 week. After this trial, I have understood how the full fasting is difficult. It made me respect Muslims who have done it for one whole month. At the same time, I have also realized why the work efficiency goes down across the country during Ramadan. It is difficult enough to work with empty stomach. It is, of course, even more difficult to keep the usual work efficiency. I didn’t understand its reason when I was out of Islamic world. But, after my little experience, I realized that Ramadan has meanings; to know the suffering to withstand hunger, to share the feelings of people who have been placed in the situation and to thank that we can eat every day without hunger.

In Sindh province of southern Pakistan, there are dead by drought every year. Now I can imagine how harsh the situation is where people cannot take a drink in the temperature of almost 50 degree. I expect certain protractive actions will be taken because they practice Ramadan. After all, Pakistani has the power to endure Ramadan! And I think again we’ll have to expand our support.

[Iftar(meal after sunset) with staff at Islamabad office]
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Makiko HORI
Administration and Financial officer


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July 30, 2015 in Afghanistan |

07/16/2015

Field Work and office Work

Some are here in NGO to help others, some are here to stay with flexible environment, and some may be because of their personal interest like me. But once you enter the sector, you get to know two different way of working. 

I always think about field staff that how lucky they are who can directly support the people who need us, because they are giver.
Yes they are getting for it as well but somehow they may feel inner satisfaction.  To support someone directly makes you happy from your inner.

There are many people who work with humanitarian sectors just for the purpose to support the people in the field, many works voluntarily especially in emergency or natural disasters. I am one of the example here in NGO sector to feel the interest in this sector When I applied my first job, the reason was that I can help disable people through this organization (Handicap International Org) .

It was true but I was wrong in my curiosity. I thought there will be so many disable people and I will provide help to them directly. This was so funny that I wasn’t aware of the NGO’s working setups. From that time I feel my inner feelings that for whom we are working? How they look like at the time when field staff of NGO support them. Why I couldn’t reach them and see them?

Thinking on the same thing I have worked for 5 years in the office not in the field. But still I feel like I want to see people who are in need I want to see their faces when they benefited through NGOs. 

I always think about field staff that they are doing more than office staff because they face many problems like security problems, weather circumstances, to face problems of people who may in trouble, culture norms, social norms of the area and also stay away from their houses and families. But they are lucky and brave working in the field. I must say that their inner will be so satisfied.

I salute to the staff in the field; you are the luckiest people, people who help directly to needy people.

I think this is not difficult to rotate myself to field area because my interest is motivating me to the field. But still I am enjoying that I am being a part of NGO sectors and could work somehow for such people.

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Humaira Wahab
Admin & HR Assistant


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July 16, 2015 in Afghanistan |

07/02/2015

Impact of Baghlan Emergency Project

Last year in Puli Khumri District of Baghlan province, heavy rainy seasonal flood collapsed houses and destroyed agriculture land which left a lot of detriments. The affected families have been living in mountains and in harsh weather for centuries in the region. Unfortunately the government did not pay proper attention in terms of heavy floods which ruined local infrastructure.

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JEN implemented emergency heavy flood protection projects funded by JPF in mentioned area which had the component of retaining wall construction with reinforcement concrete channel for 881 household beneficiaries. The project was completed in September 2014.

The Projects includes 456.5M retaining wall and 19 meter Reinforcement concrete channel on two locations which were affected by heavy seasonal rainy flood on May 2014. Due to the construction of the above mentioned facilities the houses of the local people will be safe from floods in the future.

The families near the centre of Baghlan province which have government jobs and shops in Puli Khumri city are safe now due to construction of retaining walls and these families do not need to evacuate from their existing places. After construction of retaining wall the local residents are able to rebuild their damaged houses by themselves and the road beside retaining wall became useable for transportation.

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Afghan engineering team adopted the heavy flood crisis management techniques in the construction of retaining wall and channel. The heavy flood crisis management techniques helped against the seasonal heavy rainy flood which came again this year on 6th April 2015 in Puli Khumri city. All these residents were safe during the flood. A community leader called me and said, “We are proud of JEN constructed retaining walls. Due to these retaining walls our families are safe and no need to evacuate from our houses in the future”. He was very happy and said all of the residents are so thankful to JEN for its emergency projects in Puli Khumri district and added that our agriculture lands, houses, mosques, shops, roads, water and sanitation network are safe which indirectly help our economy.

They are now very pleased for sending their children to schools, playing sports and comfortably doing their daily activities due to assistance by JEN. He requested JEN to support them and implement more projects in Baghlan province in the future.
JEN has contributed its part to this change on emergency implementation of heavy flood crisis in Puli Khumri city.

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Shir Ali
Chief Engineer
JEN Charikar office


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July 2, 2015 in Afghanistan |

06/18/2015

Monitoring and follow up survey 2014!

JEN is always very keen to provide good quality and sustainable support to the people of Afghanistan. For verifying the quality of JEN support, whether it’s sustainable, people are taking good care of the facilities, and practicing hygiene education at schools after JEN’s project, JEN has been conducting follow up surveys every year in selected schools where JEN worked.
This year, the results of the survey are outstanding. 

In 2014 JEN selected 17 schools where JEN worked for its school constructions including water supply and sanitation as well as hygiene education from 2011 to 2013. During the survey Afghan team checked all construction facilities as well as the effects of JEN hygiene education activities. During the survey Afghan team conducted interviews to the teachers and students and also their own observation during the visit.

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During the survey so many good outcomes were revealed: Student’s attendance ratio increased, the environment of the school is more hygienic, students have now clean water for drinking, and students are getting knowledge in the clean environment of well-maintained classroom, all after JEN intervention.

All the 17 schools hold regular School Management Committee (SMC) meetings. JEN built the capacity of the SMCs and now they have been collecting fund from community, teachers and students to maintain school which they had never done before. Some SMCs also did some minor works to improve the schools. The survey showed that all of the latrines which JEN made were clean, hygienic and none of them were broken or smelly. Same is the case for all other water supply and sanitation construction facilities such as wells and water reservoirs. Other construction facilities constructed by JEN such as class rooms, boundary wall were found in very good condition during the follow up survey because the school administration were taking good care of it. When asked, the students and teachers said that after JEN intervention they felt huge change. Before JEN intervention they did not have enough or quality infrastructure facilities in our schools.

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During the survey it was revealed that all the schools regularly taught the hygiene education at their schools on daily basis after JEN’s projects. The survey was also conducted at schools in 2011 and even after 4 years it was continued without a break.

Like previous year, JEN is conducting monitoring and follow up survey in 21 schools from 2011 to 2014. All construction work and hygiene education activity will be monitored during the survey. At the moment the survey is ongoing and currently the monitoring was conducted in 14 schools out of 21 schools. After completion of the survey, all the collected data will be analyzed to see the impact of JEN intervention in these 21 schools. We are looking forward to seeing good results this year again!

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Hanief Khan,
Senior Programme Assistant,  JEN Afghanistan Programme.



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June 18, 2015 in Afghanistan |

06/04/2015

Beautiful Afghanistan

Currently JEN is working in Parwan Province which is located in the central region of Afghanistan. Parwan is popular for its beautiful landscapes and rich culture. The area is photogenic. The readers must know that Afghanistan is a hard country security wise, but it is gifted with nice places which create a soft picture of Afghanistan as well

View of Jabal Siraj city from a school made by JEN. One of the most beautiful cities of Afghanistan where poeple from Kabul and other cities visit during summer season. It is located on the main road to Salang pass.

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Abuzar Ghaffari Boys High School in Jabl Siraj made by JEN. The SMC and teachers are very active and keeping the environment in and out of school clean. Beautiful lake in front of the school is making it more beautiful.

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Salang pass is the major road which connects Northern Afghanistan with Parwan Province. Further down this road connects to Kabul, and to Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

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Valley in Panjshir. In 2015 avalanches, this area is badly affected and it was cut from the other regions of Afghanistan for many days. Access in winter is big issue but pleasure to visit in summer time.

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Afghan people love to play and watch football. This stadium is recently constructed in a village of Panjshir valley. It holds local league matches.

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June 4, 2015 in Afghanistan |

05/21/2015

Improvement of Maternal and Child’s Health

In Afghanistan, one of major problems is the high mortality rate among children under 5 years old. The mortality rate ranks 186th among 187 countries: second worst in the world. In the biggest hospital in Parwan province, children’s health is not sufficiently protected because there are neither enough medical equipment for children nor training for children’s doctors due to lack of funding.

JEN had successfully done a great job for the improvement of maternal and new-born health in Afghanistan. JEN conducted Eleven days IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illness) training for 24 doctors of 10 districts of Parwan province from 19/04/2015 to 04/05/2015.

In IMCI training JEN has provided a great help in number of areas, like how to use IMCI chart, Assess and Classify the Sick Child Age of 2 months up to 5 years. IMCI focuses on the recognition of children with severe illness needing referral and provision of appropriate treatment and counselling to children with acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, measles, malaria and ear infections as well as under nutrition. In addition to the management of the most common conditions in sick children, the IMCI approached by training health staff to update immunizations, give micronutrients, promote breastfeeding and provide feeding counselling.

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All participated doctors were much thankful and appreciated JEN’s hard efforts regarding their assistance with Parwan health sector for providing such a useful training for them. They said they learnt a lot from this training practically and they added they wish JEN to continue their cooperation in the future in order to improve the capacity of staff in health sectors and equip various sections of hospitals and health centres with significant medical tools.

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Finance and Accounts Assistant
Samar Butt



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May 21, 2015 in Afghanistan |

05/07/2015

My first Business trip

It was my first time to have official trip to ISB with JEN team and we had a very fitful meeting and sharing ideas of implemented projects and future plan with the team in high level at ISB and HQ.

It was good that after I rejoin JEN I got much experience with daily work of construction and soft component with the very helpful team.

It is worth to mention that JEN Afghanistan works as a team and all team members share their ideas and experiences each other which make friendly circumstances for implementation of the projects and the program. During my trip to ISB, ISB team also like to work as a team and they like to cooperate with all members as a team.
   
Generally it was enjoyable and fitful trip for me because I am a person who rejoined with JEN and it was a big chance for me to join back with JEN family. I am working with honest and hardworking staffs really cooperate and help Afghan people. I can mention that during this trip, I introduced myself to JEN Islamabad team very closely and met each other for the first time. I learned a lot from this trip; I got that JEN like to work in Afghanistan for Afghan people especially for school students who study under green sky without any shelter.

It is mentionable that I got emotion to work hard and in a good quality for our country and for needy people of our country tail and for our children to have a bright and secure lives and education which take place of war. I hope they have a chance to have more facilities in their lives time.

I really appreciated all who gave us the chance to have this kind of trip and shared the ideas each other.

The trip like this is very important not only for sharing of daily work progress and future plan but also to refresh the participants and the staff can take a strong feeling to continue their work as well as they could.

Especially it was really appreciated trip for me to meet with colleagues whom I had just relationship by e-mail but not closely. We shared all about our done and progress work closely.   

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Mohammad Younus (Baheer)
Civil Engineer of JEN Afghanistan team

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May 7, 2015 in Afghanistan |

04/23/2015

Continue work being a mother

Mothers will understand well my article.

When I was leaving for my maternity leaves I decided that I will join office after 3 months.
That time I was not conscious of feelings being a mother.
I left office on 28th of November in my 37 weeks of pregnancy and I gave birth after 3 weeks on 15th of December. I came back to work at the end of March, just 3 months after my delivery.
After time passing the affection gets closer and closer, and at the time you can’t live without your baby.

The time comes to join the office and my 1st day was so disturbed.
I cried in the office washroom as much as I missed my baby. But beside of missing my baby I started work. I wasn’t able to sit on the desk because I want to become busy and avoid thinking about baby.
I received a duty from my supervisor to search a file in the cupboards of office and stock room.
I get busy with that but my eye was on the clock that when I will see my baby.

My colleagues are so supportive they permit me to visit my baby and feed her.
When I reach to see her she was sleeping and I came to know that she slept to missing me and cried a lot. The time was so hard I wept too and come back to my work. But still I want to continue my work as I wanted to be a part of my esteem organization, to be a professional lady beside of housewife.

I couldn’t eat well, I couldn’t sleep well, and I couldn’t concentrate well at my work. I resolute to give up and stay with my baby, it was difficult time and to carry on wasn’t feasible any more.

But somehow the second day was a bit change from the 1st one, the 3rd day was then change from the 2nd day and slowly I get better once decided that I can see my baby 2, 3 times during my work.

This is very difficult to work for 8, 9 hours then go home and to begin with your schedule in your home with taking care of baby as well.
And this is so funny then you are waiting for night hours to get rest and your baby is asking for milk 

Some time I feel that I am going to be crazy, but still the feelings are so strange I feel happy to become a mother and also to continue my work.
If I can handle this then I think every lady can manage. There are many working ladies who spend life like me to do job with babies.
My office, my colleagues give confidence to me, support me and my feelings.

I wish all sectors become cooperative with mothers.

Humaira Wahab
Administrative and HR Assistant

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April 23, 2015 in Afghanistan |

04/09/2015

Improving the Parwan 100 beds Hospital by providing equipments

Mostly people in Parwan have economically difficulty and cannot afford to bear the expenses of the private clinics. Most of the people try to go to the government hospital for their health problems. Due to lack of proper funds and over crowdedness, the Parwan main hospital faces difficulties to accommodate all the patients especially children. Most of the patients from all over the Parwan province came to Parwan 100 beds hospital for the treatment. As children are more susceptible to the diseases so JEN focused more on child patients. In 2014 JEN facilitates the hospital by providing 10 children beds to the hospital by the support of KIWANIS fund. Apart from that JEN provided family planning training to the selected 15 midwives.

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By providing more beds, patients can now avoid bed sharing which helped in prevention of diseases transmission between the patients. Eventually it helped in reducing the child mortality ratio and improvement in mother health in the province.

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But still there is a need for further support to the hospital especially the children ward. This time JEN decided to provide 20 children beds and 27 chairs to the hospital by the support of Felissimo earth village fund. Beds will be provided to the children ward to facilitate child patients while chairs will be provided for the persons who are attending these child patients. Apart from that an 11 days training on IMCI (Integrated Management of Child Illness) will be provided to the 24 doctors from all districts of Parwan province regarding the issues of child patients which will help in reducing the child mortality ratio.

JEN is committed to bring the positive changes in the lives of the local people of Parwan province. All of the efforts show that it will bring improvement in the health condition of the community. By providing these facilities to the Parwan 100 beds hospital, the hospital can accommodate more patients in a better way.

Hanief Khan,
Senior Programme Assistant,
JEN Afghanistan Programme.


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April 9, 2015 in Afghanistan |

03/26/2015

The responses of the hygiene education training for school teachers

The project of the school environment improvement and hygiene education has been started in Charikar city and the Shinwari district in Parwan province on March 1st with your support.

This year we will work for improving the facilities of the water supply and hygiene equipment, and the school facilities at the three schools in those two districts. We will also conduct hygiene education program for the twenty schools in Charikar city and for clergies (mullah). Like our past support, these activities target to improve the hygiene environment for children and communities, and secure the safe and comfortable school environment for children.

This is the last year of our five-year project. Therefore, what is important is to strengthen the aspect of one’s self-independence in order that the staff members of the education department can continue to manage their work in schools and spread the hygiene education by themselves after we finish our activities. 

From the 3rd to the 19th of  May, we hold the three-day hygiene education training for all the 1,005 teachers from the twenty schools in Charikar city. Those teachers will pass this hygiene education on to their students in the class beyond 6 months. Now the class is ready to start.
At the training we saw that the teachers seemed to be very enthusiastic to learn. They understood the importance of hygiene education and promised to spread it among students and communities.

【The participants in the hygiene education training】
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This is a voice from one of the teachers who participated in the hygiene education training.
 
Name: Ms. Rairaturu Kada (41 years old)
Occupation: a teacher from Jalali Hora high school in Charikar city 

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  “Hygiene education is a very important thing in human life.
This training was interesting and became a good experience for me in learning about hygiene education. Especially the picked up points in the training such as Oral Rehydration Solution, water disinfecting method, hygiene during the menstrual period and the way to improve the hand-washing habit was new to me. I also learnt the importance for a whole community to undertake hygiene education.
Thank you for giving me a chance to learn about hygiene education.”

JEN Pakistan Office
Afghanistan Program Officer
Megumi Fujita   



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March 26, 2015 in Afghanistan |

03/12/2015

Avalanche in Afghanistan

Afghanistan remains one of the most vulnerable countries. The beginning of year 2015 is not good as massive avalanches in a valley not far from the Afghan capital have reportedly killed nearly 200 people, adding to a total of almost 250 deaths from the worst such snow slides in three decades in the country's mountainous northeast.

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Rescue workers using bulldozers worked to clear roads to the Panjshir Valley area just northeast of Kabul — an area where villagers have been cut off for almost a week.
Panjshir province which is one the most affected provinces, reportedly five school buildings are fully damaged as a result of avalanche and land slide.

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Currently air drop operation is ongoing, the Afghan National Army helicopters are dropping ready food for the affected families. Road clearance operation reached the center of the province. According to the authorities, the clearing operation need to be extended to reach to the most affected area which are located far in the mountains. More than 2,000 families in Bazarak and Baharak areas of the province are affected due to this disaster.

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Afghan president said in an interview that the devastating avalanche requires three phase of intervention, first level is emergency response, second relief and 3rd which needs full involvement of international community, the reconstruction phase. In reconstruction phase the president asked to reconstruct the shelters as a new model in which the buildings could withstand against natural disasters.

JEN assessment team will assist the local authorities and UN teams to have a clear picture of the affected areas.



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March 12, 2015 in Afghanistan |

02/26/2015

Impact of Hygiene Education in Society

In continuation of my previous blog, I would like to share with you some important outcomes of JEN hygiene education program. JEN targets children to teach the importance of hygiene early on so that it becomes a habit. Children are the most susceptible to hygiene-related disorders like skin issues, rashes, infections, wounds, etc. Teach them early on about what to avoid. Teach them that taking a few precautionary measures to prevent infections and diseases is imperative.

Focusing children also had in our mind that as they are most active members of the society, young and motivated, So for sure they not only will bring change in hygienic behavioral of their own but also demonstrate good hygiene to their families and communities.

To find out how much success we achieved in our goal a door to door was conducted in Surkh Parsa and Shikh Ali district in January 2015 that whether children passed on this information to their families or not. In total 72 respondents were questioned in the survey.

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98.61% respondents said that they receive the hygiene education messages from their children. The survey further reveals that parents got the message well because 100% know that unsafe water cause diarrhea. 100% respondents said that we should wash hands before eating and after using latrines. According to the survey 100% of the respondents said that we can make the water clean by boiling while 83.33% of them said that by chlorination the water can be safe for drinking.

According to the survey 100% respondents said that we cover our food. Among them 38.8% said that we cover it to make the food safe and healthy while 29.1% said that we cover the food to protect it from germs and insects. Some of them said that now we take much care of our personal and environmental hygiene which has a very good impact on the lives of the community health and hygiene.

It is clearly evident from survey results that JEN hygiene education programme has a great impact on the lives of community people. It is also evident that not only children got these massage well but they also passed on these information to their family members in a good manner.

Samar Butt
Finance and Accounts Assistant

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February 26, 2015 in Afghanistan |

02/12/2015

Kabul city problems (air pollution)

Kabul province is one of the famous cities in our country and the city is surrounded by mountains. Around 4 million people live in Kabul city. As the effect of an increasing in population, Kabul city has caused many problems such as air pollution, increase of vehicles, housing shortage and high prices of rental homes in the city, which are problems with people living in the city.

One of the most serious problems is air pollution. The contamination is problematic for public health, and film hundred daily respiratory problems according to the hospital authorities. There are several causes of high air pollution in Kabul, for instance, lack of green place and the loss of trees, fuel of vehicles, smoke from factories near the town, in the absence of city power which leads majority people to use gas instead of using any other fuel like coal and wood to heat their homes, existence of garbage in the city, some of the crude roads, and other fundamental cases of air pollution in Kabul city. The government has not paid any attention yet.

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Therefore we can say maybe it will be the first row of numbered air pollution in the world and we hope to have green and clean city in the future.

Administrative and Logistics Manager
Ahmad Fahim



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February 12, 2015 in Afghanistan |

01/29/2015

JEN Global Hand washing day of covered Schools in Parwan Province.

Global hand washing day with a simple act that will protect them from disease and save their lives.

To raise awareness of the benefits of hand washing with soap – and the dangers of diarrhea disease and pneumonia which can be caused by poor hygiene – drawing contests, games and events regarding the hygiene education have been organized for each district schools which covered by JEN Parwan province of  Afghanistan. 

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Also now public service announcements are running on radio and television, and in national newspapers, as well.

Schoolchildren, teachers, directorate of Parwan province and the communities … are contributing to the prevention of diseases and deaths among the population, and particularly children.

On each school essay competition with an account of how she/he came to understand the importance of hand washing with soap and her own efforts to get her friends to do so. One of students wrote in her essay as follows. “I used to think when children suffer from diarrhea, that it is punishment from God. One day, I overheard something from the JEN staff that the diarrhea is a result of bad hygiene.”

After few students raised their hands at a recent session on hygiene, JEN HE staff invited them to come to the front of the classroom, where two buckets of water, a bar of soap and a towel were placed on the floor. “OK then, show us how you wash your hands at home,” JEN staff said with a grin. “Your colleagues would also like to learn from you. And the students demonstrated hand wash practice perfectly.
The schools where we conducted Global Hand washing events as well as hygiene education are now available soap for hand washing after toilet using and the students are washing their hands better than before. 

Shir Ali
Chief Engineer.
JEN Afghanistan Office.




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January 29, 2015 in Afghanistan |

01/15/2015

Capacity Building of the staff

JEN is working for the poor and needy community of Afghanistan. JEN builds capacity of the staff to provide best possible support to the community. Every year JEN arrange different types of trainings to enhance the capacity of the staff. Since joining JEN I attended several trainings which greatly helped me to increase my knowledge. Some of the important trainings are mentioned in the following paragraph.

In 2013 and 2014 different types of trainings were arranged for the staff.

I attended training on Project Cycle Management in 2013. The training was much informative and helped me in understanding the different phases of the project.
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In February 2014 training on report writing and communication skills was arranged for both Afghanistan and Pakistan staff. Main purpose of the training was to improve the report writing and communication skill of the staff which will help in improving performance of the staff and organization.
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In September 2014 I attended a three day workshop on Monitoring & Evaluation in Islamabad. The training mainly focuses on the role of monitoring & Evaluation in the project design. The training greatly helped me to understand these concepts and enable me to give my inputs in the proposal preparation.

In November 2014 two training were arranged for Afghanistan staff in Kabul. First training was regarding the Report writing which helped them in improving their report writing skill. The other training was related to Monitoring and evaluation. The main purpose of the training was to enable the staff to properly monitor the projects. The training also helped the staff members to participate in the proposal writing for 2015. It also helped the Afghanistan staff to evaluate the projects and identify their weaknesses as well as best practices. These trainings improve the performance of the staff which had direct impact on the performance of the organization. Apart from that a basic first Aid training and security training was also given to the staff to ensure their safety and security.
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Hanief Khan,
Senior Programme Assistant,



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January 15, 2015 in Afghanistan |

12/25/2014

Girls Education in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan the life is not easy for girls and women, but there is also a place for hope as there is great potential and energy in the women.

In our war torn country where the generations deprived from education for decades and education was often not an option for girls in that timeframe.

In last 13 years the government of Afghanistan prioritized education and implemented various strategies for it but due to security and other challenges didn’t able to reach targeted goals.
Nevertheless it’s mentionable that the education sector has developed, but it is undeniable that Afghan girl’s education progress has not reached the projected level yet.

The highlighted challenges among girl’s education development in Afghanistan are security, school buildings and facilities, Violence, lack of female teachers and textbooks, culture, distance of schools, teaching materials and equipped laboratories.

According to government figures that among school age children approximately 20 percent do not have access to schools most of which are girls.

We are optimistic because the new Afghan Government has vision of increasing the literacy in Afghanistan and they want a special focus on women’s education.

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December 25, 2014 in Afghanistan |

12/11/2014

Impact of Hygiene Education on children in early elementary school years

Hygiene is a set of practices performed for the preservation of health. Personal hygiene refers to the comprehensive cleaning of and caring for your body. Maintaining good personal hygiene includes bathing, washing your hands, brushing your teeth and wearing clean clothing. Implementing good personal hygiene practices has both health and social benefits. Keeping your body clean is vital in combating and preventing illness - both for yourself and for those around you. Washing your hands can prevent the spread of germs from one person to another or from one part of your body to another. Flossing and brushing your teeth can reduce the likelihood of oral and other diseases.

JEN is carrying out hygiene education program In Surkh Parsa and Shikh Ali in Parwan province in Afghanistan. JEN conducted hygiene education workshops to school teaching staff. Then hygiene education was taught to students by the teachers from May to November apart from July. As teachers role in society is significant, valuable and far-reaching. Through the course of continuous instructions over the duration of 6 months, the children will acquire correct hygiene knowledge, and via frequent hand-on practice, the normalization of hand-washing, tooth brushing and nail clipping will be aimed at.

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JEN team conducts monitoring survey each year to find out the impact of JEN hygiene education program. The survey is conducted 4 times each year i.e. June, August, September and October. The finding of this year survey in Surkh Parsa and Shikh Ali shows that the ratio of “very good” hygienic habits in lower classes were 12.89% which increased to 55.30% in the month of October. The ratio of students with “poor” hygienic habits was 31.55% in June which decreased to 2.06% in October. By keenly observing the data it can be found that JEN hygiene education Program has a significant impact on the students. The data shows that students with “very good” hygiene practices were increased each month while the “poor” students decreased by each month.

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Samar Butt
Finance and Accounts Assistant

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December 11, 2014 in Afghanistan |

11/27/2014

Fall in Surkhi Parsa

Fall has always been my favorite season, the time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale. But is it a beauty in my country Afghanistan? Or is it in where I work, a little corner called Surkhi Parsa with diver’s challenges of security and economic failures? Where I am talking about is the district of poverty and lack of access to means of heating the houses during early winters naturally coming into those high altitude areas.
Fall is with presence of beauty but no one can see it. Fall is bursting all its beauty but concerns of lacking food and fuel and snow that destroys the weak structure of buildings are not allowing the people to look at the beauty and enjoy it.

The most positive one to think of winter and fall is children who are playing with snow, taking the last potato after harvest and cook it in the oven and eat it.
They go to mosques where are used as winter schools and study, although that part is for sure not very interesting for them.

I share two photos of fall season in which I enjoy when I rest and look at the range of countless colors, I see trees like a person who is coming to an end of life, I respect every single leaf in trees like a wise old man, with lots of experiences but soon will fall my short days coming to evening with my own thinking.

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For me it is joy but how about for a former who planted the tree? He is waiting leaves to fall down and collect them for use of fuel and heating in his house. For the former, it is a tragedy that only his five to ten trees stopped producing fruit for his children who have only access to fruit from that trees.

For the former real tragedy starts as days get short and he is not able to work enough out from his form and bring food to his family. Long nights to the lady of the house means that she must stop working like weaving and spanning the yarn for making  sweaters for the children, as means of light is not accessible to allow continuation of work during night time and cope the dark

Life challenges prevent enjoying every one from the nature by one or other way. Everyone gets their own issues from the wealthy to the poor.

Waheed Ahmad
Admin and IT officer

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November 27, 2014 in Afghanistan |

11/13/2014

Remote Development of Human Resources Connecting Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Japan

JEN's Afghanistan Program puts a great deal of effort not only into support activity at sites but also into human resources development of its staffs.

Although international staffs had been in charge of documentation of program plans and reports before, JEN started to prepare program plans in English and as a part of human resources development. It started to give more opportunities for local staffs to learn documentation by in-house and on-the-job trainings since January 2014.

Joint report writing training for Afghan and Pakistani staff on February 12th.
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Icebreaking of report writing training.
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A scene from group presentation of report writing training.
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Preparation of plans by English takes more time compared to conventional plans. However, English plans can include more voices from fields and many more staff can make a contribution to reports using English.

Local staff who experienced preparation of plans for the first time gave the following impressions.

"I knew nothing about writing plans until I get involved in preparation of documents but learned a lot from the experience. I now know the importance of getting support by sharing our needs and preparing documents to organize the points.
I realized that I need to gain more knowledge, practice, and experiences. I will continue to study in the future."

This year, local staff are not only practicing their field activities but also getting involved in preparing documentation through planning budgets and support activities. This makes their ownership to field activities much stronger and raises their morales.

In Pakistan programs, local staffs have prepared the draft of plans for few years already. This time for skill development of Afghan staff, we received assistance from Pakistani local staff. As a result, draft of plan for emergency support for flood damage in north Afghan in cooperation with supporters and the Japan Platform was written by local staffs.

Also, they prepared plan for "Improvement of School Environment and Hygiene Education project in Province of Parwan", which will be implemented in October.

Support activities for Afghanistan face various challenges daily as it has been carried out remotely by international staff in Islamabad. Here, the key to human resources development is solid communication between offices. Staff in Tokyo, Afghanistan, and Islamabad are united as one team that cooperate and support each other. This removes obstacles caused by remote management and enables human resources development.

We will support documentation of plans by local staff continuously in the future. Our goal is to help establish projects that will encourage independence in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as to provide better support by promoting for the betterment of the human resources development and improving the abilities of each staff member.

With Pakistani staff at Pakistan office
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Pakistan Islamabad office
Afghanistan project program officer
Megumi Fujita



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November 13, 2014 in Afghanistan |

10/30/2014

Impact of JEN activities on health and hygiene of people!

JEN has been working in Parwan province since 2010 to improve the health status of the students, JEN is constructing WASH facilities in the schools by the support of JPF. Apart from that hygiene education is also an integral part of JEN’s activities. Hygiene education program is targeting students, teachers and mullahs.

Various surveys by JEN and even by some government departments show that JEN hygiene education programme has a very significant impact on the lives of the students as well as community.

Each year JEN conducts monitoring surveys in the schools to measure the impact of its hygiene education programme. This year in 2014 monitoring survey was conducted in 3 months out of 4 months.

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The results of the monitoring survey are very encouraging. According to 2014 monitoring results 45.67% students have very good hygiene practices in the month of June. The ratio increased to 62.10% in august and even further increased to 64.97% in the month of October.. The survey also suggests that 18.79% students have poor hygiene practices when first monitoring survey was conducted in June. The ratio further decreased to 5.70% in august. This ratio further decreased to 4.29% in October which is a huge change. . The survey suggests that these figures will be more improved in the coming months. The biggest achievement is that there are no students in the high grades who have poor hygiene practices and habits.

Apart from that the statistical data of MoPH shows that the ratio of diarrhea in the JEN targeted areas is decreasing very sharply. MoPH data shows that the decrease ratio is more significant in the JEN targeted areas as compared to Non-targeted areas. In JEN targeted areas the diarrhea ratio decreased by 53.5% since 2009 as compared to 5.3% in the non targeted districts.The continuous decrease in diarrhea ratio suggests that hopefully this declining trend will be going on in the future. 

By observing the latest results, it can be said that after intervention of JEN, health and hygiene status of the students and communities improved a lot.

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Hanief Khan,
Senior Programme Assistant,
JEN Islamabad Office.

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October 30, 2014 in Afghanistan |

10/16/2014

Hand Washing

Hand washing is one of the precious and important physical hygiene activities of personal hygiene, it is the single most effective way to prevent infection and generally we can call hand washing a vaccination to our own selves.

Commonly hand washing is the act of cleaning one’s hands with or without the use of water, soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer or other liquids for the purpose of removing soil, dirt and other bacterial germs.

A person can spread certain germs casually by touching another person and he/ she can also catch germs when he/she touch contaminated objects or surfaces and after that touch his/her face, mouth, eyes, nose and other parts of body.

Hand washing doesn't take much time or effort, but it offers great rewards in terms of preventing illness and adopting of this simple habit can play a major role in protecting our health.

Regular hand washing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.

For hand washing there are five simple steps to wash hands (Wet, Lather, Scrub, rinse and dry) it is mentioned that before washing hands it is better to remove any hand or arm jewels you may be wearing.

It’s very essential to wash hands before and after preparing food, before eating food, before and after caring for someone who is sick, before and after treating a cut or wound, after using the toilet, looking after your children, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, touching an animal and after touching garbage.

If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or ashes and or soil which can help to eliminate some types of germs.

Ashes are antibiotics some time used to kill the germs in case we don’t have other source to remove or clean germs.

JEN Afghanistan has been supporting project targeted areas by Hygiene education training to teachers & to students through their teachers and from students to their families and communities.

There are a lot of changes we can feel and see in the students, teachers and their families to be clean with good health.

This is a positive act for the community from JEN sides, which is really helpful and community is happy by this project.

[ Hand washing with soap by a student during Global Hand washing day ceremony.]
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[Hand washing with soap by a student during JEN HE monitoring]
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[Hand washing with soap by a students during Follow Up]
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In memory of JEN’s 20th Foundation Anniversary, each of JEN offices where it is our work places across the world shared a poster.  The poster says “Wash Your Hands” in some languages that our colleagues use.  In the Afghanistan office, the poster is put up the wall in the office and this encourages that the staff raises awareness of the importance of washing hands as well as the other work places across the world.

[JEN Afghanistan staff posed toghter]
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[ JEN’s Senior Field Officer Hameedullah pose a picture with JEN 20th Anniversery poster]
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JEN Afghanistan office
Senior Field Officer
Hameedullah Hamid




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October 16, 2014 in Afghanistan |

10/02/2014

Dream Bag Distribution

JEN started the Dream Bag Project in Afghanistan by joining hands with Rissho Kosei-Kai to continue their idea of delivering presents that would help heal the wounded hearts of children. JEN has distributed some 4770 Dreams Bags this year to Afghan children’s who were suffering happy in Surkh Parsa, Shikh Ali and Bagram district in Parwan province. Dream Bags were prepared by Japanese elementary and junior high school students who put such things as school supplies, toys, and handwritten notes in handmade Dream Bags for children. Then these Dream Bags are loaded and transported to countries of distribution. JEN after receiving these Dream bags take great care that the Dream Bags were delivered with feelings of consideration, encouragement and prayers for peace to afflicted Afghani children who through wars lost their families, are sick or injured, or have been displaced from their hometowns, or having poor living conditions. Smile on the face of children receiving Dream Bags was worth seeing, it helps bring happiness and excitement to children in low-income families.
One thing I would like to share that happiness is collective. Our happiness depends on the happiness of those we are connected to. Relatedly, science shows that through practicing happiness, we make those we come into contact with happier. This extends to the 3rd degree of contact (a friend of a friend of a friend). Finding happiness is not a selfish pursuit, it is actually doing a favor to those around us. So believe me inner-happiness that comes by providing joy and excitement to needy children through Dream Bags was happiness that comes from doing none other thing.

There are two out of many interviews from the children who receives Dream Bags;

Name: Nabiullah
Age:  12 year
Class: 3rd
School: Shaheed Ali Dost High School
District: Surkh Parsa
Date of interview: September 15, 2014
Comment: It wasn’t that we weren’t informed about these bags, our teachers saying that one of organization will come and distribute you guys’ gifts.
We all were waiting to this day especially I; I had longing and was in impatience that when will I receive this gift from you.
You have made my dream true, it’s really incredible and lovely gifts for us and I promise that I will attend my school daily base and will do study hard “he said”.
Thanks a lot for this amazing gift.

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Name: Zubaida
Age:  8 year
Class: 2nd
School: Fatima Zahra Girl's High School
District: Surkh Parsa
Date of interview: September 17, 2014
Comment: - I’m so pleased to see this bag; it’s a real dream bag which have dolls, tissue paper, notebook, pen, pencils, ball, pencil rubber and sharpener…etc.
I will play on these toys and will use stationary for my school purpose.
I love JEN who gave me lots of pleasure!!!
Thank you so much.
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Samar Shakil Butt
Finance and Accounts Assistant
JEN Islamabad Office


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October 2, 2014 in Afghanistan |

09/18/2014

Floods in Baghlan Province

Almost 80% of Afghanistan is mountainous area, and this is one of the main reasons for flood in Afghanistan.  Flood in those mountainous areas causes casualties and damage to buildings, facilities, gardens, farms and natural resources every year.
One of the reasons for recent floods in northern part of Afghanistan is not seasonal rains but dry land and deforestation from mountain slopes by villagers for their daily needs for cooking foods.

Human lives and properties affected by flood in Afghanistan is people who built houses on the flood path. Weak economy  forced people to build houses on the slopes of hills and mountains. People are not aware of the risk of flood and they are facing the damage of flood.

The highest loss of life and property to the people in some areas of Baghlan was brought by Baghlan floods in 2014. The district of Guzarga-e- Noor is the largest damaged area. The village in this area is totally destroyed by flood. As a result, hundreds of houses are destroyed and hundreds of people were killed. Farang district is the second damaged area. A number of people and houses have been flood victims. The third damaged city is Pul-e-khumri in Quli Naw abad which has been washed a number of houses and full up the city water canal.

Mr. Qasaim, an elder of Gazargah-e-Noor district, said that more than hundreds of houses had been destroyed and several people including women and children had lost their lives in the last natural disaster. He also said that the affected people need humanitarian assistance as those who survived the devastating flood are living in open air.

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TThe humanitarian aid organization has been assisted those who survived the devastating flood and living in open air. One of the humanitarian aids among those was JEN, which organization distributed tent for the affected people who were living in open air and constructed protection wall to avoid next floods.
Mr. Gull Agha, who is living in the district of Qull Naw Abad, is free employ selling vegetables. A part of his poor house was shattered by recent floods. Mr. Gull Agha has thanked to humanitarian aid organization for their kind assistant, especially JEN who are working hard and constructed protection wall to obstacle next disaster.

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September 18, 2014 in Afghanistan |

09/04/2014

Provision of child’s beds for Parwan 100beds Hospital and assistance to promote

The ministry of public health (MoPH) and department of public health (DoPH)have been working closely with the United Nations, USAID, other development partners and NGOs for the improvement of maternal and newborn health in Afghanistan and as you know the maternal and infant high mortality are still big challenges for Afghan population.
As a Parwan DoPH request for needed children beds and Family Planning training for the Parwan 100 beds hospital to JEN, after assessment JEN suggested this project for Kiwanis International Association to assist in this problem reduction with  Parwan 100 beds hospital, fortunately this project approved by Kiwanis International Association and JEN conducted this project in August.

As a first activity, JEN provided 3days family planning training on (16,17 and 18 of August/2014 ) for 15 selected midwives of DOPH from all 10 districts of Parwan province, this training discussed about these topics in details such as physiology and anatomy of women’s reproductive health, common family palnning method, Counseling about family planning, this training was much useful and appreciated from Parwan DOPH and participants, as a JEN protocol these 15 trained  midwives will provide same training to remaining 55 midwives and health workers in order to improve maternity and child health through conducting counseling in all hospital and health centers in Parwan provice.

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Family Planning and its benefits: Family planning, by saving lives of women and children, contributes to achieving the development goals of reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and promoting empowerment of women. It also contributes to the goal of combating HIV/AIDS.
As a second activity, JEN provided and handed over 10 beds for Parwan 100 beds hospital pediatric ward on 28-Aug/2014 which was the first referral source of all 10 districts of Parwan province and it will prevent the transmission of disease between pediatric patients who were share using  an adult bed with other patients in hospital pediatric section.

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On behalf of Parwan people and Parwan PHD,Dr.Qasam”Sangin” Parwan 100 beds hospital director was thankful  and much appreciated JEN national and international staff hard efforts regarding this assistance, special thanks from Kiwanis-International Association .We also received appreciation letters from the director of the hospital.

Reporter:
Dr.Mirwais”Omerzoi”
Senior Field Officer
JEN-Afghanistan

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September 4, 2014 in Afghanistan |

08/21/2014

Provision of safe drinking water

Almost every one of us knows the importance of water in our daily life. Simply life is not possible without water. But it is very unfortunate that safe water is not available everywhere in the world. Especially the third world countries face severe problems to get safe water for drinking purposes. Same is the case with Afghanistan where safe drinking water is not available in every part of the country. Most people use open and unhygienic water on daily basis for their drinking purposes. Even contaminated water of river is used by people in the remote parts of the country.

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For the purpose of providing safe water to the students, JEN is constructing WASH facilities i.e. wells and water reservoirs in targeted schools. To make it sure that all WASH facilities should be safe and according to the international standards, JEN decides to test the water in all targeted schools. In the first step JEN established a water lab to test the water of the targeted schools. Biological tests of water are carried out in this lab. JEN also coordinates with MoPH to test the water chemically. From this year JEN allocated fund for the installation of water filtration system in the target schools.

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If the water is found to be contaminated, we consult with SMCs about the possibility of water chlorination or installation of water filtration system.
SMC will be responsible for the maintenance of the filtration system.

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Hanief Khan
Senior Programme Assistant
JEN Islamabad Office

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August 21, 2014 in Afghanistan |

08/07/2014

Summer in Pakistan

In Pakistan usually summer starts in May and finishes in the beginning of September, but from last few years this cycle is disturbed due to global climate change.  This year the summer started in April and it was on its peak in June & July when temperature touched 50 degree Celsius.

The weather becomes almost unbearable in June-July and people are more vulnerable to sunstroke, diarrhea and other problem specially the people who works under the direct sunlight.

People who can afford to buy air conditioners and other equipments; they use it to reduce the intensity of hot weather. But People in the rural areas where poverty is higher than the urban areas can’t afford it, thus they go to rivers and canals for swimming in the hot weather. Women at home are more vulnerable who can’t visit those places because of culture.

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August 7, 2014 in Afghanistan |

07/24/2014

Nothing could stop us

After Japan Platform approved the proposal of Emergency Assistance for flood damages in Baghlan province, JEN-Afghanistan has started to prepare new office, recruitment and initiated procurement process.  According to the plan, JEN team has started the project activities in Puli Khumri/ Baghlan.

In the response of huge flash floods which occurred in June 2014 in Guzargah-e-Noor district of Baghlan province JEN team is already in the target area. It is the month of Ramadan and we can’t eat or drink for more than 16 hours a day.  When we go to field we eat Sahari (breakfast at 3 am) and move toward Guzargah-e-Noor district to assess the situation and select targeted beneficiaries for tents and hygiene kits. That area is far so that’s why we have to leave very early to reach there on time.

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It’s mentionable that when we visit flood affected families we have to cross 3 districts to reach to Guzargah-e-Noor district from our office in Puli Khurmi, the road is not asphalted and it’s a bumpy. The condition is already bad because of flash floods.

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The other day it took 5.5 hours travel when we reach to a hilltop named Pulfi where the road was blocked, one of our colleague said that it’s really hard to pass this hilltop let’s turn back to base (the height of this peak is approximately 2871m). What should we do? After discussion we decided that nothing can stop us and we have to move forward. We waited for caterpillar to open the road and after clearing we crossed it.

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After travelling a few kilometers there was another road blockage, but due to our team spirit, confidence, leadership and inspiration which team leader gave to other colleagues, finally we could reach to the targeted area.

Some of the villages are completely demolished due to floods and the people are in the urgent need of shelters, FI & NFI, Cash payment and livestock to restore their normal life level because they have nothing of human being basic needs. JEN is trying it is best to support some of the most vulnerable people with its project.

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Senior Field Officer
Hameedullah



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July 24, 2014 in Afghanistan |

07/10/2014

Self-Introduction part2

I am Samar Shakil Butt
I joined JEN as Finance and Accounts Assistant

I am an Accountant by profession and an ACCA by qualification which was the prime reason for my selection. After completion of my study I was inducted at the Islamabad office of one of the largest accounting network International firms as an Audit associate. However due to my commitment or work, I achieved two promotions in a single calendar year. I was promoted to Audit Semi-Senior role and started leading audit teams on various external audits engagements. During my stay at that audit and accounting firm, I was assigned to a diversified range of industries and assignments; ranging from economically significant entities and SMEs to a broad range of not for profit organizations. I came across many NGO’s working in Pakistan including UN. While auditing these organizations, I was increasingly becoming aware of the miserable conditions in which the destitute and impoverished people lived in Pakistan. I have always had a heart for these underprivileged sectors of society especially the orphaned and abandoned children. I witnessed the humanitarian assistance provided by JEN to the victims of the 2005 earthquake. I also observed the aid provided by JEN at various other occasions in the form of makeshift homes, water supply, emergency support and education.

I particularly enjoyed the idea of contributing back to our society, by helping those who in some shape or form can benefit as a result. I believe a man will not take anything from this world just as he did not bring anything in to it but we have to do something for our fellow human beings. These observations and experiences and after being forced by my conscience, I decided to play an active role by becoming a part of this humanitarian work support. I therefore joined JEN as Finance and Accounts Assistant. It makes me feel proud to be associated with JEN. I want to work altruistically to help others in a less privileged state than me and to find ways for myself to grow as a competent professional.

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July 10, 2014 in Afghanistan |

06/26/2014

Introduction of our new staff

I'm Makiko Hori who started to work here in Islamabad from May 28,
and am in charge of general affairs and accounting.
I was a little worried about the security in Pakistan because I heard a lot
of news about suicide bombing and air raids when I was in Japan.
Though the security is getting worse recently, I still see the children 
playing crickets in the fields and mountains are there nearby where we can
enjoy trekking.
Islamabad is a beautiful city with lots of green and with clean streets and
houses.

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Although my work and life are still to be organized more, a month has
already passed so quickly with the help of our kind and humorous staff.
Now I'm working with our staff from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province,
which means we live together eating Pakistani foods and feeling the local
breeze.
This way I feel I can be closer to the residents in the project sites
where I can't visit due to security issues regretfully.
Recently the number of refugees are increasing again in North Waziristan due to clean-up operations by Pakistan army.
In Afghanistan we have never seen any signs of improving the security.
I'm going to work for the refugees here in Islamabad for them to get back
their normal lives hoping peace may come back again to both countries.

Afghanistan/Pakistan program
General Affairs and Accounting Staff
Makiko Hori


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June 26, 2014 in Afghanistan |

06/12/2014

JEN-Afghanistan Team: Hand in hand to Support Landslide Affected Families of Aab Barek Village in Badakhshan

After a catastrophe in Argo district of Badakhshan province,  a massive landslide flowed downward into the valley and buried houses of Aab Barek villagers.

JEN-Afghanistan team distributed hygiene kits, soap, fuel and milk powder with a baby bottle to the sufferers who experienced the land slide.

During the emergency kits distribution, there were children who sat near the NFI materials which were being distributed by other organizations. When I asked them what they were doing, they told me that they were waiting for their parents to receive those materials, pointing out to emergency kits by JEN team. Two of these children, a girl named Mariam and a boy named Tahir, were absorbed in writing something on a piece of paper.
I interviewed Mariam about the landslide of her village and the distribution by JEN. She told us she was attending the wedding party with her family when the landslide occurred.   Suddenly she heard a loud noise and voices of villagers so she and others went outside. When she looked in the direction of her house, she was at a loss for words because of the shocking and horrible sight—her house was destroyed and completely covered by the soil.

She said that she really needed her house and school rebuilt because she loves to go school, and that she appreciated JEN and Japanese people who supported her and her village in this needy time.

Next, I asked Tahir what he was doing. He smiled and told us that he was writing numbers on the paper.
It was really incredible to see those children who were busy writing in the crowd of people receiving relief supplies. It seemed that children of Aab Barek village love to go to school and study hard to have a bright future.

Hameedullah “Hamid”
Senior Field Officer
JEN-Afghanistan

[View of land slide area and tents of affected families in Aab Barek village.]
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[A beneficiary of RKK emergency kits after distribution]
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[Mariam while interviewing with JEN’s Senior Field Officer.]
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写真④.[Tahir while interviewing with JEN’s Senior Field Officer.]
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June 12, 2014 in Afghanistan |

05/29/2014

We are there Again: A Timely Response from JEN!in Badakhshan

On 3rd may 2014 Badakhshan province was hit by flood and landslides. Floods and landslides affected 97 districts throughout Afghanistan. According to UN due to the floods and landslides 675 people were killed in the country. The biggest tragedy occurred in District Argo, where 503 people were killed in one landslide incident. The magnitude of the incident was so huge that it needs urgent response from humanitarian community.

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JEN is working in Afghanistan since 2001. JEN is always there to support the needy and affected people of Afghanistan. Soon after the disaster,  JEN sent its field team to the affected Argo district to identify the immediate needs of the people. Before starting assessment JEN coordinated with UN and other agencies to identify the immediate needs in the area. Then our field team visited the area for assessment and verified the immediate and urgent needs of the people. Based on our own assessment and suggestion from UN, JEN team find out that people need "material" badly. Hygiene was also another burning issue in the target area. As most of the organizations focused on shelter etc, JEN decided to concentrate on the goods distribution. After assessing their needs, 850 beneficiaries were selected in Aab Barek (Affected village) by the help of NSP (National Solidarity Programme).

The list was also approved by DRRD (Directorate of Rural Rehabilitation and Development). After consultation JEN procure 12 items which include hygiene kits, feeder, powder milk, hand wash soap, Jerry Can etc. Feeder and powder milk was much appreciated by the community. According to the community there are lots of infants who lost their mothers and we are much worried how to feed them. The items for infants mean a life for these children. Hygiene kits were distributed to the people to help them in their daily hygiene practices. Distribution was conducted to the people on 14th of May.

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Apart from that, JEN is now in the further process of second assessment for the affected community in Argo district and Badakhshan.

Hanief Khan
Senior Programme Assistant
JEN Islamabad Office




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May 29, 2014 in Afghanistan |

05/15/2014

Spring season and the rebirth of nature and going to school

Spring is the first season of the solar year, and every year the first day of the New Year is called to be celebrated in Afghanistan and the days of the ancient past of this land for our heritage has been and a day across the country to celebrate this day is a public holiday

Beside of that the second day as the first day of the New Year is a public holiday and called it farmer day and schools in some provinces, including Kabul, Afghanistan
In this resolve in all areas including green trees and flowers are alive with many different colors and a green environment, and Fruit trees are in the season of the year and one can see the beautiful green setting of trees.

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All school students go to schools from grades one to twelve, beside of this in the beginning of the year a large number of children who are 7 years of age to go to school, The children are enrolled in school by their families and have no information about the school and the teachers always have something new for them, and children are encouraged by their families to go to school, And this year there is a large number of boys and girls enrolled in schools that same year, their number may be higher than the millions around the country.

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But the only problem is the lack of security and peace for the children of their children trying to be a bright future for the people serving literate generation for the future on their

Prepared by A.Fahim



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May 15, 2014 in Afghanistan |

05/01/2014

Afghanistan historical elections

At last the moment has arrived in Afghanistan when the people are selecting their government by their own choice in a transparent way. Many observers call the current ongoing elections as a historic event in the history of Afghanistan. The country which is going through the difficult time from many decades has shown to the world that they are peaceful and they believe on democracy.

According to news sources almost 60% voters have casted their votes. The total turnout from the election is 7 million out of 12 million.

JEN staffs also participated in voting. There was a security risk all over Afghanistan during the election period but according to some JEN staffs; it was their moral duty to cast their vote for the better future of their country. They are expecting whoever becomes the next president of Afghanistan, he should address the basic needs of Afghan people. He should lead the country by making an example to the world that Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan can stand on their feet by themselves. The people of Afghanistan want peace, which will make them able to become prosperous like the other developed countries.

The result of 1st round of election will be announced on April 26th and 2nd round on May 14th. 

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May 1, 2014 in Afghanistan |

04/17/2014

Proverbs (MATALONA / Zarbul Masal)

Matalona in Pashto and Zarbul Masalh in Dari mean “Proverbs”, Afghan proverb deeply reflect Afghan culture and although they are very simple and every one can use it in their communication.

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Afghan proverbs can have same impact as the great words of famous philosophers and writers around the world history in the wealth and meaning.  A lot of Afghan proverbs are very short but in fact there is a story in the background.  If someone considers its full meaning and knew the fact in the background it’s become of his/her surprise, laugh and delight. Afghans universally prize wit and cleverness in speech and an appropriate Afghan proverb inserted at the right time can carry the weight of an entire explanation or discussion.

A good Afghan proverb properly used can match the enlightenment of Fukuzawa Yukichi, the wisdom of Confucius and the profundity of Zen Koan. Besides, it can be similar to the whimsy of Lewis Carroll, the homespun words of Mark Twain, the lyricism of Shakespeare and Alama Iqbal Lahori who expresses all meaning in one short phrase.

The proper use of Afghan proverbs demonstrates respect and understanding of Afghan culture at a very high level. Their use can lead to deeper personal connections that help to build a bridge among very different religions, ethnicities, customs and traditions. Moreover, it can also be used as a positive relationship-building tool.

Examples of Proverb:

1.Wakht laka Sra Zarr de (Pashto), Waqt Tela Ast (Dari)
means Time is gold.

2.Da Topak Zakham Joregy kho da Jabi na (Pashto) means Har Zakham jor mesha magar Zakhmi Zuban ne (Dari) means The wound of the sword/gun will heal, but not that of the tongue.

3.Da 1 lass tole goti yw barabar na di (Pashto),
  Angoshtan 1 dast hech ga ba hm barabar nest (Dari)
  means Not even the five fingers of our hands are alike (English).

Hameedullah”Hamid”
Seniro Field Officer
JEN-Afghanistan



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April 17, 2014 in Afghanistan |

04/03/2014

Importance of girls’ education

Education is very important for every child whether boy or girl. The challenge of promoting girls education is very tough. The first challenge for girls' education in Afghanistan is cultural barriers.

Cultural barriers include restriction from parents to attend classes with male students, family pressure for early marriage and violence/harassment against girls etc. Other main problems which hinder the girls’ education include Poverty, Lack of school buildings, Lack of basic facilities in the existing schools, increasing attacks on schools and Lack of female teachers. Special measures such as incentives packages are essential to bring more girls to school. With a secure and protective environment at the schools, the enrollment of rural afghan girls can be increased many fold.

There are lots of advantages with girls’ education.The most important are future educated generation, Decrease infant mortality, Decrease maternal mortality, Decrease child marriage, Improve socio economic growth and so on. Keeping in mind the importance of girls’education, JEN also pay special focus on the girls’ education. Till now JEN constructed and rehabilitated many schools in Parwan, Afghanistan.

During the previous year JEN constructed 14 schools, funded by JPF, in District Surkhe Parsa and Ghorband. These 14 schools include 5 girls’ schools. For instance, JEN constructed boundary wall in Hazrat Zainab lolanj girls’ school, to provide more protection and privacy to the girls’ students. So they may be able to continue their education with ease and comfort.

[Boundary wall was constructed in Hazrat Zainab Girls school in Surkh Parsa]
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This year JEN has construction activities in 5 schools in District Surkhe Parsa and Sheikh Ali which include 3 girls’ schools. To contribute to improve the education ratio in Afghanistan, JEN is not only constructing and rehabilitating girl schools, but it also carries out other programmes to improve the education in Parwan province. JEN distributes hygiene kits to the children and taught them basic hygiene education at schools. Although these JEN’s programmes are not girls specific but it covers a lot of girls schools and thus contributing in promoting girls education.

[A new 6 classrooms building were constructed in AliKhani Girls Middle School in Surhi Parsa]
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[Girls students  shows how to wash hands in HE monitoring in Hazrat Zainab Lolanj Girls High School in Surkhe Parsa]
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Hanief Khan
Senior Programme Assistant
JEN Islamabad Office


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April 3, 2014 in Afghanistan |

03/20/2014

Winter sign Kabul city capital of Afghanistan

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Winter in Kabul city is a tough season. Usually these cold days starts around 20th December, to 20th March, and sometimes the climate continues longer. Kabul city has heavy snow and raining, and those who live in Kabul city makes winter like fire wood for stove to make warm their home.

Every year in the beginning of fall season, people try to purchase fire wood before the winter season, but on that time the fire wood cost inexpensive. The cost of fire wood increasing because of in Kabul city there is no other facility such as full time city power, gas, so people should use from this kind of facility as their main utility.

In winter season, people also try to buy warm clothes and shoes. The big problem is transportation especially in the morning time, because of all streets will be covered by ice and vehicles cannot move fast or normally. People have to wait for long time in the vehicles, and difficult to move on time.

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Before this season, students have final exams in their school. All schools are closed and students are in at home for 3 months. This is a chance for them to follow courses.

During the winter time teachers are going to school but not every day, only once a week. This is a free time for teacher, and some teacher will provide work and some teacher will attend to workshop for improving their capabilities. Teachers are training these kinds of workshops, and trainings are always made by government and NGOs.

Now a days a huge snow fall in Afghanistan as claimate changes occur.

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Administration and Financial Manager
Ahmad Fahim

 

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March 20, 2014 in Afghanistan |

02/20/2014

Climate of Parwan Province

Parwan is the central region province of Afghanistan which located north of Kabul with the population of 631,600. All the population is multi-ethnic and it is mostly a rural society. The primary occupations are agriculture and animal husbandry. The strategic importance of Parwan province is it that Salang highway traversed from it, which links Kabul to the Northern provinces of Afghanistan.

 

Parwan province has dry and cold climate, Parwan has clearly defined season. Summer is hot and dry while winter is extremely cold. Summer temperature is high as 40 °C has been recorded while midwinter temperature is as low as -20 °C.

 

Temperature often changes greatly within a single day. Variation in temperature during the day may range from freezing condition at dawn to the upper 12 °C at noon in winter season.

 

In the winter months (November through March) Northerly winds flows south from Russia, bringing blizzards, freezing rain, lashing winds and blankets of snow. This condition always closes supply-route of Salang highway.

 

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People who can afford fuel and firewood buy and store it in their houses before the winter approaches but poor people are always suffering in the winter seasons as they can’t afford fuel and other things which are keeping them warm in winters. They can’t do labour work in winters as the construction is impossible due to heavy snow and rains. Roads and streets are usually closed due to heavy snow in winter so the community is removing the snow with the help of traditional spade to make it walk able.

 

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There were several disasters in winter due to heavy snow and many people killed in it.  One of the most tragic incidents was back in February 2010 when 165 passengers killed and 135 more injured near Salang tunnel in a road accident. 

 

Reporter :
Dr.Mirwais”Omerzoi”
JEN Senior Officer

 

 

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February 20, 2014 in Afghanistan |

02/06/2014

Mysteries of Success in 2013 Projects

As you know that JEN-Afghanistan team successfully implemented 2013 project, it was not just implementation but it was a lessons learning and experience period for all JEN’s staff.

After coordination with DoEs and Government officials JEN need to have a need assessment survey to know about community needs (WASH & Non WASH of schools), after projects approval and informing DoEs, we (Engineering + Field Officers) are going to have a site visit in targeted areas and having a long discussion with SMC Head of school, teachers and    Community leaders. In this session we give them information regarding JEN vision, mission and goals/ objectives of the program (WASH+ Non WASH of Schools), and we are giving them orientation of the program, high community contribution, introducing of construction companies, responsibilities and information sharing.

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In the end of this session we, Community, School administration and DoE responsible becoming a committee (Establishment of SMC) and signing tripartite agreement.
During implementation we have a daily monitoring, weekly meetings with contractors, (discussion of progress of work, quality and quantity of construction according specification of MoE), Risk management, and Weekly reports, Progress of work, supervision and evaluation.

As our operation areas were critical and complicated, we had strong coordination with community, stake holders and directorate of education (DoEs) that’s why JEN able to implement these projects.

Under a strong management Inner in our team we had best cooperation with each other, every individual do their own responsibilities, work hard and implement the project according to plan.

As JEN have transparency in program and community direct and indirect beneficiaries appreciated JEN’s high quality of construction work.
The success of our construction projects was achievement of all JEN-Afghanistan team (Engineering unit, HE team, AIMO, Admin/Finance unit, HQ in Tokyo/ISB team) who struggle and work hard, cooperated well with each others, high inspiration and motivation to achieve goals and help all vulnerable Afghan people in the target to have a bright future for them

Above all were the mysteries that why we able to have successfully implement construction projects in targeted complicated and crucial areas of Ghorband Valley.

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Prepared by Eng.Shir Ali
JEN Afghanistan Chief Engineer of WASH Programe.


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February 6, 2014 in Afghanistan |

01/23/2014

Sustainability in humanitarian projects/JEN Projects

Sustainability could be defined as an ability of something to be maintained or to sustain itself and continued forever. JEN pay special attention to the sustainability of its activities. While chalking out the policies, every activity is analyzed against two main attributes of sustainability. First, the activity should be continued even after the withdrawal of JEN. It means that community should take responsibility to keep that activity ongoing. The second part of JEN sustainable activities ensure that no such activity should be undertaken which deteriorates the natural resources.

The ideal example of JEN sustainable activity is formation of SMC in the schools. JEN staff initially trained the local community about how to carry out the developmental activity for the betterment of their own schools. JEN staff trained the local community in such a way that they should take the ownership of the process .The community should take the lead and carry out the activity in the long run.

It is very encouraging that all SMCs have now proper filing system after JEN intervention. Besides, they conduct meetings on regular basis. According to field staffs monitoring visits, SMCs in previous year’s schools still play an important role in the betterment of the schools and students. Apart from that all SMCs pledged that they will carry out the future developmental works in their respective schools.

For example in the Qalai Nasro High school (District Bagram) where JEN constructed class rooms, latrines and water reservoir in 2012, SMC built a boundary wall by their own efforts after JEN project. They also made a concrete water channel for a stream which flows through the school to irrigate the village’s lands. They planted flowers and trees in the school to increase the beauty of the school.  SMC mobilized the entire community to collect money for the cause. The poor people of the community contributed in the form of labor. SMC and community were so proud and said that they will continue their efforts to sustain the developmental works initiated by JEN.
Department of education is also very enthusiastic about the activity. Because if the SMCs sustained for a longer period of time it will not only help department of education economically but also improve the quality of education throughout the province.

[Boundry wall built by SMC in Qalai Nasro High School in District Bagram]
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[Concrete passage for stream water]
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Hanief Khan
Senior Programme Assistant
Islamabad JEN Office




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January 23, 2014 in Afghanistan |

01/09/2014

The warmest soul drink

 

Happy New Year
Thank you very much for your kindest support to JEN, I would like to appreciate on behalf of JEN Afghanistan.

 

The new year holiday is one of the important event in Japan to go hometown and spend time with family. But here in Islamabad, there is a similar practice after the Ramadan which we call Eid holiday, and new year is not such special days as Japan. Markets are running as usual and cold winter days are continuing as usual too. And in this cold season, Chai is the thing that helps people to warm.

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In Japan, Chai is normally thought as a tea from India, but it is also common here in Pakistan since the era of British England. The price is around 10 to 20 cents per cup, and everyone used to take few cups every day.

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It seems like a tea we can easily make with teabag and sugar in our kitchen, but I can be sure the taste is totally different. Some put ginger, cardamom and many other types of spice. There is hundreds of variation, and to have one cup after shopping in a cold night is one of my fun in this season.

 

 

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January 9, 2014 in Afghanistan |

12/19/2013

Support Staff of JEN Family

The entire Afghanistan program of JEN is been managed by here in Islamabad office. A lot of staffs are working for the assistance for Afghanistan but there are also some members who are taking care of us by the support side.
Our office in Islamabad has seven support staff members. Four drivers, one office cleaner, one gardener, and security guards.
Imagine what would happened if all administrative support staff walked off their jobs today?
And also what it would be like if officer/Assistants had to do the jobs of the support staff as well their own?

Our office cleaner Nasreen is aged but she is so innocent and all the time busy. Sometimes,  she asks me for her problem in a childish and requesting way, few times she wants me to listen her carefully I enjoyed her this act during work.

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Abdul Wahid is one of our drivers who have a funny mood we think him an entertainment channel of boring time for his partners and staff. Sometime his mood is for singing and he entertain his partners this also shows the hidden kid in Wahid.

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Each of support staffs also has lovely character. As JEN is an international NGO and having projects in difficult area, sometimes it seems the field staffs is everything. Of course, staffs who are directly working hard in the project sites are the key, but the support staffs who are assisting the project from the back side are also the part of JEN.
The end of year is almost coming. Best wishes to all staffs who supported hardly during 2013.

JEN Islamabad
Administration and financial assistant
Humaira Wahab

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December 19, 2013 in Afghanistan |

12/05/2013

JEN Presented Writing Instruments to Parwan Orphanage School

On November 18th, 2013, JEN presented 2,422 writing instruments which were donated by Chikuma International Exchange Association to 160 students at Parwan Orphanage School in Charikar, in Parwan Province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

A on-site JEN senior field officer visited the orphanage that day to donate the goods, such as notes, pencils, colored pencils, mechanical pencils, erasers, and rulers to the children at the orphanage.
The left-over materials are being kept in the orphanage for incoming pupils.

【JEN's Senior Officer Hands Out Writing Instruments】
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Parwan Orphanage School is the only orphanage in the Province of Parwan and the orphaned students who go there are not only from the Peovince of Parwan but also from five other nearby provinces.

Chikuma International Exchange Association had supported the repair of its classroom, warehouse, canopy and kitchen, and also installed a toilet.

In addition, the Ministry of Public Health distributes a facility maintenance, education, and food allowances to the school. The Ministry also distributes clothes twice a year for the students.
However, since there was no writing instruments given to the school so far except donation from mosques, there has always been a shortage.

Under such conditions, students are very glad to have his or her own writing instruments thanks to Chikuma International Exchange Association's donation.

【Students Happy to Receive Writing Instruments】
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Mr. Abdul Wahid, the dean of the orphanage expressing his gratitude, saying "I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your warm and unforgettable support to us".

【Dean of Parwan Orphanage School Expressing His Gratitude】
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December 5, 2013 in Afghanistan |

11/21/2013

Reaction to Mobile Cinema

In our last column, we introduced how the Mobile Cinema Program, a part of our hygiene education initiative, changed the attitude and behavior of students.  We would like to share how the students and community responded to this program.   
In order to promote sanitation and hygiene education and awareness among elementary school children, JEN, funded by Japan Platform, began the Mobile Cinema Program.  In June, August and September, films promoting good hygiene practices were shown in schools and surrounding communities. The response was very positive and not only school children, but also many community members of all ages, gathered to watch the films.

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When JEN’s local staff visited the school again for the preparation of next showing, this is what they saw. 
A seven-year-old was about to eat an apple without washing their hands, but an eight-year-old walks up to them and says, “You shouldn’t eat that apple before washing it.  Mina (the heroine of the film) says you will get sick if you eat fruit without washing it.”  It is obvious that these children were influenced by Mobile Cinema.

On a different day, a 64 year old man, who had come to see the film three times already, said, “When I eat, I always remember Mina. She speaks to me and reminds me to wash my hands”.  The message of hygiene education in the films are, without a doubt, reaching the school children as well as community members, and are helping them make better life choices.

The region that JEN is implementing the project in has very limited access to entertainment and most of residents have never seen a movie.  Under such circumstances, Mobile Cinema has become an effective tool, offering both entertainment and hygiene education at the same time. 

Though the Mobile Cinema Project is finished for the year, JEN is planning to implement the project again next year in different schools and communities.  Through this initiative, JEN will continue to send messages of hygiene education and advocate for the improved health of the children and community residents of the target regions.



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November 21, 2013 in Afghanistan |

11/07/2013

Attitude and behaviour change

Bringing changes in attitudes and behaviors of the community is the main goal of most humanitarian projects. For this purpose JEN’s managers chalk out a programme to focus on the behavior of the community and bring long term changes in their attitude and behavior.

Generally people don’t pay much attention to the daily hygiene practices and that leads to different types of diseases.

The main strategy of the JEN’s hygiene education programme funded by JPF is to train the teachers and mullahs about the daily hygiene practices. This training will not only bring changes in their attitude and behavior but they will also transmit these practices to the community.

[Teachers Training_Hand washing with soap by a teacher _Nawi Shikh Ali Boys High  In Shikh Ali]
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To further strengthen the strategy JEN introduced the concept of mobile cinema, which is very unique initiative. Our field officers conducted mobile cinema shows in the schools .In these shows, different cartoons and movies were shown to the students regarding hygiene practices. Students take keen interest in these shows and then they practically apply those practices in their lives.

[Students & teachers watching Mobile Cinema Show in Bibi Ayesha Siddiqa Middle School_Surkhe Parsa]
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We conducted different surveys to measure the positive changes in the behavior of students. We conducted monitoring surveys three times i.e. June, august and September. The result shows enormous changes in the behavior of the students.
According to the results of the surveys, in June 35.25% students have very good hygiene practices. The ratio increases to 58.91% in September. The ratio of students with poor hygiene practices decreases from 12.66% to 7.79%.

Mobile cinema particularly focus on low grade students and the ratio of students with good hygiene practices increases from 7.01% to 29.24%.The low performance of low graders decreases from 23.25% to 15.25%.This year results shows that mobile cinema have a very good impact on the performance of students especially low grade students.

We are hoping that by continuing this programme we will be able to bring a persistent positive change in the live of students.



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November 7, 2013 in Afghanistan |

10/24/2013

Various Livestock in Pakistan

From 16th to 19th October, a big religious festival called Eid ul-Adha was held and celebrated by Muslims all over the world, and of course here in Pakistan too. Most people purchase a livestock for this celebration and sacrifice to Allah, distribute it equally in 3 parts, poor people, relatives and neighbors, and for yours.

Not only this holiday “Eid ul-Adha”, but preparing a livestock and eat meat for their celebration is very common here. Pakistan has a lot of famous and delicious meat menu and rich culture for livestock, but on the other hand there are few regulations for the food that we do not know. Islam is known well that they are not allowed to eat pork. But in Holy Quoran, it also mentioned that blood and dead animals are also not allowed, and all meats should be halal. For example, soft-shell turtles “suppon” and sausage we regularly eat is applicable on this regulation.

Below are the animals we can see easily in Pakistan. Some are edible and some are not.

1. Goat
Common meat, and use for milk product too.
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2. Donkey
Not allowed to eat by Islam.
Common use is carrying people and burden.
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3. Cow
Common meat, and use for milk product too.
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4. Camel
Edible and use for carrying people and burden.
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5. Horse
Do not eat in normal situation, but edible.
Common use is for carrying people and burden.
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6. Sheep
Edible, produce wool and milk
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JEN Islamabad office
Afghanistan Project
General affairs & Accounting
Tasuku Futamura

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October 24, 2013 in Afghanistan |

10/10/2013

Seasonal Fruits in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is an agricultural country and rich for many fruits. These fruits are seasonal product, and the greatest plantations are pomegranate, grapes, and apple.


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Grapes can be eaten as raw or they can be use of making wine (Not allowed in Afghanistan), juice, and jam as normally we know. But in Afghanistan, we also use for vinegar and Grape seed oil. This is a big product in Afghanistan and exports to foreign countries as India, Pakistan, and European countries. They have farmer fields of Grapes in a variety black grapes, green grapes, reddish grapes, small in size large in size.



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Apple is also big product in Afghanistan. Originally, apples have been grown by thousands of years in these Asian area and Europe and brought to America in 17th century. And also one of the main export industry for Afghanistan.



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Pomegranate is a fruit with the coming spring season all the trees are green.  It is one of the luscious fruit is found in some places such as Kandahar province, Kapisa province, Faryab province and Kandahar Kabul. Its botanical name is “Punica Ganatum”. The pomegranate is widely considered to have originated in the vicinity of Iran and have been cultivated since ancient times. Today it is cultivated throughout the region, in the Northern Areas the fruit is typically in season from September to February. And in Southern Areas the season is from March to May.
After picking up after pomegranate-shaped wooden box and professionals within and outside the market to sell, there is a lot of resistance to picking fruit from a tree after we closed for the day it can be kept in a cool place.
It is also very preferred in Pakistan for the prevention of Dengue fever, drinking pomegranate juice strongly boost the immune system.

Our office in Kabul has one pomegranate in the backside of building. Each year, seven months after the start of spring, the season comes in our office and staffs are harvesting the fruit.

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October 10, 2013 in Afghanistan |

09/26/2013

Dream Bags Delivered to Children in Afghanistan Once Again

For the 8th year in a row, Dream Bags have been successfully distributed once again in 2014.
This year, it was distributed in the Surkh Parsa, Shikh Ali and Bagram districts within the province of Parwan, Afghanistan. 4,952 children in grades 1st through 3rd in 35 schools received them.

Dream Bags are handmade by Japanese children, filled with presents such as toys and stationary.

Children living in areas eligible for distribution usually have a difficult time obtaining such items due to financial circumstances.
Here are some of the children in Afghanistan receiving these thoughtful gifts from the children of Japan.

<Distributed on August 17th, Makola Girls’ Primary School (Surkh Parsa)>

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<Distributed on August 18th, Dahno Girls’ Primary School (Surkh Parsa)>
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<Distributed on August 24th,Saroky Girls’ Middle School (Surkh Parsa)>
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<Distributed on August 26th, Nahid Shaheed Girls’ School (Surkh Parsa)>
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<Mr. Naimatullah (39 years old), teacher of Dahan Rabat Girls’ School in Shikh Ali, one of the schools where Dream Bags were distributed>
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“Thanks to the distribution of Dream Bags, students came to like coming to school and studying every day, and we feel it has also led to a rise in enrollment rate. We would like to express our thanks to everyone in Japan.”


<Ms. Yasamin who received the dream bag. (Surkh Parsa, Hazrat Zainab Lolanj Girls’ School, 2nd grade, 8 years old)>
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“I’m so glad to be able to get such a wonderful Dream Bag. In my bag, there is a soft toy that I really love. I will treasure all the things I received. Thank you so much.”



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September 26, 2013 in Afghanistan |

09/12/2013

A story of happiness from a teacher

Pyroki village is located in Surkhe Parsa district and in 2012 JEN planned to start need assessment and technical survey for the next year WASH program plan.

As a member of survey team I also visited that school, during survey I realized and noted a lot of problems of this school and met with a teacher by the name of Muhammad Ewaz who was teaching in that school.

He explained the problem of students, teachers and school in detail and told me the problems which he was facing during his duties as teachers until today.
I asked him if an organization come and solve your school problems, what will be your and your community cooperation and contribution in this regard. After listening, I saw a big smile on his face due to pleasure which is difficult to describe in words. He said that I myself and my entire villager will co-operate the best with such as organization to give us such support to built our school and solve our many school problems.

After our project was approved and I went again to the same school for construction layout, again I faced Mr. Muhammad Ewaz.  He was in hurry to reach me and when he came close to me he strongly hugged me which was showing his happiness for the school construction and children’s future comfort and easy access to the basic needs for education.

He said, “it was my wish that I met you once again and he said it is like he dreamed and his dream came true with JEN support. Today I myself and our entire community are very happy for it”.

[With teacher during layout planning ]
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[under construction school]
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Last week after completion of about 88% work once again I met Mr. Muhammad Ewaz and his happiness was increased this time. He again thanks to JEN staffs and JEN NGO who supported his community. He suddenly disappeared and before going he told us to wait for a while. A little later he came back and brought a delicious meal (milk, yogurt, butter, salad and bread) which was made by his wife for us and culturally people do it to show their happiness and welcome to the people.

We were glad that local people think positive about JEN and they are thankful to all JEN staffs and those who are helping from Japan.




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September 12, 2013 in Afghanistan |

08/29/2013

Introducing New Staff ~ Najibullah Faiz~

Najibullah “Faiz” is now working in JEN Surkh Parsa office.
today I would like to introduce myself.

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I was born and brought up in a Darwaz village of Shikh Ali district in Parwan Province, where I got my primary education in Mohammad Akbar Shaheed high school and continued my secondary and high education in Commerce professional high school of Kabul province.

After finishing my high school continued my higher studies at national institute of management and administration (NIMA) in 2009 and got admission in finance faculty of Duniya University of higher education.

Before to join JEN I worked with MTN Communication Company for one year and Hashimi Construction Company as a finance officer for 2 years.
I was lucky to got job as a Field Officer with JEN where I can contribute spiritedly in reconstruction and rehabilitation of my beloved Afghanistan.

I would like to work as a team members of JEN Afghanistan family and contribute honestly in improving of health and education sectors in Parwan province.

Thank you so much.
[ Me during Hygiene kits distribution in Shaheed Nayzi High School ]
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[Me with JEN Surkh Parsa colleagues after work in the field.]
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August 29, 2013 in Afghanistan |

08/15/2013

Community role in improving education system/infrastructure

Community is an important stakeholder and can play a pivotal role in improving the standard and quality of education.JEN know the importance of their role and involve them in the process to achieve a sustainable education system in Afghanistan.
The following is a list of ways through which communities can contribute to the education delivery,

• raising money for schools;
• constructing, repairing, and improving school facilities;
• contributing in labor, materials, land, and funds;
• boosting morale of school staff;
• making decisions about school locations and schedules;
• forming School management committees to manage schools;
•attending school meetings to learn about children’s learning progress and classroom behavior;
• garnering more resources and solving problems;
• providing security for teachers by preparing adequate housing for them;
• identifying factors contributing to educational problems.

JEN form SMC (School management Committee) in each school and train them. The main purpose is to involve them in their own problem solving and in the decision making process. SMC consist of village elders, head teacher, influential from the community, CDC member, Mullah etc. SMC also collected funds and repair WASH facilities in the schools. There were a lot of schools with damaged WASH facilities for a long time but when JEN established and mobilize SMC in those schools, they repair it on self help basis.

[Dhano Girls Primary School SMC members in a meeting]
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[Community Meeting for establishment of SMC]
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Community participation can contribute to education delivery through various channels.
Reporter: Hanief Khan, Programme Assistant at Islamabad office




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August 15, 2013 in Afghanistan |

08/01/2013

Middle exam of school and summer holiday in Afghanistan in Center and North

Afghanistan is a mountainous country and has a different clime. All of theMuslim faith are learning essential according Islam. In the central and northern part of the country, normally schools starts in March and ends it in November.
From March to the end of August, the weather gets warmer day by day. For the younger students, including first-to third-grade, hot weather is a serious problem for them.
The students also have a serious examination to go on the next grade, and on the hardest season, they have a serious examination.

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This year, exams are in the beginning of Ramadan and the majority students have fasting and they are coming from long distance by walk or bus to the schools for their exam. For students, exams with  Ramadan is a very hard and difficult, but for a Muslim it is a proud moment

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When the exam is over, summer holidays will starti in 15  days. This summer holiday is also for teacher, and during holidays teacher have to check all the examination sheets. After that, teachers have to find a number of the competency of each student. When the students pass complete 15 days holiday, all student go back to school, then teacher in the class will  announce the test results for students

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Secondly the conditions of schools is such comfortable in most places after the Civil War. A large number of schools were damaged or completely destroyed, now some of the students are studying on the ground without roofs through their exams period.

Administration and financial Manager of JEN Afghanistan
Fahim Ahmad





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August 1, 2013 in Afghanistan |

07/04/2013

Interview with Sabza Gul Chikuma Project Beneficiary

A grandmother of this newborn and came from Nijrab district of Kapisa Province ,


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She told her story like this two years before my daughter-in-law got some gynecology problem and she was 8 months pregnant and we came to  Charikar provincial hospital ,my daughter-in-law gave delivery in this hospital but our newborn weight was low and there was no facility for low birth weight newborn care ,for this case doctors transferred us to Kabul for newborn care but unfortunately we lost our newborn on the way to Kabul.

Now my daughter-in-law again admitted in Charikar 100beds hospital gynecology ward but in this time she was 40 weeks pregnant. At first I asked from responsible doctor about newborn care therefore I am fearing about my daughter-in-law newborn but the doctors assured me about newborn care services and they told one month before JEN provided to our hospital some medical tools (Warmer machine, Pulse oxy meter and Ultra Violet machine) by Warmer machine we activated a separate room for neonatal care services in gynecology ward by installation of these tools we will never transfer our patients to Kabul hospitals, by hearing of  this sound I  became much happy and appreciated from Japan people specially from JEN .

One week before my grandchild born by caesarean section in this hospital and my grandchild got good neonatal care services and now my grandchild and daughter-in-law are in good health condition.


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July 4, 2013 in Afghanistan |

06/20/2013

JEN-Afghanistan Water Quality Test

Water is the most important nutrient of body's which makes up 70- 75% of total body weight.

Afghanistan is one of those countries which has semi-arid climate, which leads to the rapid evaporation of surface water, therefore has shortage of water, Nationwide; the majority of Afghan households do not have access to safe drinking water. Because of unsafe sanitary facilities, water contamination with microbiological, physical and chemical pollutions is a major issue in Afghanistan. Many water sources are contaminated with harmful bacteria such as E. Coli which sickens and kills many people, especially children and the elderly.

The most population of Parwan province has no access to safe drinking water and they are using river water which is much polluted with all kinds of pollutions especially microbiological pollutions and affected the people life especially children and elders.

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Therefore JEN has been trying to decrease this problem. In November 2012 ,JEN’s staff received Water Quality Testing Training funded by Japan Plat Form(JPF) in order for JEN to carry out the test  and also activated Water Quality Testing –Lab in JEN Charikar office , we have been conducting  the water  tests in 25 schools in 4 districts in parwan province where JEN had constructed wells and pipe schemes in 2011 and 2012 .

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The tests conducted by JEN follow the standards of WHO, WSG and EU. As a result of the bacteriological tests some samples showed that some schools water facilities were contaminated with harmful microbes (which cause Diarrhea) according to WHO and SPHERE standards.  We highly recommended that no one can use it without chlorination.  After analyzing of WQT-Lab results we have a plan to share this result with Parwan Health Directorate, MRRD and MoE Health department. Then we will follow up this issue to be solved by strengthen their ownership of the beneficiaries after.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Mirwais“Omerzoi” /Senior Field Officer

[Photo:Mirwais]
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June 20, 2013 in Afghanistan |

06/06/2013

Mullahs Hygiene Education Training in 2012 Follow up Report

In 2012 JEN implemented hygiene education training program funded by JPF to Mullahs and trained 348 mullahs in Bagram ,  Jabul Siraj , Shinwari and Siagard districts in July in Parwan Provice. The goal of this training was to transfer hygiene education messages to mullahs and  through them to their followers and community people to increase their awareness level regarding hygiene education , we received this report from Parwan DoR(Department of Religion) directorate about the above mentioned districts training program effects and added that  now it became the habits of mullahs to talk about the importance of hygiene education and effects of it on daily lives for 5minutes in Friday speech.

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According to DoR, the community people knowledge regarding hygiene education were much improved and they were using these significant messages in their daily lives and their concept were outstanding regarding hygiene, now the community people much pay attention to their personal and environmental hygiene therefore the evidence of diarrheal disease , water born disease , skin disease and others much decreased.

DoR directorate is pleasure to cooperate on implementation of such program and happy to conduct 5 to 6 months monitoring by themselves during the project and sure will continue the concept of the program for long term in the areas.

DoR directorate was much thankful and appreciated from JEN regarding this useful program which they implemented and they requested if JEN continue this useful training program in remaining districts it will be better and have much and much positive effects on community people attitudes and behaviors and also the evidence of disease which are controllable by following of Hygiene Education messages will be unbelievable decrease.
JEN will continue this Hygiene Education to Mullahs in the remaining areas in Parwan Province.


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Reporter: Mirwais Omerzoi,  Senior Field Officer



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June 6, 2013 in Afghanistan |

05/23/2013

Coming together is a beginning ~Joining as a new Team Member~

Hello to all Colleagues at JEN!
First I want to introduce myself. I am Hanief Khan and belong to Chakdara, Lower Dir in Pakistan. I have done my master in Sociology and M.Phil in Urban and Regional Planning. I am working in the humanitarian sector for the last 7, 8 years and I am proud to say that I have learned a lot from my supervisors, colleagues and community people etc.

For me the most important and the most enjoyable experience is to work with team members. This is the beauty of humanitarian sector that you work with people from all over the country as well people from all over the world. This is the best opportunity to experience the people from all religions, cultures and societies. You have the opportunity to share your thoughts with them. It was always a great feeling to know other cultures, languages, religions etc.

Now most luckily I got an opportunity at JEN. I joined JEN as a Programme Assistant at Islamabad office. Let me admit that it is an honor to be here and be your new colleague. This is my first month at the office. From my first moment I got the feeling that I have entered an amazing place. A very friendly and cooperative atmosphere, everybody welcomes me in a very friendly way.

The other exciting thing about my new responsibilities is that I am recruited for Afghanistan programme. A Refugee camp has been established at Chakdara (my village) since Afghans were displaced from their home land. So I have lot of friends from my school days. We have participated in each other ceremonies for the last 30 years. So its like joining old friends. Though I still do not get opportunity to meet or interact with all field staff at Afghanistan. But I already heard from my colleagues that all of them are very friendly and cooperative. I believe that working with JEN will further enhance my skills and capabilities.

I am most lucky that wherever I got opportunity I met with great team members. For me the key to be a successful team member is to listen to your colleagues and cooperate with them. All I learn is that be cooperative, listen and talk to your colleagues and you will see the warm response from your colleagues too. Talk and interact with your teammates to understand what you have to be achieved as a team.

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There is a famous saying,”Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”So for I have a perfect beginning and sure will succeed with the help and support of colleagues.
Regards,

Hanief Khan.

May 23, 2013 in Afghanistan |

05/09/2013

Historical Ruins from Gandhara Era “Taxila”

JEN’s international staff of  manage projects in Afghanistan from the Islamabad office, and close from there, are historical ruins called "Taxila" from  Gandhara era.
The ruins, built about 2,500 years ago, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
At the museum next to the ruins, many old coins and Buddha statues are displayed.One can imagine what life in that era was like from observing such objects.

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The basis of these ruins has remained well intact from that era.There are also ruins of temples and towers.
2,500 year ago, Japan was in the Yayoi era, and you can notice that Afghanistan was more developed compared to Japan around that time.

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There are many things you cannot see in Japan, such as Buddha statues from BC.
If you are interested in archeology, I would recommend visiting here.

JEN Islamabad office
Afghanistan& Pakistan Project
General affairs & Accounting
Tasuku Futamura



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May 9, 2013 in Afghanistan |

04/25/2013

Pakistani Traditional Costume, “Salwar Qameez”

It is a great pleasure to us, Pakistanis, to see JEN’s Japanese staff getting familiar with Pakistani culture. Today, I will introduce Pakistani traditional costume, “Salwar Qameez”. I did not have any special feelings toward this costume, but JEN’s staff of various nationalities wearing this costume looks very elegant indeed.
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“Salwar Qameez” has a history going back to the 12th century, the time of the Mughal Empire. Salwar Qameez itself is said to originate from clothes worn by the Turkic tribes, who led a life riding horses in the great plains of Central Asia. Most of these tribes converted to Islam.
Since the 12th century, this area had been frequently invaded from outside. Eventually, a regime by the Turkic Iranians (Delhi Sultanates, later taken over by the Mughal Empire) was established in the area of present-day North India and Pakistan.
As a result, Salwar came to be worn as a traditional costume. Nowadays, people of diverse religions, not necessarily Muslims, wear this costume in everyday life.
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Many people wear Salwar Qameez in South Asia. “Salwar” is a pair of loose pants and “Qameez” is a shirt with long sleeves. It is comfortable to wear and worn in everyday life as well as in the ceremonial occasions like funerals and weddings. Particularly in India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, it is commonly worn. The pants are loose around the hips like pajamas and tight around ankles.

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When women wear Salwar Qameez, they usually wear a long scarf or a shawl called “Dupatta” around their heads and necks. For Muslim women, Dupatta is a lighter alternative to Chador or Burqa.  For Hindu women, Dupatta is very useful when the head must be covered, as in a temple or in the presence of elders.  Dupatta is simple and stylish and can be simply worn over your shoulder or draped around your chest and over your shoulders.

I really hope you will have a chance to become familiar with this culture.

April 25, 2013 in Afghanistan |

04/11/2013

Surkh Parsa district targeted schools SMCs Tripartite agreement with JEN

As JEN engineering team decided have mission to Surkh Parsa district for mobilization and to Share list of construction projects with District governor and DoE officer.

During our visit with DoE representative for tripartite signing they had warm welcome to us and were very happy to have JEN’s construction projects beside Hygiene education in Surkh Parsa district, they really promised us for good cooperation and coordination with JEN and call to JEN that don’t be hesitate for any kind of cooperation from their side.
We have sign tripartite with targeted school’s SMCs, we had explained JEN vision, mission and goals of JEN and they had long discussion and information sharing with JEN team and said that we have lots of school construction problems and suggested JEN to provide assistance in this regards.

They had suggestion to hire community residents as labors in JEN’s construction projects, because they are vulnerable and don’t have any other source of income, JEN team said that we discussed with construction companies to hire community residents as skill and unskilled labors to have capacity building and community contribution.
JEN team emphasized and said clearly in every SMC meeting that the land which you are provide for school building construction the location must not have conflict on land and when we completed the school building construction and handover projects  to DoE after six month warranty SMC is responsible  for operation and maintenance of the construction projects .
All of them appreciated JEN WASH, Non WASH and HE program in Surkh Parsa and promised that they will help and assist JEN in the term of construction activities.

【JEN team members during SMC meeting for tripartite agreement in Surkh Parsa district.】
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【 SMC meeting with JEN staff for tripartite agreement in Surkh Parsa district.】
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【 SMC meeting with JEN staff for Construction Company introduction and tripartite agreement in Surkh Parsa district.】
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【 JEN staff while having meeting with SMC for Construction Company introduction and Tripartite.】
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Eng. Shir Ali Chief Engineer / JEN-Afg

April 11, 2013 in Afghanistan |

03/28/2013

Nowroz (New Year) in Afghanistan!

This year, the Nowroz festival holds even more significance and importance in the lives of Afghans since the United Nation’s General Assembly recognized 21 March as International Day of Nowroz.
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Every year, tens of thousands of people travel to the northern Afghanistan city of Mazar-e Sharif to watch the elaborate ceremony in Hazrat Ali tomb.
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One of the most significant symbolic traditions of Nowroz in Afghanistan is Haft Mewa “Seven Fruits”, the “seven fruits” table starts with seven dried fruits:- Raisins, Senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), Pistachios, Hazelnuts, Prunes (dry fruit of apricot), Walnuts and either Almond or another species of Plum fruit and it is like a fruit salad (fruit chat), served in the fruits’ syrup.
【7 dried fruits for Haft Mewa】
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【Made Haft Mewa】
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Traditionally, Afghan women celebrate Nowroz with Samanak: - it is made of wheat germ and is a special Afghan female tradition, they cook it from late in the evening until daylight and during this cooking time, the women gather around and sing Nowroz’s songs (exp: hala Nowroz raghi/ hala Nowroz amad), accompanied with special drums and dancing and no men are allowed to take part in this ceremony.

【An Afgan woman while making Samanak on Nowroz day】
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【Lunch on Nowroz day】
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The official speech, the president calls upon the special security guard to start the New Year (Nowroz) celebration with three shots of cannon, following the three shots then a huge flag is raise from the ground and People watch the movement carefully (if it rises hard and slowly, a bad year is predicted but if the flag is risen gently, the New Year is predicted a fortunate and happiness year) after 40 days government official come and put down the flag as it raised.

When the day’s ceremony ended, the night’s ceremonies arrive full of music and concerts, every year lots of top singers are invited by the government to travel from Europe and America to Afghanistan and sing for the New Year celebration, Not only Afghan singers are invited but groups of musicians and singers from Pakistan, India, Iran, Turkey, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are included to participate and demonstrate their culture alongside Afghan artists.

After the official ceremony, people head to a huge field for a game of Buzkashi, an ancient traditional sport where riders on horses compete over a goat or calf carcass.

March 28, 2013 in Afghanistan |

03/14/2013

Hygiene Education Training for School Teachers

In February, JEN held a three-day hygiene education training for 494 teachers at 32 primary, middle and high schools in Surkh Parsa and Shikh Ali district in Parwan Prefecture. The teachers who participated in the training will then implement hygiene education in their respective classes for 5 months from May to October, except for summer vacation in July. Their objective of this continuous teaching is to ensure children have correct knowledge and right hygiene habits. 

In the teacher's training of hygiene education, both theory and practice are taught. Contents cover significance of teaching hygiene, water and food hygiene, and various practices such as how to wash hands, cut nails, brush teeth, and make oral rehydration solution (ORS) which is used to prevent dehydration caused by diarrhea.

The training was carried out in the form of participatory workshops including activities such as group work and discussion. The teachers taking part in the training showed great interest in hygiene education, asked many questions and actively participated in the discussions. Through the 3-day training, improvements were seen in the teachers’ knowledge of hygiene education and their ability to practice it. The training ended with the teachers’ commitment to pass on what they learned in this training to their students.

[Group Work of Hygiene Education]
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[Practice of Making ORS]
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[Practice of Hand Washing]
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The following is an interview with a teacher who participated in the training.

Name of Teacher: Mr. Sayed Adil Shah
Name of School: Hazrat Zihab Lolanj High School for Girls, Surkh Parsa District
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“Prior to taking part in this training, I didn’t know the significance of hygiene education. By participating, I realized how important and useful hygiene education is in our daily lives and found out what kind of benefits there are.

Learning hygiene education was very interesting and by now I have acquired the knowledge of all the topics I learned in the training.

I am going to hand down the knowledge and the practices I acquired here to the students at my school. I will also tell my students to pass on what they learned from me to their family members. I am thankful to be given this opportunity of taking part in a wonderful training like this.”

March 14, 2013 in Afghanistan |

02/28/2013

Remote Project Management

JEN Afghanistan program is remotely managed from Islamabad (Pakistan). The team in Islamabad works closely with the Afghanistan local staff to smoothly run the project and achieve desired goals and objectives.

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Remote management is one of the most difficult types of managing projects. It needs several things to be taken care very seriously and can called be as keys to success. Some of the key areas of remote management are as follow;

•Online communication: In online communication we only rely on words, you can’t see one’s expressions or gestures while talking on phone or reading someone email. Therefore every member of the team should know the importance and techniques of online communication.

•Proper flow of information is one of the key points in remote project management. In remote management the information should be shared very carefully. For example a staff is sharing some information and he missed a key member to put in CC or on the other hand if there is any confidential information and a staff who should not get those information is been put in CC of an email, both these cases are unfavourable which should be given proper consideration.

•Respecting cultural and geographic difference is one of the important aspect remote management. Time difference, cultural difference and other religious and social things should be kept in mind while you are talking to someone who I not present in front of you.

•Meeting Staff face to face: Once in a while face-to face meetings are very important part of the project management. The team from the field should be called to meet with international staff, it will help them to know each other’s better and to make the field staff feel that they are of the organization and team.

•Knowing your team: Managers know the capabilities of your team member and should trust their abilities and it should be communicated to the team member that how important they are for the management and project.

•Treating all Staff Equally: Staffs in the office and on the field are assets and they should be treated equally. Every member of the team whether in office or in field have their own jobs to perform, everyone should be treated and rewarded equally according to their performance.

JEN Islamabad team is trying all possible ways to get the things more effective and efficient.

February 28, 2013 in Afghanistan |

02/14/2013

'Faisal Mosque' — The biggest Islamic mosque in South Asia

In Islamabad, Pakistan (location of JEN office for activities in Afghanistan), resides the biggest mosque in South Asia, and the fourth biggest in the world.
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Construction of the Faisal Mosque was completed in 1986, commissioned by the third King of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The temple took on his name as a tribute. 
It is now recognized as a national mosque, and on days of religious activity the reading halls are packed with followers.

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Footwear is removed at the entrance.
Unfortunately pictures are not allowed to be taken inside. However, at the time of our visit, 'azaan' (time dedicated to prayer) brought together a large gathering of followers.
 The Faisal Mosque is built at the foot of mountainous land, with the base spanning roughly 5000m2. The reading hall can accommodate more than 10,000 people — the sheer size and aura are overwhelming. The mosque is also open to visitors of different/no religion, and is a work of art definitely worth seeing.

February 14, 2013 in Afghanistan |

01/31/2013

Why we take Lunch together?? “Our best thoughts come from others.”

JEN staffs in Islamabad spent most of our time in office and it is very important to have social gathering beside of work to get realize that we are not machine but human being. This realization contributes more creativity to work as balance is maintained. This is an excellent opportunity to know about diverse cultures as well as diverse methods of getting work done, because most of the colleagues in offices are from diverse cultures and regions.
But in the other hand, we can say that this is a good chance to share diverse cultures and thoughts. In this way the colleagues shares ideas with their team and it’s an opportunity to know the team members more closely.
Let me share some of my experiences with having lunch together with our respectable colleagues;
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The importance of having lunch time together with my co-workers is not negotiable, to me. It is probably very common for people to eat lunch with colleagues, but sometimes we forget this importance. It is especially very important when we are working in a different work culture. In our office we are 7 colleagues in total coming from different area within the country and outside of country. The know how idea is very limited during working hours we know each other only up to work related issues, which sometime cause frustration if we don’t have the opportunity to know one personally. Lunch time is an excellent opportunity for us to share our personal issues and happy movements we feel during work as well during personal lives. Similarly we take these opportunities to challenge because everybody shares their own experiences, how they tackle their own issues. Personal sharing is of utmost importance to know each other and to implement the experiences in work places as well as personal lives. We all sit together which includes superiors and subordinates, which is a good tie for the superiors to know their subordinates issues and level of completing tasks and their personal life, similarly for subordinates, they easily can understand their superiors mentality and can grab it in work. This time make us fresh in the mid of day same as like in the morning freshness,

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To find that free time is hard for anyone and it may be hard for people who have kids/family to come out for any other parties we throw to talk and spend time. People do not just function based on rules; we may need a favor outside of rule book at work or outside work. The only way a colleague will be willing to help is if he or she can trust you. TRUST only develops by constant relationship building and conversation on a personal level other than work related stuff.  Bottom line, we should use our lunch time (if you can) to build that relationship. I have so many good friends even today. In fact, I got my good image just because of the trust my colleague had in me and it was built by our lunch conversations.

It is very important we find some common ground to have a friendly conversation that is not related to work. Depending on the time of year, most of them follow some sports. It can be Cricket for us and Boxing for Japanese. We discuss about games within the country and outside of country, it is a good time to discuss about families unless we really don’t know each other we cannot enter to someone’s personal space directly. We respect each other views and hear only what colleagues wants to share, strictly avoid what colleagues don’t want to discuss about. We usually share ideas about sports, culture, shopping dresses, cooking, likes (dislikes) & languages and sometime Religious. Politics is debating subject, so often we discuss about it. Our topics are also on stock market sometimes, we just need to pick a common ground and talk that is interesting for all of us.

The summery of all this discussion is we all colleagues are just like friends during lunch time and it’s a good opportunity to know each other professionally as well. Your work place will be lighter if you work with friends rather than just colleagues. I had & I have very good time at my work because we all are good friends beside of good colleagues.
GOD blesses all of us!

“If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow & which will not, speak then unto people.”

Regards,
Humaira Wahab

January 31, 2013 in Afghanistan |

01/17/2013

Coordination

JEN is running its program remotely from Islamabad since 2007 after the security situation became bad in Afghanistan and it was difficult for International staffs to stay there due to security reasons.
All the international staffs moved to Pakistan and started to remotely manage the projects with the help of hard working Afghan colleagues in Afghanistan who are doing their best to help International colleagues to support the people in need.

So far JEN never faced any big problem by running the project from far without any presence there. We have our eyes there in shape of Afghan colleagues and thanks to the latest communication system like Internet, skype and phone by which it is easy for colleagues to work living across the borders.

International staffs in Islamabad office are in close coordination with Afghan colleagues on daily basis and receiving the updates and reports. The professionalism from both sides is working well and the way of coordination is improving day by day although we have regular personnel changes in our team.

【Afghan staffs in Isrambad】
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Of course that way of communication is working but at the same time it is also important to meet with the staffs in person. Unfortunately JEN international staffs can’t visit Afghanistan but we invite our Afghan colleagues regularly to Islamabad office and discuss about the program and development. We discuss different issues on going and strategy for the future. At the same time our Afghan colleagues prepare presentations to help us more to understand the situation. It is good as the staffs from Pakistan program also present and they meet with Afghan colleagues. They learn from each other’s and know about the JEN programs of both the countries.

【Afghan staffs visit】
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We hope that in the future the situation in Afghanistan would become better and international staffs will have access in Afghanistan to work there. We are working in remote which is sometimes hard for us but at least we are happy that we are contributing something to the people of Afghanistan from far.

January 17, 2013 in Afghanistan |

12/27/2012

Local Community’s Contribution for school

The reconstitution of 81 facilities at 23 schools in Bagram, Province of Parwan and Jabul Safaj District started from last April completed on November. One of the schools, Qalai Nasro Boys Middle School in Bagram did not have any schoolhouse or any water closet before the renovation. In lieu of the school, a nearby mosque (as chantry of Isram religious) and its rest room and well were used. However, there was no desk or chair in the mosque and the students must sit on the ground to take lessons. Moreover, there were shortage problems in the number of teachers and lecture rooms; only 10 tutors assigned for 610 of the enrolled students, and some of them had to attend lecture outside because of over limit of lecture rooms.

[At beginning of construction work]
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Confronted the above-mentioned situation, JEN constructed new facilities, such as 6 school rooms, 4 rest rooms and a hand-wash station with a water storage. In addition, each classroom has a blackboard, desks and chairs.

[New facilities accomplished]
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After the reconstitution, the school’s steering committee started to handle facilities’ operation and maintenance. they voluntarily took further actions to improve education environment and asked local residents’ cooperation to make a external wall around the school, water channel between the school and the neighboring region, and planted flowers and trees.

[External wall made by villagers]
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[Water channel, flowers and trees ]
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Such a self-action by local community encouraged people to care of schools and children. Furthermore, it is prospected that operation of facilities and further approach to improve the education environment will be conducted continuously.

December 27, 2012 in Afghanistan |

12/13/2012

Cricket in Afghanistan

In the 1990s cricket became popular amongst Afghan refugees in Peshawar/Pakistan where they playing cricket in their settlements and the Afghanistan Cricket Federation was formed there in 1995.

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They continued to play cricket on their return to their home country in late 2001 and this was the year when the Afghanistan national cricket team formed and Afghanistan women national team in 2010.

[Women national team]
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The Afghan team rapidly rose through the World Cricket League since early 2008 awesomely, this young team participated in the  ICC World Cup Qualifier 2009, 2010 ICC World Cricket League Division One and 2010 ICC World Twenty20 where they played India and South Africa.
Afghanistan national cricket team has the world record that hasn’t lost a 4 days match yet.
The team won the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Twenty20 Cup in 2007, 2009, and 2011, It played against top ranking teams in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2012 and the ICC World Twenty20 2012 where they played India and England and wondered the world/ it was the unbelievable dream of Afghan nation to see their national heroes play against international top ranking cricket teams which became the reality.

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Cricket brought Peace, Unity, Respect, Reliance, Pleasure, Humility and Love to Afghanistan and Afghanistan national cricket team to whom the world calls Gold in Ashes!

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The following are the major cricket stadiums in Afghanistan:
Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Cricket Stadium in Nangarhar Province
Qandahar International Cricket Stadium in Qandahar (under construction)
Ghazi international Stadium in Kabul
Kabul National Cricket Stadium in Kabul (under construction)

Work on the Sherzai Cricket Stadium in Jalalabad/Nangarhar a city known in Afghanistan for being the “CAPITAL of CRICKET” is continuing.
The government of Afghanistan and Cricket Board was planning to construct standard cricket grounds in all 34 provinces in next five years.
It’s mentionable that the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in the UAE named the 'home' ground of Afghanistan by this news the entire world shocked.

By: Hameedullah”Hamid”
Field Officer

December 13, 2012 in Afghanistan |

11/29/2012

Staff celebrating Birthdays at office

This is Shahid Khan, working with JEN as Program assistant for Afghanistan program in Islamabad office. Today, let me tell you about an activity being followed in JEN Islamabad office since last year, “Staff Celebrating their Birthday” at office with colleagues. 

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Usually, when we think of birthday the initial thought we get is cakes, balloons, gifts, party etc. But celebrating birthday at JEN Islamabad is quite different from what we have on our minds. Here, the birthdays are very simple but yet rejuvenating. The birthday boy or girl has to order a cake him/herself and receives birthday wishes from colleagues and everybody enjoy the cake with tea.

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I, personally see this fifteen minutes activity as a very positive practice. It gives a chance to all staff to get out of the stress of tough work schedule by having a casual chat with colleagues and enjoying the cake. Receiving birthday wishes from everyone works as morale booster and motivation is increased. Most importantly this activity creates an opportunity of good team building informally. The celebrations often have a relaxed atmosphere, where colleagues are able to get to know one another beyond the daily work they do together. In addition, this connection helps our team to work together better in achieving projects goal.

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I, think such type of activities should be encouraged at work place as it helps to connect, in networking, motivation and bringing everyone together.

November 29, 2012 in Afghanistan |

11/15/2012

Staff Training

Previously in our rapid aid report, we reported about the security training that JEN does not only receive programs from outside but also within their group. Each staff is based on different background and their supporting content differs as well.

The activities of JEN are based on “what kind of aid is required in the local area” and not “what we like to aid”, so a wide view and knowledge is required to fulfill the aid. For example, other than security managing projects or gender will be an issue.

This kind of training is not only for the international staff but it can take place with the local staff. Early November in Afghanistan, in order to improve the communication and sharing information efficiently the training was done only among the local staff.

The international staff of JEN manages the supporting project of Afghanistan from Islamabad of Pakistan communicating with the local staff based on mail and telephone.
Therefore, communication skill will be vital for the program and improvement of everyone’s ability is essential.
This time, the local staff experienced in communication skill became a lecturer and performed the training by themselves. We will do our best to update the ability of the staff and organization by this kind of training to achieve a high quality aid.

November 15, 2012 in Afghanistan |

11/01/2012

Global Hand Washing Day

In 2008, the International Year of Sanitation, October 15th was decided to be the Global Hand Washing Day to promote the correct method of washing hands. Since then, activities related to this day have taken place in Afghanistan, as well as in other countries, every year.

Many children die from diarrhea worldwide. UNICEF has reported that 42% of such diarrhea cases can be prevented by washing hands, so the habit of hand washing can help save lives of many people.

In Japan, we take washing hands for granted, and we have access to safe water everywhere. In other countries, however, there are many places where water supply itself is unavailable, or people are not familiar with sanitary habits. Such situations are causes of diarrhea. In Parwan Province, the Afghan region where JEN operates, there is very little access to safe and clean water, and correct sanitary habits have not taken root in the society. As a result, diarrhea is one of the most widespread diseases among children.

On October 15th 2012, JEN collaborated with the Department of Education, schools and the local community in Parwan Province, and held an event to promote sanitation. It took place at five schools (Zarbia High School, Abozar Ghafari High School, Jabul Siraj Girls High School, Gul Bahar No.1 Girls High School and Haji Khairudin Girls Middle School) in Siraj District, JEN’s project site.

(At  Jabul Siraj Girls High School)
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(At Zarbia High School)
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The event was held from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and participants were consisted of the head and representative staff members from the Department of Education, community leaders, school teachers and students. The aim of the event was to have the students enjoy learning sanitary facts, as well as the importance of putting them into practice, so it included activities such as songs, skits, role-plays, quizzes, and a contest featuring pictures of hand washing, which the students drew as part of their summer homework.

The program started by reciting phrases from the Koran, followed by a headmaster’s speech on the importance of sanitary habits. Students then sang a song which carries a message promoting sanitary education, written and composed by JEN staff and the schools.

(Washing hands alongside the chorus)
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After the chorus, the head of the Department of Education talked about the importance of washing hands with soap, as well as the history of Global Hand Washing day. In promoting sanitary habits, students played skits prepared themselves, and did role-plays. The quiz session was full of excitement; the students had much fun competing for correct answers.

A picture contest featuring the students’ summer homework also took place, and prizes were given to the winners.

(Pictures in the contest)
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At this Global Hand Washing Day event, with the students’ active participation and enjoyable learning methods, we successfully raised the their awareness to the importance of sanitation.

JEN will utilize the feedback and lessons of this first event, and aims to create an even better Global Hand Washing day event next year, so that children can be more familiar with sanitation facts, keep putting sanitary habits into practice, and improve their health conditions.

November 1, 2012 in Afghanistan |

10/18/2012

Delivered Dream Bags to Children in Afghanistan

Following the last year, we have got Dream Bags distributed to 7,087 of 1st to 3rd year students at 27 of schools in the district of Bagram in Province of Parwan. The project of distribution of Dream Bags is now in its seventh year.

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Dream Bags arrived in Afghanistan from Japan

In the district of Bagram in Province of Parwan, the offensive against the air base by anti-government armed group has still been continued in this year. The children at the surrounding area have precariously been living with putting their life at risk. Due to economic reason, it is a difficult state to buy any stationeries and any toys for a large part of the children. We would give an introduction to the scene when we have delivered grave gifts from Japanese children to them.


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At Girls’ school of Bagram on 19th September, 2012

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At Alawodin Shaheed Middle School on 3rd October, 2012

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“I am so glad to receive a present with many of stationeries and toys. I will use it with taking good care for my study. I wish to express my thanks.”
Ms. Safia received a Dream Bag (Qalai Beland Girls high school, 3rd grade, 9 years old)


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“I much appreciate for giving my daughter such a great gift. She has a profitable time with playing toys and studying with stationeries.
Qalai Bayazid Primary School  Mr. Hedayatullah, his daughter received a Dream Bag (55 years old)


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At Shomanzai Primary School on 4th October, 2012

The children in Afghanistan have been grateful to Japanese children for receiving Dream Bags which Japanese children packed toys and stationeries in their handcrafted bags.

October 18, 2012 in Afghanistan |

10/04/2012

Security Training

This is Hutamura who is assigned to accounting and general affairs at the JEN office in Afghanistan. There are 11 of us including the international staff who have been called in from Afghanistan and Pakistan who have been attending the security training for 5 days in Islamabad in Pakistan.  The high density training covers a large diversity of aspects such as advance preparation, escaping, responding and the rescue methods for dangerous situations.  The staff have been taking this training very seriously and the public safety measures are necessary for both countries to put the projects in execution.

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In their training, the case of the supply distribution project for the emergency assistance was presented. The riot at the end was a result of the distribution of food aid in the developing country.  At the humanitarian aid site, in order to prevent that kind of case, we have to pay careful attention during the supply distribution, for instance, “coordinating with the leader in the community.”, also ”the relief supplies have to be kept in a safe place where the people cannot find and distributed the supplies to each other”.

I have conducted the distribution of the emergency supplies in Tohoku district since the end of March 2011. Because of my lack of experience at the emergency humanitarian aid site I only have basic knowledge and lack the proper training like above.

We also learned about the must-have portable equipment such as food, water and maps to bring to the place where the project is going on.  I can easily imagine that we would cause a lot of panic if we were ever isolated by the closed road like in march 2011 when there were still many aftershocks.

Through this training, I have been keenly aware that there are still hundreds of things to learn as someone who is part of the humanitarian aid projects.  Moreover, it is not hard to find more common ideas in the supporting sites both in Japan and abroad.
I am going to make use of the things I have learnt from this training so as to work on our projects even harder and thanks for the support from all of you.

October 4, 2012 in Afghanistan |

09/20/2012

The Villagers listened to the Sermons about Hygiene from Mullahs

Since our health education training for Mullahs, Muslim clerics, which the previous report talked about, Mullahs have told the villagers about hygiene in delivering a sermon at Friday worships in the mosques, Muslim worship places.

Here are some comments on hygiene by a few of the villagers living around the mosques, who listened to the sermons.

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“On Friday Mullah spent ten minutes telling us about health education, benefits of hygiene, and relation between hygiene and health before the worship. Thanks to it, we started having an interest in hygiene. Everyone said they would spread what they learned here to the people in the area.”
Samar Gul, Shepherd, from Gujar Khil Village, Bagram District

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“I had already realized the importance of hygiene, because my son had given me some information on hygiene he got at school. This time Mullah told me about it at the nearby mosque, which reminded me of how important it is to take hygiene in everyday life for health. I would like to tell all of my family members and make it a rule to keep hygiene with my son.”
Hanifullah, Security guard, from Medan Minara Village, Jabul Siraj District

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“I am glad that Mullah told me about health and hygiene based on the teachings of Islam.”
Anzar Gul, Farmer, from Qala Mir Village, Jabul Siraj District

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“I was told about hygiene at the mosque last month. Mullah told us that it is very important to put this advice into practice and share it with our family members for all of us being healthy. Now I know five key points of hygiene: water, food, tooth brushing, keeping ourselves clean, and life environment.”
Haji Khalid, Shop staff, from Lakar Gul Bahar Village, Jabul Siraj District

It increases ripple effects throughout the community that Mullahs, who took our health education training, spread the importance and information on hygiene at the mosque in addition to school teachers, who took the same training in the same areas. We are going to continue our support for healthy life of children and people in the areas.

September 20, 2012 in Afghanistan |

09/06/2012

Muslim Culture Glimpsed through My Business Trip

I am Megumi Fujita, in charge of Afghanistan projects in Tokyo Head Office. I have been in Islamabad Office on an extended business trip since 10 August 2012. I haven’t been here for long time yet though, I would like to write about my impression of Islamabad, the capital of Afghanistan, and its culture.

Islamabad is rich in green and nature―indeed my impression of this city has changed a lot since I have come here. You can see green everywhere, hearing birds chirp; I’ve seen woodpeckers in the office of JEN several times. In the central area of the city there are a green-abundant huge park and a few hills, where people come with their families and friends. Also Islamabad has Faisal Mosque, the biggest mosque in South Asia.
[A view of Islamabad from a hill]
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[A night view of Islamabad from Monal―a restaurant on the hill. Photographed by Azmat Ali]
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[A night view of Faisal Mosque during Ramadan. Photographed by Azmat Ali]
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It was during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan―from 20 July to 18 August―when I arrived here. For the duration of Ramadan Muslims fast during the daytime and have meals between after sunset and before dawn. All of the restaurants except Western fast-food shops are closed during the day. In Islam, it is said experiencing fasting in Ramadan helps people know what a blessing it is to have food.

Muslims perform prayers five times a day; the Muslim staff of JEN Islamabad Office also pray at the office. Friday is a holiday in Islam, when Muslims close their shops to go to a congregational worship. There is a mosque near every market lined with a variety of shops. I realized that Islam is closely related to daily life becoming one with Muslims’ lives naturally.

I tried Mehndi, which is a tradition of Islam and Hinduism. It is to paint a pattern on the skin with paste made from Henna leaves. In Pakistan Mehndi is not only for make-up, but also people paint a pattern on the palm and the back of the hand for wedding. Also it is said Mehndi is a symbol of “happiness” and “luck”.

Paste of Henna, which is in the holder similar to a decorating tube, is squeezed in a decorative pattern. Once Henna paste is dry it is removed, then a mixture of water and sugar is sprinkled on the skin to keep the pattern longer. The pattern remains for about no less than one to two weeks, which varies from person to person. You might have dyed you hair using Henna at a hair salon in Japan, and that Henna is the exactly same as the one used for Mehndi.
[Getting Mehndi painted by a staff of JEN Islamabad]
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[Drying Mehndi up]
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[And voila!]
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I would like to continue to learn much about Islamic culture, its life and Muslims, and discover them in many ways through my business trip. Also I am going to report the beautiful culture, daily life and people in Pakistan, as little is known about them in Japan.

September 6, 2012 in Afghanistan |

08/23/2012

Health Education to Mullahs

At present, JEN is working on the spread of hygienic concept and habit throughout school children’s families and surrounding community, by educating the children. Indeed through our project of last year, we were assured that the information on hygiene was spreading from the children to their parents. The project, intended for school children, has continued into this year heading for the equivalent success.

On the other hand, some parents in the area, where JEN has been operating, do not have children at school age or are not able to send their school-age children to school because of various circumstances.
     So, JEN has newly started trying to provide health education to Mullahs, Muslim clerics, in addition to children, in order to familiarize more people with the knowledge and habit of good hygiene.

In Islam, Friday is a day for important congregational worship. Afghanistan is a religious Muslim country, where most people go to mosques for prayers regardless of having school children. However, only men are allowed in the mosques in this country. As Mullahs deliver a sermon before the congregational worships, we let them talk about hygiene there. Then the men, who still now have power as the head of a family, can give out the information to women and children, eventually to the entire community. That is what JEN has been aiming for.

We provided a three-day training for health education to 348 Mullahs over a period from late July to early August.

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Personal hygiene is one of the teachings of Islam, which may be why the training was so lively that the Mullahs actively asked the trainer questions having a great interest in health education.

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Here is some feedback from the Mullahs after the training.
“No government organizations or NGO have trained Mullahs before. We had known only the conventional hand-washing method. But this training included the more effective hand-washing technique and a method to make oral rehydration salt, which enhanced our knowledge of hygiene.” (Shinwari District, 54 years old)

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“The people in my village have a quite poor knowledge of hygiene and have often suffered from diarrhoea and skin diseases. But Mullahs didn’t have enough knowledge either, so we couldn’t do anything about it. This training gave us much better information. I’ll surely tell the believers what
I learnt in this training, also ask them to tell their families for healthy life. I appreciate the extraordinary efforts of the local staff and overseas staff of JEN.” (Bagram District, 38 years old)

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August 23, 2012 in Afghanistan |

07/26/2012

New staff in Islamabad office

My name is Humaria Wahab.
I start working in JEN from 22nd July as a Administration and Financial officer.I am glad for being part of JEN,

I am at the stage of starting my career; I did BBA (Bachelor Business Administration) from Preston University Peshawar, specialized in marketing/finance with the continuation of my private BA in IR/Sociology from Peshawar University.
After I complete my studies in Jan-2010, I start working in humanitarian area.
Since February 2010, I was working in INGO through the end of the project.. But I feel more than lucky and more than proud that now I am being a part of JEN and continue working in this area. I am very proud to join those programs of Afghanistan, and believe this project will support many Afghanis.

“I believe that when you try & struggle for something, you can get the things in the shape you want”.
Here all my colleagues are good in nature and work and want to learn many things from them.
I am hoping for the future that we will have a very good time together, and will gain the tasks in a respective way.

Thanks All-mighty who is blessing me for my goals, & for my struggles.
Thanks to my mother & sister to give me moral and financial support in a very lovely way.

July 26, 2012 in Afghanistan |

07/12/2012

Voice of Parents of the children receiving health education

JEN is now enforcing health education program for 61,352 children of 78 schools in  Bagram district and Jabul Saraj District.

Teachers, who attended JEN’s health education instruction at the beginning of this year, have started lectures to their students from May. Since then, the children have been learning knowledge and its practice at the opening of each class.

According to the hearing investigation to teachers and village people last year and the report from the education authority in Province of Parwan, the children living these  districts had not received any health education and been frequently troubled by diarrhea and cholera diseases.

So now, 2 months have been passed since starting health education lecture at schools. Is there any change of knowledge, behavior or action of the children?

Today, we acquaint feedback from the parents of the children who receiving the health education.

Mr. Arif (Father of child attending Azizurahman Shaheed Boys' Middle School of Province of Parwan)

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“Since one day, 5 school years of my son has started to talk about health education. He tells me about importance of safe drinkable water, pure water origin and hands wash. My son and I would like to continue to study many. I am delighted that my son teaches me like a doctor something I did not know. As it is now, whole my family is practicing these things. If the knowledge becomes widespread to each household like our case, we could see more positive effect.
I appreciate JEN enforced such health education to us.''

July 12, 2012 in Afghanistan |

06/28/2012

Providing play equipments to girls school

In Province of Parwan, many schools does not have play equipments in the playgruound. Children going to such schools could not have enough chance to play or exercise in their school.

<Totom Dara Girls High School>
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Recently we set up play equipments for three women's school in Charikar district in Province of Parwan, by courtesy of Chikuma International Exchange Association. Each of these three schools which are Lagmani women's school (900 students), Tatandra Uria Highschool (685 students), Mianshaak Women's School (511 students) used to have no equipments for playing, now have one colourful steel play equipment which is completely new.


*In Afganistan, Children go to same schools without difference of of elementary, jounior-high and highschool.

<Mian Shakh Girls Middle School>
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<Laghmani Girls High School>
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We would like to introduce Be be Zohra (8 years old), second grade in Lagmani Women's Highschool how she feels about the play equipment.
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“Thank you for providing us new play equipments. We are playing with classmates in break time and Gym class with classmates. I really enjoy playing with this so I think I will be fit and healthy.”

June 28, 2012 in Afghanistan |

06/14/2012

Business Trip for Islamabad

I, Reiko Ando am charged with the Afghanistan and Pakistan project at Tokyo Office.
I have gone to Islamabad for a business trip from 1st to 7th, June. I’d like to share my work there.

In JEN’s projects in Afghanistan, our Japanese international staffs have not been allowed to reside inside of Afghanistan country due to deterioration of the security situation, and they are commanding the projects remotely.
JEN has two offices in Afghanistan, at the capital Kabul and Charikar in Province of Parwan. Our local staffs are conducting project activities there.

On this occasion, we brought over 3 of local staffs to Islamabad for the meeting.
In the meeting, we have discussed future strategies of Afghanistan projects and our security measures.
While Province of Parwan where JEN are conducting the projects, have been thought to be safe relatively, we could not see any sign of restoration of the security situation.
We must make progress our project carefully.
Spreading a big map, we have seriously discussed what district and what rotation we should get access to, what transportation device is safe, and where we should have a stronghold office next year, 2013.

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While our Japanese international staffs have not been allowed to visit the field site, our local staffs who have been giving us various information there, are honestly dependable.
We had lunch with them and our local staffs of Pakistan projects who have also turned out Islamabad, and ate my fill of Pakistan food at a nearby restaurant from our office. 


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It is necessity a close coordination among the local staffs, Japanese international staffs and head office staffs for a success of our Afghanistan projects.
Although we could not meet each other at short intervals, we will devote our maximum effort to making better help from each place and position.

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June 14, 2012 in Afghanistan |

05/31/2012

New staff introduction

My name is Tasuku Futamura. I’m a new staff member of the Pakistan office.
Pakistan is a hot country as I expected that.
I asked how the local people think about this hotness here, and they answered they are also hot.

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The capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, I live in is very comfortable to live. We can talk in English in the city and there are a lot of trees and birds.
I have no lack of purveying of article for daily use and there are food imports and electrical appliance in the stores.
But this comfortableness is only a part of Pakistan and there are a lot of people who are forced the poverty lives.
I’d like to board my view by hearing many, seeing a lot and feeling much to apply of better support program.

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I’ve joined JEN’s program since April and worked for Tohoku support project.
A lot of people rushed into our program regardless of the individuals, groups nor companies.
We got many supports from the people who can’t visit Tohoku directly and they also give us a lot of learning and cooperation.
Although Pakistan is far foreign country from Japan but I’ll do my best with my whole heart to get many interests and supports from the people for Pakistan Program as Tohoku project was.

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May 31, 2012 in Afghanistan |

05/17/2012

Progress on the Construction of School Facilities

School construction work in Bagram District and Jabalussaraj District in Parwan Province we had reported before has been steadily advanced at all 23 schools. We will show you the progress situation on the construction work at some of the school facilities.

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(Gulbahar Darul Hifaz School in Jabalussaraj District)

The groundbreaking ceremony was held before the start of building construction. School and government officials, local residents and local staff of JEN had attended the ceremony. All of the attendees prayed for the construction work to be completed safely. We will proceed the building construction by cooperating each other to provide a safe school environment for children as soon as possible.

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Construction of 8 classrooms at Ezzat Khil School in Jabalussaraj District.
The platform is being built.

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Construction of outside wall at Abozar Ghafari School in Jabalussaraj District.
Bricks are being built up one by one.

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Construction of a water storage tank with hand-wash station at  Gulbahar 2 Girls School in Jabalussaraj District.
The pipes come out from both sides of the brick walls will be the water outlet for children to wash their hands.

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Renovation work of the existing school building at the Bagram Girls School in Bagram District.
Repaint work is being done at the wall.

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Well Drilling at the Bagram Girls School in Bagram District.
Since there is no water facility, children were carrying water from canals and villages in suburban areas. By digging a well, clean and safe water will be secured immediately.

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Construction of bathroom at Naseri Girls School in Bagram District.
Environmentally friendly ecological sanitation bathroom has been built this year again.

May 17, 2012 in Afghanistan |

04/26/2012

On the First Trip to the Field Site

Today I would like to tell about transportation to the field site.

Our project for this year have just started this February. On the other hand, we are going to start preliminary research for 2013 program from this June. The future program will take place in two districts which are about 85 kilometers away from province capital Charika. Between these two districts, other two districts are located. On these districts in between, anti-government forces are still armed and active.

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Truck burned by anti-government forces is left on the road.

When we travel through these areas, we are usually given referral from the government in advance, so we can go through government's checkpoint smoothly. We also contact other organization operating in the same district to get safety information around the place. It is very important for us to work together with police, government and other aid organizations beforehand, especially in the first field trip like this time, and this country where we can find no detailed road map.

We had a field trip for the first time on this March and we had passed through all six checkpoints with no trouble. JEN staff brought letter from province mayor, and also letter that is saying that the car should not used for transportation of other passengers besides JEN staff. This letter is essential for staff's safety because, unlikely to Japan, people often ask drivers to share the ride. We took three hours to travel 85km to the destination, but without problem. Staff used SMS on mobile phone when they pass through the checkpoints. They used it to share information of where they are, time of departure from the field site and also to report whereabouts before they meet people.

Staff used trip meter on car to write down landmarks such as markets, bridges and distance to the checkpoint. This helped us to make a brief road map to the destination. We also made an emergency contact list. JEN will continue necessary preparation for next year's program by traveling to the field again and again.

April 26, 2012 in Afghanistan |

04/12/2012

Construction of School Facilities began

JEN is deploying several support programs in Parwan Province now.

The biggest project is “Maintenance of School Environment and Health Education Project”. The construction of school facilities and the support for health education to teachers and students that we reported before will be conducted in parallel during one-year program term.

The school construction work began from 2 of April.

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In the construction of school facilities this year, we will deploy the construction and renovation work of school buildings and classrooms, with a focus on water and hygiene facilities, to 23 schools in need of support in Bagram District and Jabalussaraj District in Parwan Province (please refer to the map above). 77 construction and restoration works are planned at these 23 schools.

There are 78 schools in these two districts described above that are permitted to provide regular education by the Department of Education. The construction will be conducted in
23 schools with the highest support needs, but health education program will be deployed at all schools.

Co-operation with education department and local residents in villages is crucial in deploying support project, so we make an agreement with the related parties case by case. Agreement with local residents is made by the school level. This year, we have concluded contract with school acting committees formed at 78 schools.

Furthermore, local residents of the 23 schools, Department of Education, and JEN have concluded wye agreement, aiming for smoother procedure and management of the construction works this year.

April 12, 2012 in Afghanistan |

03/29/2012

Aiding Classroom Tents

In Afghanistan, JEN has been aiding projects other than hygiene education and school environment renovation project which was previously introduced. The other project is the supplying tents for classrooms.

The school environment renovation project mainly constructs and repairs water supply hygiene infrastructures but it is also constructs and repairs the school building and classrooms when it is necessary. During the renovation of the classroom, the children must study in the open field. Therefore, JEN decided to imply support for procurement and lending classroom tents to protect the children from the influence outside.

①The tent for the classroom:

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This is the tent that has been in use. Installing classroom tent will make the children feel secure inside the classroom, under the strong sunlight, wind and snow.

②One tent is 40 square meters with a window. The capacity is approximately for 40 people.

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The school environment renovation project will begin to renovate two school building of the Bagram district from this April. JEN will prepare 10 classroom tents which are necessary. This will placed in the schoolyard until the renovation will end, so that the children can study in a secure environment.

③In Islamabad, inspecting the supplier by the program officer (left) and office director (right).

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After the whole construction finishes, the tent will be recovered and will be recycle when necessary.

March 29, 2012 in Afghanistan |

03/15/2012

Interview with Jamila Teacher of Ishq Abad Girls High School

Name: Jamila S/O Mohammad Hanif 
Age:  36 Years Old.
School Name:  Ishq Abad Girls High School.
Started as a Teacher From: 10 years
District: Jabul Siraj.

Jamila Teacher at Ishq Abad Girls High School (at the time of our interview).

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Comments:
I am so thankful for the JEN Hygiene Education Training Program to teachers and through teachers to students. It is so impressive for all but especially for women as many women are also mothers. If a mother's behavior changes, their whole family's behavior will be change. In my mind the positive effects of this program will be particularly enhanced through women. In the past, my hygiene education knowledge was poor but now our knowledge hygiene is much improved. On behalf of our school teachers especially female teachers I am so happy and appreciative to the JEN staff for their attitude, smiling faces, manner, activities and hard work relating to the hygiene education training program via teachers to students.

Jamila Teacher at Ishq Abad Girls High School -group working.

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Jamila Teacher of Ishq Abad Girls High School -teaching the lesson.

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March 15, 2012 in Afghanistan |

03/01/2012

Commencement of health education for teachers

It has been started that a course of health education which instructed by exparts JEN trains them. The course is intended for all of teachers from 81 schools which located in two districts of Province of Parwan, Bagram and Jabulsaraj.
The teachers attend lectures of health education for 3 days.
For classrooms, we’ve been chartering a school which is closing during winter recess
Before beginning of the class, we assessed KAP (Knowledge, Attitude and Practice) to check participants’ knowledge and habit relative to health.
Comparing to the acquirement level of knowledge and practice about health, we can find the achievement and future tasks, and we can take advantage of future activities.

KAP assessment (District of Bagram BagramBagram Bagram Air Base Boys High School

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At the first day of the class, we give out health kits to the participants.
Secondly, they learn the way of hand-wash and the way of making Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) used for symptom of dehydration caused by diarrheal disease and other training program with practicing and having group discussion,

Lecture by Health education expert (District of Jabulsaraj Zarbia High School

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Practice of hand-wash (District of Bagram Darul Alum Mohammadi Boys High school

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Group work (District of Bagram Khwaja khesraw wali high school

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On the last day of the course, we assess KAP after the course, and we award the certificate of health education course to all of participants who have attended the course throughout 3 days.

Award Certificate to Participants (District of Bagram Abdul Star Shaheed High School


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The health education course has been completed at 48 schools at district of Bagram and 15 schools at district of Jabulsaraj.

March 1, 2012 in Afghanistan |

02/16/2012

We held a general meeting with a health education specialist

Like last year, in 2012, we will work towards improving health education, the water supply and health facilities, and the schools in two districts, Bagram and Jaburusaraji of Parwan Province.

The goal for health education is to disseminate knowledge from health education specialists with the Ministry of Education to newly trained heath education trainers, who will then educate instructors, who in turn will educate the students, so that the knowledge will proliferate through the families and consequently the entire community.
Last month in JEN’s Charika office, we held a meeting with a health education specialist/trainer about health education for this fiscal year.

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(Picture: A JEN field officer explains about the overall health education projects for this fiscal year)

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(Picture: A health education specialist shares his thoughts)

In the meeting, 14 health education specialists and trainers, who were in charge of JEN’s health education training in 2010 and 2011 participated, demonstrating again a lot of enthusiasm for the project this year.

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(Picture: 14 health education specialists and trainers participated in a preparatory meeting about the way health education training should be run)

Currently, the  Ministry health education specialists and trainers are holding health education training for teachers. We will introduce them next time.

February 16, 2012 in Afghanistan |

02/02/2012

A message from JEN's new staff member

We would like to welcome our new member of our staff, Naeem Khan, the general affairs and accounting assistant.

At this time, I am honored that I can introduce myself as a new employee for JEN.

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From the influence of my parents and my alma mater, University of Malakand in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, I have wanted to be involved in humanitarian aid from when I was a student. I was appointed as a representative for a student welfare organization called WIFT (Society for Welfare Interaction and Tours) by my professors.

This organization is non-government and non-profit organization that supports students who need various types of aid like financial aid, moral aid, and etc. and has even been historically promoted as a model for the university by the vice president of the university.

After getting a bachelor’s degree in business management from the university, I worked at a private company in the personnel department and learned about human affairs and general affairs. While working, I continued my studies and after 2 years I completed my masters course in human resource management.

With the 3 years and 8 months of experience working at the company and the master’s degree that I obtained, I developed self-confidence and achieved my long-held dream and to be hired to work for an international NGO. Throughout the year that it took to complete the objectives for our projects, I was able to learn even a lot more by working together with the international staff.

I feel very fortunate to work for the Afghanistan projects in JEN’s Islamabad office and to have the opportunity to work for humanitarian aid again.

All the members of the team are very cooperative and the way they work ambitiously towards a common goal is very professional. I have also realized that the development in my career has allowed me to grow as an individual.

This type of environment works in a positive way as we work to support the people in Afghanistan, who have lived a difficult life for a long time.

The local staff in Afghanistan are also respected and cooperative and they work ambitiously towards a goal.

My goal is to take initiative and to work professionally in an organization like JEN, which provides humanitarian aid to people who really need it.

I am grateful to my parents and my professors who have guided me thus far.

February 2, 2012 in Afghanistan |

01/19/2012

The ripple effect of the hygiene education program

As we introduced in this report previously, according to the education program performed last year among the 42 schools in the Salang District and the Sayed Khel district, it was quite for sure that the knowledge and hygiene habits among the children become stable who learned about it.
Additionally, after the survey, we were able to confirm that the children are having a healthy life than before.

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This is the hygiene education program class of the fiscal year of 2011. 
Then, do you think the family benefit from their children who received this education?
JEN surveyed each family and checked whether the message regarding hygiene has been delivered from the children who learned about hygiene, and therefore surveyed whether these educations are practiced among individual families.
This will be the introduction of this survey.

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At Salang District, Heshmatullah)who has a child going at Bagh-e-Lala Middle School.
“I personally and our family became aware of hygiene. Our family learned to keep the clean environment of the home. “ He told us.

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At Sayed Khel District, Abdul Khalil who has a child going at the Emam-e-Azam No-2 Middle School.
“Do you think washing your hands with soap is important?” asked the field officer of JEN.
“Yes, keeping your hands will keep your health.”
In their home, soap is being prepared and hand washing seems to be a habit already.

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In Salang district, there are a lot of mountains and even in the noon it is below freezing point. Reaching there was also tough.

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At Salang district, Allah Dad who has a child going to Haji Abdul Hakim Middle School.
He mentioned that “Among our family, especially the children wash their hands frequently. They even brush their teeth. This kind of hygiene education program is very efficient, not only for our family but for the community as well.”

We performed personal visits and surveyed 3 families from the 42 schools which ended to count 126 families where we were able to confirm the ripple effect of the hygiene education.

We asked “Who provided the information about hygiene?” and 96% of the response to the question was “The children.”  When we asked “What did you use to wash your hands?” The response to this question was 88% used soap.[
 
Additionally, when we question “During this 2 weeks, did you or your children had diarrhea?” No one had it was their response. Their mind towards diarrhea and to keep their environment clean has improved.

We wish that people can consistently practice the message received form the hygiene educational project and hope it can be spread to the other people in the community and hope that more people can have a safer life.

January 19, 2012 in Afghanistan |

01/05/2012

Until the construction is complete

Until the construction is complete Last year we again safely completed all our planned construction projects. JEN has restored and constructed 14 schoool facilities last year in the Saran and Saidoheru district and the number of construction sites has risen to 45. (Picture: The external wall) 120105_4 (Picture: Toilet) 120105_5 (Picture: Hand-wash station) 120105_6 For security reasons, the international team that oversees activities in Afghanistan has been unable to reside in country. For this reason, the international staff have been administering the progress of construction and working entirely out of Islamabad in Pakistan.  The construction itself has been delegated to a local construction company, but the local Afghani JEN staff make daily trips to the construction site and report on the progress of construction to the Pakistan based international staff. In addition, the local staff share pictures taken at the site the Islamabad office so the international staff can visually monitor the status of the site. Pictures are taken from the same angle so we can get precise information about the progress of the construction. For example, this is what the construction of the classrooms of Chenaki Boy’s School looked like. Foundations were laid during the 1st week. In the 2nd and 3rd week, bricks were laid. In the 4th week, the roof was completed. Window frames were added in the 5th week and in the 6th week, painting was finished and the school was completed. With this type of effort, we have completed constracution of all 45 sites planned last year. To complete the construction on time and allow the children to study in a comfortable environment, requires cooperation of local and international staff to drive projects forward. This year we will continue with more projects so that we can give our support to as many children as we can.

January 5, 2012 in Afghanistan |

12/15/2011

JEN staff meeting

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From December 11, 2011, we had a 2-day staff meeting in Islamabad Office. Five local staff who are working in various parts of Afghanistan gathered together to review the projects for FY2011 and also discussed about the projects for next fiscal year.

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In the same period, 6 local staff from Pakistan had also come from Dera Ismail Khan and the local staff from the two countries found the 2-day meeting mutually-stimulating.
 
After the meeting, all of the staff members enjoyed Pakistani dinner together.

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Then, after the dinner, the staff members presented the projects implemented in each country. These presentations not only allowed JEN representatives in Islamabad office to understand the local situation more deeply but also promoted the local staffs from Afghanistan and Pakistan to understand each other.

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The information of effective case examples shared in this meeting will be useful for the local staff in each country to improve their support activities.

All of our activities in Afghanistan or other countries are supported by JEN’s supporters. I would like to express our gratitude on behalf of all the staff members.

Finally, I would like to share with you the thank-you messages from the local staff of Afghanistan.
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December 15, 2011 in Afghanistan |

12/01/2011

Result of KAP survey for hygiene education project

As part of the hygiene education project in Parwan Province, JEN has supported the provision of a 6-month hygiene education course in 42 schools in Sayd Khel District and Salang District.

Before starting the course, we conducted a survey to find out about the students’ knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP survey) related to hygiene. The schools selected for this survey had never received any hygiene education from the Department of Education or other aid agencies.
“Please give hygiene education to the children.” This was a strong request we had received from the school teachers, village chiefs, and parents, when we visited the villages and interviewed the people to explore their needs.

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It was revealed from the survey result that approximately 75% of the students did not have sanitation knowledge or hygienic habit. Most of the children did not know the correct methods to wash the hands, cut the nails, or brush the teeth, etc. They did not have the habit of looking after the personal hygiene on a daily basis. Unhygienic lifestyle was one of the reasons for high prevalence of diarrhea and cholera, which were serious health problems for the village children. Therefore, JEN decided to provide the support in order to improve the sanitation for the children.

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The project not only targets the school children but also includes the school teachers and the government officials of Parwan Province. By March this year, hygiene education specialists from the Department of Education had trained 14 government officials as hygiene education trainers. In the same period, these hygiene education trainers gave a 3-day training workshop to all of the teachers in the 42 schools, a total of approximately 720 school teachers.

After acquiring the correct knowledge of hygiene, the school teachers gave hygiene education classes to their students according to JEN’s curriculum, from mid-May until the start of the winter examination in mid-November.

 From May through June, hygiene kits containing soaps and toothbrushes were distributed to approximately 22,000 students in the target schools. The kit contained the basic sanitary items and allowed the children to actually use them both at school and at home as they gained the knowledge through hygiene education classes.

At the end of each month, from June to October, the officials of Parwan Department of Education, school management committee (established by JEN), and JEN staff monitored the children’s knowledge and practice and discussed the achievements together with the school management. This continuous effort to confirm the hygiene status and improve the teaching methods has helped the children to gradually acquire the correct hygiene habits.

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Finally in mid-November, we conducted another KAP survey with the students in 42 schools. This time, after the implementation of the project, the percentage of children without hygiene habit/ knowledge became 0%. Approximately 85% of the students had successfully acquired the knowledge and habits related to hygiene and the remaining 15% of the students also had the basic level of knowledge and habits.

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December 1, 2011 in Afghanistan |

11/17/2011

School opening ceremony in Salang District

n October 31, 2011, an opening ceremony was held at two of the schools constructed by JEN in Salang District: Ahangaran Junior High School  and Darul Hefaz Salang School.

The ceremonies were hosted by the Department of Education of Parwan Province and were attended not only by the officials of the Department of Education but also the members of JEN’s staff.

For Ahangaran Junior High School, JEN supported the construction of 3 classrooms, external walls, and the pipeline connecting the river and the water tank.

Completed classroom
(Ahangaran Junior High School)
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The school officials, who had been watching the children study in conditions which were far from safe, welcomed the completion of construction works and were very happy that the children’s studying environment had improved.

The officials of the Department of Education are cutting the tape with a smile
(Ahangaran Junior High School)
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For Darul Hefaz Salang School, JEN supported the construction of 6 classrooms, 6 toilets, external walls, the pipeline, and the water tank.

Completed school building
(Darul Hefaz Salang School)
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JEN’s Project Manager giving a speech at the opening ceremony
(Darul Hefaz Salang School)
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Approximately 200 students study at this school but there were insufficient numbers of classrooms and toilets, just like Ahangaran Junior High School.

We hope that the newly constructed facilities will help the children to study in a more comfortable environment.

November 17, 2011 in Afghanistan |

11/02/2011

We have started to distribute “Yume Pokke (Dream Pockets)”

e have started to distribute this year’s “Yume Pokke”.

In Afghanistan, the distribution of Yume Pokke started in 2005, so this is the sixth year.
For this year, the distribution started on 18th October. Yume Pokke will be given to over 3000 children who are in grade 1 to 3 in the schools in Bagram District, Parwan Province.

Each Yume Pokke is a hand-made bag filled with stationaries, toys, and other presents from Japanese primary school/ junior high school students. The children in Bagram were delighted to receive the Yume Pokke, as it is difficult for them just to go to markets.

Let me share with you the reactions of the pupils inShafaq Shaheed High School, who recently received the Yume Pokke.

The photograph shows the happy faces of the pupils in grade 2.
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Here, the pupils in grade 3 are also opening the hand-made bags.
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Myriam: “Thank you very much for the gift.”
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November 2, 2011 in Afghanistan |

10/20/2011

Skill up at the security training course

For 5 days from the 2nd of Oct., there was a joint security training course for the staff of the JEN Afghanistan and Pakistan. The participants are seven from the local staffs of the managing class who plays an active supporting role in the field in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and two from the international staff who are stationed at the Islamabad office.

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All staff listed above all gathered at Islamabad and took the courses at the Islamabad Police Academy.

This training course was consisted by two workshops, which was “the personal security” and “security risk management (SRM)”.
This was a program that was specialized for the local staff in Afghanistan and Pakistan who actively work at the field to respond either in emergency or daily.

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We were informed about the risk that can happen during our daily life, the risk in specific in area like Afghanistan and Pakistan, the risk at dangerous zones by the two security trainers. Two security trainers informed, used videos and had group discussion in order to understand the contents.

We practiced an exercise drill by summarizing the risk in a table matrix, evaluate and manage. Other than this, there was a simulating exercise to deal with these risks in teams.

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In concrete, there were practical course like how to save lives, first aid, how to use GPS, stress management, crisis management avoid danger through practical drills.

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The areas where JEN is acting are mostly under risk. In that kind of circumstance, it is very important for the staff to achieve the capability to understand and deal with these various crises.

In order to precede the project we must manage the risk not to experience the training that was received. 

We will continue to work smoothly on the project at Afghanistan and Pakistan for the people who need aid.

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The toilets, the well and water utilities construction and the classroom and outer wall of the school is under construction in the 14 schools of Saran, Parwan.

October 20, 2011 in Afghanistan |

10/06/2011

The additional building construction works began at schools in Parwan Province

One of the areas JEN deploys support projects, Salang District in Parwan Province, has many mountain areas. Lots of snow accumulates in mountain areas in winter and rivers in valleys swell in rainy season.
Schools located in mountain areas live with risk caused by natural disasters such as snowslide and landslides. Some of the schools that JEN provides health education and develops school facilities are located in the environment like this.

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Darul Hifaz School today - water and sanitation plants and school facilities have been developed.
In areas like this, retaining walls are needed to protect schools and villages from snowslide and landslide damages.
Therefore, JEN had talked with the village people, and had carried out necessary adjustments with education authority and agricultural restoration development authority. In the result, it was decided to conduct additional construction works at 6 schools’ facilities.
Addition to classrooms, setting up of external walls, restoration of school roofs, and construction of retaining walls are included in the additional construction works.
Among these works, we will share with you the status of retaining walls construction at Darul Hifaz School andEngineer Mohammad Gull-i-Shahid middle school in mountain areas.

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Darul Hifaz School
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In winter, mountains surrounding this area have a heavy snow accumulation. The construction of retaining walls began to protect the area from snowslide.

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Engineer Mohammad Gull-i-Shahid middle school
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We will proceed the construction work to protect schools and villages from snowslide and landslide damages, and to provide children a safe environment for study.

October 6, 2011 in Afghanistan |

09/22/2011

School Construction is on going

Presently, among the 14 schools of Parwan Saran district and Sahidhel district, the school facilities such as toilettes, wells, running water and the water supplying facilities and the classrooms, outer wall of school facilities are now being constructed.

The children at these schools had to study under these terrible conditions without outer walls, no toilet and no running water.

The facility of the school was not repaired and was left over for a long while.
In order to set up new facilities, JEN has begun their construction from May 2011. After 4 months, we would like to introduce that we are close to a new safe environment.

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Ahangaran Junior High School

During the expanding the new classroom; increasing three classrooms will provide a comfortable environment to study.

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Chenaki Boys High School

With the outer wall being constructed, it has changed to a secure studying environment being protected from the outside.

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Hajan Junior High School

Water supplying system has been attached, so the pupils can wash their hands.

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Haibat Khil Girls High School

The toilettes and wells have been set up safely.

The hygiene environment has improved and made school life comfortable and feel secure to study.

Still negotiating with the school, village and government authorities, we are continuing the construction so that the children can study in a secure environment.

September 22, 2011 in Afghanistan |

09/08/2011

The follow up of the hygiene education project: voice from the children

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JEN began to visit the pupils of the each school of 42 schools every month since they distributed the hygiene kit on May and June, to confirm whether their achieved hygiene knowledge correctly. Not only JEN distributed but also feedback whether they understand why they need it and know they are able to use it properly.

According to the monitoring team of JEN, it has been reported that the children understand the basic knowledge of hygiene and are practicing as well which makes us happy. For the staff of JEN, it is very delighted to learn that the children understanding hygiene education properly and practicing.
 
Today, we would like to introduce a number of comments from the children who took the courses.
 
Abdul Kadil Shahbid Boys Junior High School: Najibra (12 years old) (Spell needs to be confirmed)

When I heard about hygiene, I decided to take care of my heath as a good habit, spending a happy time and become a role model for other students.

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Sahid Hill Girls School: Setara (10 years old) (Spell needs to be confirmed)

Listening to the hygiene lecture properly, I am practicing this every day. Hygiene kit was distributed to each pupil, I understood that all of this kit was necessary to keep us in good health.

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Saframan Shahid High School: Danish (16 years old) (Spell needs to be confirmed)

Before I learned hygiene lectures, I felt that I was not always behaving correctly, but understood that hygiene lecture is to protect ourselves from disease. I enjoy practicing what I learned. I thank JEN giving us the opportunity to learn hygiene education and training with the hygiene kit.

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Chenaki High School: Sharkel (14 years old) (Spell needs to be confirmed)

Until I took the hygiene education training, I did not know the right way of the cleanness of the fingernails but now I understand. Taking clean care of your fingernails include clipping and removing the dirt from your fingernails. Under the long fingernails, bacteria maybe hiding and long dirty fingernails can cause infection when you scratch your skin. JEN gave us the opportunity about hygiene education and training through the teachers. Now I know how to take care of my fingernails properly.

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Monitoring by JEN will continue until the end of the year.

September 8, 2011 in Afghanistan |

08/25/2011

Supporting Charikar Girls School

In Charikar, Parwan Province of Afghanistan, the construction of the outer wall and the construction of septic tank of the toilet finished at last. This project was supported by the International Exchange Association of Chikumagawa.

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Before the construction of Baba hill Girls School, the community of the village protected the infrastructure of the school by surrounding with a wall made of mud. But it was built temporary so it is very fragile and not enough strength to rain.

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There was no septic tank for the toilet, so the insanity condition was not appropriate.

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Therefore, after adjustment with the local education authorities, JEN built a stiff concrete surrounding wall at the Baba Hill Girls School at Charikar city.

For this wall, the children are secured from the outside circumstance and feel safe to study. Additionally, the parents also feel secure to let their children study at school and the number of girls pupil going to school are increasing.

The toilet of the school septic tank constructed improved the water insanity and the environment of the neighbors. There is no unclean water running around beside and changed to an environment without being uncomfortable.

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We would like to express our appreciation to the people who support us and we are willing to support more people in Afghanistan.

August 25, 2011 in Afghanistan |

08/11/2011

Iftal

Last week, the Islamic nations such as Afghanistan and Pakistan entered Ramadan. During the Ramadan, from sunrise to sunset, dining and smoking is prohibited. It is a holy period to appreciate their daily meal.

Depending on the area, the time to fast is different and during the period, the beginning and ending differs. In Pakistan and in Afghanistan, fasting begins at 3:30 AM until 7:00 PM. After the fast ends, the meal after the fast is called Iftal.

 
This time I will introduce what Iftal is like.

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On the summit of Margara in Islamabad, there is a very popular restaurant. During Iftal, all restaurants prepare Iftal buffet and is crowded with people. There are a lot of dishes in front of the store of the market. 

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Families and friends all gather and share their meal. After a long time of fasting, they begin with dates and water and then move to the main dish.

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The chef is very busy. He cooks the kabab one by another. The waiter is running around carrying a lot of food.

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A Pakistani dish, nan and kebab are very tasty with a nice amount of spice. You appreciate your meal during your Iftal meal. It is special moment to share your meal with your family and friends with a lot of people.

 
Why not trying to fast your meal?

August 11, 2011 in Afghanistan |

07/28/2011

Beginning the Survey for the Program of the Year 2012

The other day, we began surveying the needs for the next year program. This time, the field officers of JEN visited all the 33 schools in Jawarsaji district and the 44 schools of Parwan Province. This was to understand the present status and other than this, we conducted a survey by interviewing the school teachers, the villagers and the parents.

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There were classrooms where the ceiling was exposed. It was an unsafe environment for the children to study. It would not be a surprise to see something falling from above, but the children are studying in that kind of unsafe environment.

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In the same school, the numbers of classes are insufficient for the number of pupils, so some of them had to study outside.

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There are classrooms without walls.

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The environment for the toilet is not that good either. There are no doors and no hand washing places nearby. There are water faucets but no running water, filled with trash and not ready to wash hands.

110728_10For the year 2012, JEN is planning to support the maintenance of the water hygiene environment and the education program based on the survey Parwan Province

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Also, there are a number of schools that these unclean springs and streams become the only water source.

July 28, 2011 in Afghanistan |

07/14/2011

What the Pupil of Aminu Rahman Girls School Learned About Hygiene Knowledge

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At Aminu Rahman Girls School, the education program for hygiene to the teacher who had been schooled in advance by JEN has been very effective to the pupils which are practical education.
 
The pupils demonstrated their basic hygiene knowledge what they have learned to the monitors of JEN.

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This is how the pupils are demonstrating hand washing.

Washing hands correctly is the most efficient way to prevent various infectious diseases and to protect yourself.
 
Washing hands not only prevents diseases but also reduces the risk to spread disease to other people. If you contact people without washing hands, it can spread the bacteria and cause infectious disease. Without washing hands and touch the door knobs or the keyboard that you share with others, it can also spread the diseases from the bacteria that are attached.


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This is one of the pupil how she is clipping her fingernail. She said “we were glad to learn about hygiene education from JEN. We learned the details from our teacher.”

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This is how they are brushing their teeth. The pupil who attended named Samia Jan said “shining and clean teeth with healthy teeth and gum will keep your heart and body in the best condition. If your friends don’t step back when you talk, brushing your teeth three times a day is ‘must’. Brushing teeth also can keep your breath clean”.

July 14, 2011 in Afghanistan |

06/30/2011

This is how school is being constructed

  
                      

This is how the workers are constructing the stone construction of the wall around the water tank at Hajan Middle School in Saran district. They are mixing mortal to coat it on the stone.

                       

Next, the expert workers are laying the brick up to 1.4 meters as in the design.

                        

Here, at Hajan Middle School, this is how the toilet which is one of the hygiene facilities is being constructed. It is made of stone and aligning the wall height equivalent.

                     

JEN’s engineer, Ajumar Paktiwal; He is testing the ready mixed concrete slump. He has confirmed that this concrete is optimal for this construction.

                       

The ready mixed concrete is for Engineer Mummad Shaheed Middle School to add new classrooms. The workers are working on the compaction work of the concrete. They are vibrating the concrete to remove air bubbles, which gives certain strength.

                      

This is the task of curing concrete. After this process, the strength of concrete, durability and shape is retained. JEN is conducting this kind of construction daily so that the children of Afghanistan can spend a safe and confortable school environment.

June 30, 2011 in Afghanistan |

06/16/2011

The Bananas

The remote office of Afghanistan project of JEN’s Islamabad office has moved to a new office. Surprising, there were bananas in the garden.

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Intensively, hot days around 40 degrees continued and we recognized that the bananas in the garden were large. It was time for harvest.

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Uncle Yakub, the driver for JEN, was always aware of this banana and it was just the right time to cut it off.

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Uncle Yakub was very satisfied with his big harvest.
           

Immediately, we tasted the banana!
(Incidentally, what is behind the staff is that he began a small gardening to grow tomatoes, okuras, cucumbers etc. without herbicides. He looks forward for this harvest as well. )

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It was still bitter but it was very delicious!

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From the left: Ushikubo Kamata (general and treasure affairs) Shinya Kamata (program officer)  Azumat Ali Shar(Office director) Araki Naoko (Program officer & photographer)

June 16, 2011 in Afghanistan |

06/02/2011

Distributing Hygiene Kit at School!

Presently, JEN is distributing a set of hygiene kits at schools of Saran area and Sahid area. Inside the kit are soap, fingernail cutter, hand towel, bathroom tissue, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap container. Other than this, each school are distributed an emergency kit with a garbage box for each class.

Today a whole set is being distributed at Sahidhel area GURU-AKU-SHAHID school and this is how it is distributed.

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Small children are also waiting in line to receive it.

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With the little bit grown boys.

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The elder were also handed.

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The girls with the kit, they are a bit nervous in front of the camera.

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The boys in line are with the kit posing.

A kit is handed over to each child hand to hand.

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This is how we were able to hand the whole kit to all 792 pupils with no problem.

June 2, 2011 in Afghanistan |

05/19/2011

Introducing a new staff Falhadu

My name is Farhadu Fatowat. I was born in 1984, grew up in Province of Herat in Afghanistan. In the year 2002, I graduated from Sultan Geyasdin Gori High School and received a bachelor degree in civil engineering from Herat University in 2006.

One day, I heard about the activities of JEN. Since then, I became enthusiastic to work with this kind of organization. Fortunately, I was able to work at JEN’s Charikar office from March 30th 2011 as a civil engineer.

After the thirty year conflict in Afghanistan, this conflict destroyed the economy, society, health, education, agriculture and infrastructure in many aspects. Now it is time to fulfill the vacancy. My dream is to reconstruct Afghanistan and so that the country can stand up by itself which is the dream of the whole people. We desire that in all aspects that the country will recover.

The people in Afghanistan are willing for peace and stability, and the total recovery will cover the whole country. I hope to help their wish come true and to work sincerely for the people.

Civil Engineer  Falhadu Fatwat

May 19, 2011 in Afghanistan |

04/28/2011

My name is Hamihdura Hamid.

I was born in the refugee camp in Pakistan and grew up there. After graduating high school in Pakistan, I decided to continue my study at the university in Afghanistan and moved to Afghanistan. In the year 2008, my family moved. After I received my bachelor degree in agriculture at the University of Afghanistan NANGARHAL, I received my MBA majoring personnel at ARAMA- IKBAR open university. After 2008, I have been working on reforming the community.

                  

I learned that JEN has been very helpful supporting the refugee in Afghanistan in so many aspects, which was very touching. Fortunately, I was able to get a position at JEN as a program field officer.

The work at JEN will not only provide us an opportunity to work hard but also contributing to the next generation for creating a bright future and make us feel the passion. I believe that hard working is a factor that credits a bright future for the next generation.

We Afghanistani’s love freedom, nature and harmonization. For us, the sky is a bed, the moon is a lamp, the mountain is a house and snow is a blanket. We listen to the music of the breeze and live in a homeland like heaven. Now it is time that we become all for one, for the people of the world and for the sanctuary of nature, all work together for Afghanistan.

Field Officer: Hamidura

April 28, 2011 in Afghanistan |

04/21/2011

Introducing a new staff (Part 2)

April the 4th, I arrived at JEN’s office located in Islamabad Pakistan. I will be in charge for the Afghanistan project from the remote office.

During my college life I was addicted to music; therefore I was in music business before joining JEN. I had nothing inconvenient in my life, but one moment, I began to question my life. Am I able to help someone? Just that kind of time, I happened to know JEN and I became a member from August 2010.
 

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When I joined JEN, it was just after the big flood in Pakistan, and I was assigned as the responsible person from headquarter of the Pakistan Project. On the meantime, I learned about Pakistan and wanted to visit the country.

My wish came true and I am now in Pakistan. From now on, as the appointee of the Afghanistan Project, with a mental restart, I will do my best. I hope for your support to help those who need aid

Afghanistan Program Assignee, Program Officer, Shinya Kamata

April 21, 2011 in Afghanistan |

03/31/2011

New staff introduction

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Since February, I have been assigned to a program officer in Foreign Division.
I have been taking care of Afghanistan program at head office in Tokyo.
I had formerly been involved with importing shoes at private business company before I join this team.
It is big change of direction for me, but I before did international volunteer work in an African country, Zambia.

It is first experience for working at NGO, I will give it everything I have got.

Sincerely,
Afghanistan Foreign Division
Program Officer / Tetsuo Kimura

March 31, 2011 in Afghanistan |

03/25/2011

A Message from JEN's team in Afghanistan

We have received a warm message from our team in Afghanistan.
This message is dedicating to the People whom JEN supports.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Dear All respected member of JEN.


As we had got the information of powerful earthquake struck Japan on 9th March 2011 and case big damage and more than 2000 Japanese die.

We are sorry for that this is not just defect for the Japanese people, this is also defect for us as a humane and we are shear with our friends Japan people in this disaster.

The same shearing of defect has been announced by the governor of Parwan (*) and he remembered about the cooperation of Japanese with Afghans so, the people of Parwan and Afghanistan are hoping the best way of the safeness of the humane around the world.

So, we hope the humane safety everywhere especially for the people of Tohoku in Japan.

Some of the staff from Charikar(*) and Kabul are ready to send same amount as a help for the people of Tohoku as their parts of humanitarian.


Thanks

From all JEN staff in Afghanistan.

People of Afghanistan and especially people of Parwan.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


(*) JEN's projects are being implemented in Charikar district, Parwan province since 2002.


More information about the program in Afghanistan, Click here.

Donation by credit card is possible via our English website:
DONATE HERE:

March 25, 2011 in Afghanistan, Tohoku Earthquake |

03/17/2011

Self-introduction of a staff and the topic about agriculture in Afghanistan

110317_jumadar


I am Jumadar. I was born in Jalalabad in 1958, and graduated from Chaparhar High School in 1977. I graduated from university in 1982, and since then I worked 29years as an engineer at various companies. I have been working at JEN’s Afghanistan Parwan office since February 20, 2011.

The status of farmers in Afghanistan
An old-fashioned farming method remains in Afghan agriculture. Afghan farmers don’t know what type of land is suitable for agriculture. They also don’t have enough knowledge on what kind of water is suitable for irrigation or which season is best for each plant or vegetable. Besides, they don’t know much about nutrient composition of soil of each land and what type of crop species is suitable for that. They are not sure about seed planting depth, when to water, or how many seeds to plant on 2000 square meter land.

However, agricultural sector is growing day by day with domestic and international support. Our hope is that agriculture in Afghanistan will be developed by better system and experts in near future.

Jumadar

March 17, 2011 in Afghanistan |

03/03/2011

Developing Human Resources for Hygiene Education

110303I would like to report about the program of improving the environment of the school and hygiene education.

Not only hygiene knowledge but staff with technical knowledge are lacking in Afghanistan, so we must begin from the scratch; educating people.

JEN first discussed with the officer at ministry of Healthcare in of the region and selected two experts of the hygiene education. 14 people were called and gave a lecture about hygiene education, to become trainers . After the training, the two experts and the new trainers became a team and conducting a workshops to instruct 710 teachers of 42 schools in Parwan.

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At the workshop, teachers learned the basic knowledge such as how to wash hands with soap so that the children at school will achieve “basic hygiene knowledge and habit” which is still not yet popular in Afghanistan.

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Also in Afghanistan, people do not know much how to deal with diarrhea that does not require doctors. Therefore, the recipe of an oral supplement ORS( an oral supplement solution dissolved with salt and sugar to prevent dehydration by diarrhea) was taught.

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In Afghanistan, New Year begins at the end of March and after continuing the workshop until March, the new school term begins. When the new school terms starts, it is the teachers that begin to teach hygiene education. I would like to introduce the progress of of the workshop next time.

March 3, 2011 in Afghanistan |

02/17/2011

What you need to move

The Islamabad office which is the base of remote office in the Afghanistan project moved in this mid-January.

I have been preparing to move to the next place to make the working environment organized smooth whenever I had time. However, once you moved we recognized the reality was that there were problem with almost the entire infrastructure (such as water, electricity, gas, telephone, internet etc).

The house landlord was helpful to solve the problem one by one, but this is not Japan.

It is not unusual that the repairman does not show up mentioning that he will appear today. He once comes to check the situation telling us to return soon and end up showing the next day. Even though you purchase the whole desk set, they never deliver on the day they promised.
 

Now that the problem is getting settled recently at last, I then started to think that this moving situation is also an example for part of the supporting activity. To pursue this project, it requires more time than we imagined. In order to continue a better support, patience is required. Even moving your office is no exception.

It has been about a month since we moved and we are now in an environment to concentrate in our project.

110217_cimg1238_ks_2In the new office, we always have bright sunshine from our large window.

February 17, 2011 in Afghanistan |

02/03/2011

Self-introduction of the new staff

110203_ajmal_acciriI am assigned to work for JEN’s Afghanistan project. My name is Ajmal Acciri. I graduated from Kabul Medical University and am now 30 years old.

I have been working in a number of domestic and foreign group projects.
From January of this year, I am working busy at the northern part of Parwan Prefecture on a hygiene education program conducted by JEN.

I have worked as a public health social mobilization coordinator previously. At that time, I became the leader of the“Participating Learning and Action”project and supported founding the community development project consisted by the local development project area people.

Other than that, when I was working for the Department of Agriculture Recovery, I joined the project as a health education officer in Kabul
Before beginning the project, I surveyed the knowledge and habits of the villagers in advance and afterwards performed hygiene education program based on the government regulation.

From now on, I would like to share my experience to contribute improving the hygiene condition for the people in Parwan. Thank you and I hope to keep in touch with you all.

AJMAL ACCIRI

February 3, 2011 in Afghanistan |

01/20/2011

Challenge brought me to JEN

110120_m_shahid_khanMy name is Muhammad Shahid Hahn. I am an assistant for Admin and Finance officer in Afghanistan.

Today, I would like to introduce myself.

I was born in a small town called Tiratol Prefecture, a mountainous area of the northern part of Pakistan in 1984. During that time, my father was working in Mardan, the second largest city in KPK of Pakistan and our whole family moved here. After I went to school there until 2003, I moved to Karachi, the economic capital in Pakistan, and I got my degree in IT. It was a very special period of my life to encounter people from different back ground.

After that, I returned to Mardan, received my MBA at the local university. When I was in Mardan, studying there in 2008, the Pakistani military began striking the armed insurgents in the Northwest tribal area. Consequently, this caused thousands of families to refuge to the local capital of Peshawar or within Mardan, some families stayed with host families, and moreover some stayed at IDP (Internally displaced persons) camps.

I began supporting these people as a volunteer with my friends after the class
for the IDP. That time, I happened to meet people from local NGO in the camp, and start working for Admin and Finance assistant..

This NGO was my first experience in this field of work and became the turning point for my career. April 2010, I began to work for another group in BASHOL one of the area of FATA (Federal Administrated Tribal Areas). Since this is one of the area, occupied by the armed insurgents, it is one of the toughest field to be based in the world. The experience brought me the confidence to work whatever the situation would be.

Currently,  I am working for JEN. The work environment and the teams are wonderful and would like to work long as possible.

January 20, 2011 in Afghanistan |

10/28/2010

Meet the Stakeholders

Since I have been stationed at Islamabad for a year, I had various experiences such as joy, anger, sadness and fun. This time I had a chance to return to Japan for annual home leave.

During my short return, I mainly spent my days to visit and report my work and projects JEN's implementing to our financial partners. It was indeed a good chance to meet these people whom I do not meet in my daily life in Islamabad, but learned that I cannot implement activities without these people.

Also, being busy with my daily work, I learned that I must never forget not only the people who benefit but the financial partners who let JEN to implement the projects as well. Something I did felt during my days in Japan.


Given the enormous strength, I felt that I must work hard with a clear mind.
In the future as well, I do ask for your support in the Afghanistan- Pakistan Project.

Thank you for your support.

October 28, 2010 in Afghanistan |

09/16/2010

What to do during Eid ul-Fiter in Afghanistan?

Eid ul-Fiter, shortened to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Muslims are commanded by the holy Quran to terminate their fast on the last day of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid means festivity in Arabic, while Fitr means to purify, so the holiday symbolizes purification after completing the fasting month. It is also the time to give donations to the poor people, visit the sick and to spend time with family and friends.

In Afghanistan, the Eid festival holds such social importance that, Afghans start preparing for it up to ten days prior to it. Preparations include cleaning up their homes, many will also go to their local bazaars to buy new clothes, buying sweets and snacks to serve the guests during the day’s festivities. On the first day of Eid, people will first offer their Eid prayers at 8:30 or 9:00 AM and after that everybody embraces each others to congratulates the Eid. After returning to homes, families gather in someone’s home, and greet one another with “Eidet MOBARAK”, or “Happy Eid to you and may your fasting and prayers be accepted by Allah”. Family elders give small allowances to children. It is also common to visit families and friends, although it may be sometimes difficult to do, since the duration of Eid is merely three days!

Thank you for reading, 
A.Fahim

September 16, 2010 in Afghanistan |

Ramadan, the fasting and its tradition in Afghanistan

Eid ul-Fitr (Eid festival) is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar which means the end of Ramadan.

The Muslims are preached by the Holy Qur'an, to end the holy month of Ramadan on the last day of fasting. Eid means "festival" and Fitoru means "lustration" in Arabic, which represents purification after ending fast.

The Eid festival in Afghanistan is not just a festival, but it means more than that. First, when they prepare for the celebration, the Muslims begin cleaning their house 10 days before the festival. The people buy sweets and new clothes to welcome their guest at home.

At home, it is a habit to give pocket money to the children and meet relatives and friends whom you hardly see.

Thus, at the festival “Eid al Fitoru” scheduled at the end of the month of Ramadan, people spend their time with their family and friends, and spend time to cherish the people in need.

The service to celebrate the festival begins from 8:30 or 9:00 AM on the first day. Everyone embraces each other celebrating the wonderful festival. After the festival, they return home and celebrate the festival with their family. Exchanging the phrase “Ei de Mubarak” , everyone celebrates their pray and fast so that it will be accepted by Allah. At each home it is a habit to give pocket money to the children, meet family members and friends difficult to see at their daily life.

This is how people spend their time during the festival “Eid al Fitoru”  at the end of the Ramadan month with people who you care the most.

September 16, 2010 in Afghanistan |

08/19/2010

Exercise to keep hands clean

 JEN is working on health and education programs at the school in Parwan Province, Charikar district. During the winter vacation, teachers who were trained from the experts for three days, began the health education to children from the new spring semester.

 
 In June, there was a four week hand washing program and in July, there was a two week finger nail clipping program. At the end of every month, the school Committee and JEN staff visited each school reviewed whether the program was functioning.

Here is our observation...

First, the trained teachers explain their knowledge they learned again and next the children show their hand washing. They use soap and wash thoroughly between fingers and fingernails. After the hand wash week for 4 weeks, hand washing became very well.

It seems that clipping fingernail was not that easy for small children. They cannot handle the upper level well. So first the elder children clip the fingernail of the younger children. Then the JEN staff show how to hold it again.

Finally, even the smallest child was able to clip his fingernail alone.

August 19, 2010 in Afghanistan |

08/05/2010

Construction situation in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a country which has experienced 30 years of war and during these 30 years of war, around 3 millions, both men and women were killed ordisabled. Many buildings were destroyed too, both private and governmental buildings.Hospital, schools and agriculture buildings were destroyed, so sick people had to receive treatment in outdoor tents , and similarly school children were studying in tents or in mosques without proper equipments such as desks and chairs. .

Recently, the central government of Afghanistan implemented a  direct vote by the people and since then some positive change has come to Afghanistan.  It can be seen espitially in construction of buildings.In the private sector (house building), market is now revitalized and new houses are being  constructed, thanks to people’s hard work. Some of the new houses are constructed by UNHCR with their distributed shelter for the IDPs (internally displaced persons).

In the public sector, including hospitals, schools, economic, agriculture buildings are constructed and rehabilitated by many NGOs and international organizations. Construction of school and hospitals is still going on in.

Around 80% of the necessary construction is done, but it is still not enough and needs further aid of national and international organizations. 
For the hope and success of all aid organizations to construct hospital and school buildings in all Afghanistan, and that the Afghan people could one day easily access  hospitals and schools…

Sincerely, Najibullar Khalilzai, JEN Parwan Province

August 5, 2010 in Afghanistan |

07/08/2010

Educational Situation in Afghanistan

Education in Afghanistan drastically improved under the rule of King Zahir Shah, whose most significant achievements between 1933 and 1973 included making primary schools available to everyone above twelve, or nearly half of the total population, expanding secondary institutions, and founding a national university in Kabul.

At the time, the education system was incredibly accessible, and most children attended schools and entered universities. The three decade of war in Afghanistan, however, destroyed the country’s economy, society, culture, and education. Most schools buildings were damaged, and only a few classrooms remained intact in some schools. Due to this situation, students in different grade levels had to share a classroom, and many students studied in tents without desks, chairs, or textbooks.  In 1996, furthermore, education was banned for female students, so half of the student population was not able to attend schools.

In 2001, the Karzai administration received a substantial amount of international aid to restore the education system that is accessible to female students. Many girls thus began attending schools, but because of the shortage of professionally trained teachers, the quality of education was very poor. This is because many certified teachers fled the country.
   
Many problems still plague this nation. There are regions that lack school buildings, latrines, clean water, textbooks, and etc. Many students have no choice but to study outdoors without proper facilities. The international community spent billions of dollars on aid in Afghanistan, but the country could use further assistance in education.

Despite the challenges of assistance in Afghanistan, I sincerely hope for a better future for all Afghan citizens and the successes of humanitarian aid organizations that strive toward enhanced education and self-reliance in the Afghan community.

Sincerely
Sultan M. Khamoush

July 8, 2010 in Afghanistan |

06/24/2010

The Afghanistan Citizens in Islamabad

In mid-May last year, I was transferred to Islamabad in the neighboring country Pakistan to remotely monitor JEN’s projects in Afghanistan as program officer. Since then, it has been a year. During this past year, security in Afghanistan has shown a glimmer of improvement, but has also become worse since last August’s presidential election. For this reason, we international staff reduced our business travels, and remotely monitored 100% of our project site in Pakistan this year.100624_islamabad_f10_022

Since we do not have direct access to our project sites in Afghanistan, it felt pretty distant, but I realize it’s not actually so. At the Islamabad office, you hear the Pakistani staff members talking to the Kabul staff members on the phone in Pashtun, which is their common language. Once you step outside, you will see that the greengrocers in the market or the bakers from whom we occasionally buy lunch are Afghans. Many Afghans even run grocery stores we go to everyday. Despite being new to this place, you encounter many Afghans here and there. How many Afghans in Islamabad do you think await their return to their home country?

June 24, 2010 in Afghanistan |

06/10/2010

Life of Afghan Refugees in Peshawar

100610_qaiser_khan My name is Qaiser Khan, and I joined JEN on May 30th, 2010 as an administrative and finance officer at the Islamabad office. I am originally from Nowshera, Pakistan, but since 2004, I have been living in Peshawar, Pakistan with my family. Because Peshawar is only 65km away from Turkhum (the boarder of Pakistan and Afghanistan), many Afghan refugees came to Peshawar during the civil war between 1980 and 2001. Since then their life as refugees in Peshawar has begun.

People who have been educated started their career as a teacher or an agent that sends people abroad legally or illegally, and those who have not been educated supported their families by working as drivers or selling fruits. While relatively rich Afghan refugees live in cities like Hayatabad, Peshawar, and other comfortable places, poor refugees were leading a miserable life in refugee camps or small villages.

Recently, however, refugees came to appreciate education. This is because they believe their country’s political situation has improved and came to believe that they will have a better future if they receive quality education. According to an official source, the number of registered schools has now reached 313 in Peshawar and student enrollment is approximately 117,375. 4,695 teachers educate the young generation who is responsible for the future of Afghanistan. However, among the 313 schools, unfortunately, none is established by the Afghan government. All schools are private, costing from Rs.200 to Rs.600 per month.

During my visit to these schools, I observed that the school infrastructure is poor, and the majority of the toilets (95%) are in such a bad condition that no one could use it.  During personal interviews, moreover, most students expressed dissatisfaction with their teachers’ incapability, and many believed that the school was opened not to provide quality education but solely for lucrative purposes.

In the whole of Peshawar, there is no orphanage for young Afghan refugees, nor is there a hospital in which refugees can get free medical care. We must not forget about their living conditions in Pakistan as well as in Afghanistan.

June 10, 2010 in Afghanistan |

05/27/2010

A Short History of Charikar’s Water Situation

Charikar is one of the ten districts in the Parwan Province, which is located about 60km north of Kabul. It is also the center of the province.

Around ten thousand families are living in the highlands of Charikar and its outskirts.  An open canal was created by the Chinese in this area 45 years ago, and it passes through the center of the city. About 95% of the population uses this water, although it is not clean at all. 

In this city, there is a large reservoir filtration system that was established 50 years ago by a Japanese technician. Water drawn from the canal passes through this system pushed by the water pump. The system has about 500 square meters capacity, and the filtered water is sent to a limited number of households.

In the North side of the city, there is an area called Gulghundi, which stores clean water in springs and canals that the local people dug 40 years ago. Maintained by the government and NGOs, the water has now become able to reach the city. Currently, clean water from two water sources has now become able to reach 5% of the city households.

Written by: Inayatullah "Hashimi"

May 27, 2010 in Afghanistan |

05/13/2010

Education Condition in Afghanistan

After the Taliban regime was overthrown in 2001, changes occurred in the country’s education situation. The Afghan government, receiving assistance from the international community, worked hard to increase the number of schools and other education facilities. To give their children a better future in a safer and wealthier country is what the Afghan people wish for the most.

Being educated in a school, I believe, is the first step toward realizing that hope. During the war, many schools were destroyed, thereby degrading the education system in Afghanistan. Since the peace in 2001, the educational environment significantly improved, as the Afghan government, in cooperation with the international community, reconstructed several hundreds of schools and educational facilities.

There are, however, some problems that currently remain unresolved. Because many districts in this country do not have enough school buildings and lack other educational facilities, children are studying under tents or in open area. On the other hand, the largest issue is the lack of public security in certain regions in Afghanistan. It is quite a serious issue, as school students and teachers are sometimes directly targeted for attack. Another issue, furthermore, is people’s economic situation. In Afghanistan, there are families that do not earn enough income to survive each day. Children in such households are not given the opportunity to be educated, shut in their homes to earn money doing difficult tasks. Thousands of children on the streets are forced to work in stringent work conditions because their families are poor.

Despite such abject situation, children try to go to school. They believe that education can save them and let them lead a better life in the future.


Prepared by: A.Fahim

May 13, 2010 in Afghanistan |

04/15/2010

Hope for Afghanistan’s future

100415_2   My Name is Najibullah Khalilzai I joined with JEN since 7th March 2010 as site engineer based in Charikar District.

 During the recent three decades of war in Afghanistan, our people suffered a lot of problems in this country. For example, around 3 million of our people died or were injured during the war, various governmental and nongovernmental properties have been damaged,  hospitals and schools are all destroyed, and most of our people had to seek refuge in other countries. Domestically, people’s rights were not respected. Our trained national police and army forces were affected and were not properly functioning.

 By establishments of the new central government, voted and chosen by our people, I sincerely hope that some positive changes will come to the live of our people. And that the rights of the people are recognized by the new government. I believe that people have equal rights regardless of which provinces of Afghanistan they live in.

 As for the reconstruction of the country, the international community has been assisting all of Afghanistan in different sections such as education development, health, road construction, and economic growth.  However for such a country as Afghanistan, completely destroyed from the conflict, assistance seems never enough.

 In security section our destroyed police and army forces are receiving training day by day and become strong.  The conflict is ongoing in our country, and some of our provinces is insecure and out of the control of the government.

 The international community has spent billions of dollars in our country, but our people still remains in poverty. I hope our people will stop suffering from poverty and the security becomes good and we could live without feeling any danger.

April 15, 2010 in Afghanistan |

04/01/2010

New semester at Hemayatul School

Afghanistan adopts the Islamic solar calendar (the Persian calendar) as its official calendar. March 21st is Nawruz (New Year) and the year 1389 starts today. Tomorrow, the 22nd is the new semester.
 
At the end of last year, children went to school for the first time at the Hemayatul School we built in Charikar District, Parwan Province.

100401_3 JEN staff rings a bell to start class.

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Children are now able to study in brand-new classrooms.

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There is also a small library.

We will continue our project to create an environment suitable for more children’s studies.

April 1, 2010 in Afghanistan |

03/18/2010

Aiming the gold medal again

There is a friend from Kabul, Fahima, who lives near the Islamabad office. She is a Hazara, who had been on exile in Pakistan with her parents, brothers, and sisters during the Taliban regime. After the collapse of the regime, she returned to Kabul and spent her time there until high school. Her father is running a catering business in Kabul.

Though Fahima looks slim and graceful, she’s actually a black belt Judo athlete. Four years ago, having won a gold medal at an international championship, she was told by President Karzai that he would grant her one of her wishes. She requested for a gym where she could practice Judo, and he promised to have it realized in four months. However, four years have passed, and there is still no Judo gym.

I met Fahima at a special muscle training class where a lot of humanitarian workers in Islamabad attend. Since women are not allowed to go outside due to security reasons, many women come to the gym two to three times a week to maintain their physical strength. Among them, Fahima comes in almost everyday since 2009 to build her stamina. She regularly goes to a gym in Lahore and receives guidance from a Judo expert who was trained in Japan.

Fahima continues to dedicate herself to her daily trainings with a goal to enter and win the gold metal at the Judo championship in the near future as an Afghan national player.

March 18, 2010 in Afghanistan |

03/04/2010

Humanitarian Assistance in Afghanistan

My name is Sultan M. Khamoush, and I am pleased to join JEN-Afghanistan since January 19th, 2010 as a field officer at  the Charikar office. 100304

During the past three decades of war in Afghanistan, various problems plagued the country in many areas – humanitarian, political, economical, cultural and so on. It has been eight years since the overthrow of the Taliban regime, and despite the billions of dollars the international community spend on aid, Afghanistan still remains in poverty and political instability. Women and children are seen in the streets of Kabul and other provinces begging for survival.
It is therefore evident that the Afghan government is yet to develop adequate strategies to bring changes in the lives of their citizens; there are problems of corruption, slow development, and the general perception that some government officials lack clear work plans or have policies that overlap or are incomprehensive.
Humanitarian assistance exists to alleviate this problem. When people are displaced from their homes, we investigate their situation and provide assistance and protection. For instance, we speak to those who instigated the conflicts so that people may return to their homes in peace.

There is, however, lack of understanding in Afghanistan about the problem of refugees and internal displacement; no one fully understands how these people become displaced on a short-or long-term basis. There is lack of information on the current situation including how many people have been displaced and how many have already made their ways home.
A rigorous program is called for to assist poverty reduction and deliver humanitarian assistance through NGOs, international community, and the Afghan government to the poor in urban and rural areas. It is, furthermore, imperative that NGOs ensure that funds flow in from governments and international communities in a fair and effective route. It is extremely important that funds are not politically charged and assistance delivered fairly, regardless of the backgrounds of its beneficiaries.

I hope for the better future to all Afghan citizens, and will continue working hard until efforts of humanitarian organizations that assist Afghan people even at difficult times to stand on their own feet, bear fruit.

March 4, 2010 in Afghanistan |

02/18/2010

To teachers, and to children

JEN in Afghanistan began its hygiene educational program from January 24th for 225 teachers from seven different schools in Charikar District, Parwan Province.

The teachers are currently having their winter vacation, but they come to school to attend this three-day program. The person who trains them in hygiene education is a specialist from the Health Division in the Education Department, and is monitored by the JEN’s local staff. This time, the Education Department of Parwan showed interest in this program, attended all seven schools’ programs, and monitored them as well.

The teachers did have basic knowledge on hygiene but it wasn’t practical. While we were organizing programs, we incorporated games so that participants could enjoy the training without getting bored. This attracted a lot of interest, and made them attend the three-day-long sitting training and workshop with passion and enthusiasm. 

100218_2 Since the impact at the two girls’ schools was so big, JEN was asked to continue holding various programs on capacity building. The local male staff also seemed overwhelmed by the power of women.

After this program, the teachers will start conducting hygiene education to the children from the new semester.

February 18, 2010 in Afghanistan |

02/04/2010

Working in Afghanistan

I know I must talk about this year’s project in Afghanistan, so I would like to tell a short story of hardship like my colleague’s previous calendar story. This time it is about insurance.

Last year, one of the JEN’s local staff working for a long period asked for insurance. What they asked for was social insurance such as health insurance and employment insurance. The colleague who had a difficult time figuring out the calendar is having yet another difficult time for insurance companies, but there is no insurance company in this country.

In Afghanistan, the concept of compensation and responsibilities is not common in the community. There is an insurance company for JEN in Pakistan, where we remotely manage the projects for Afghanistan. Recently, however, these insurance companies began to add conditions that don’t cover injuries that are involved with terrorist attacks. Even these insurance policies differ from what’s intuitive in Japan, and they reflect the situations of the country.

JEN has to confront these different cultures and social atmospheres while carrying out our projects. There are staffs that play active part but whose efforts are not easily seen on the surface.

February 4, 2010 in Afghanistan |

01/21/2010

When are the holidays for next year?

The calendar in Afghanistan is based on the Persian calendar of Iran, and the beginning of the New Year starts around March 21st.

There was a happening during Japanese New Year’s when we were checking the holiday schedule for 2010 at JEN Afghanistan.
Even when we made inquiries to the local government and the embassy, no one knew the actual dates of the holidays. When we searched the Internet, it presented different dates based on different sources, and appeared that the accurate dates would not be specified until next March.

To make matters worse, the religious holidays are based on the Islamic calendar, so the dates would change within a couple days according to that month.

Even though the calendar differs from the Christian calendar, I wonder if it is only the Japanese international staffs who are worried about not being able to make plans in advance because of the unconfirmed holiday dates. We do care about the schedule of the local people in Afghanistan…

January 21, 2010 in Afghanistan |

01/07/2010

“Greeting of the year 2010 from the team”

A Happy New Year to all of you!

It has been a decade since the Millennium! JEN’s support to Afghanistan has begun since year 2001, so this is our ninth year. Given aggravating security in Afghanistan, international staffs transferred to Islamabad, Pakistan in November 2007, and continue to implement the projects remotely from Islamabad.

Therefore, the Afghanistan team realized  the importance and function of teamwork. This is why the team was able to complete all the projects of the year 2009 without major issues with tremendous commitment each other..

JEN will welcome additional team mates this year. We will unite even stronger and will do our best to fulfill the support that is needed.

We thank all of you for this year.

January 7, 2010 in Afghanistan |

12/17/2009

New school building for the children has completed!

The construction of Hemayatul High School of Parwan Province Charikar District has finished.

The brand new one-story school building is surrounded by a thick concrete wall, and equipped with eight classrooms and two faculty offices, libraries, and science laboratories. Ten bathrooms are set up outside and there is a water-supply well in the area as well.

The opening ceremony celebrating the completion of construction was held on the 13th where 800 people joined. Though the building was just completed, the leader of school management committee was made a sincere request to the Governor of Parwan Province and the Director of the Education Bureau, to add four new classrooms on the second floor, in the opening speech, to accommodate for the increasing number of students. It is truly encouraging to see the number of enrolling students rise.

During the long war, furious battles took place in Parwan Province that generated a large number of IDPs (internal displaced persons) as well as refugees. Presently, this province has the one of the least to encounter unsafe incidence. We hope that this stability continues and the opportunity to education will spread for both boys and girls, JEN will continue support for Afghanistan. 

Approximately 1,400 students will start their new school term from next March at Hemayatol High School. Therefore, teachers are very busy to move and to prepare for the new school term during the winter breaks.

December 17, 2009 in Afghanistan |

12/03/2009

Eid Mubarak

In Pakistan, from the 27th Friday, a day earlier than in Afghanistan, the Feast of the Sacrifice began. All JEN Pakistani staff returned to their home villages for four days.

Feast of the Sacrifice, the event is based on the myth of the Qur'an. When Ibrahim was just about to sacrifice his child, as told in a revelation from God, God honored the spirit of faith and sent angel Gabriel and asked to sacrifice the life of a sheep instead.

In various parks and markets, livestock markets appear only around this time of the year. An Islam friend tells me, goats and cows are dissected for the poor, and that all parts of the body are utilized.

The day before the Feast of Sacrifice, I saw goats and cows under the sun, but on the 29th the area became a sea of blood with slaughtered animals here and there. Usually the slaughter is handled by experts in one chop, which give less pain for the animals.

I was very puzzled since I am not accustomed to these kinds of events, once again, I did feel the preciousness of "life" and appreciate for being given a “life”.

December 3, 2009 in Afghanistan |

11/19/2009

Constructing Schools

091119_mraarahimi_and_mr_feda_muham Hemayatul High School located in Charikar province of Parwan District began its construction from April and is scheduled to complete by mid December.
More than 95 percent is complete and soon the construction for coating the building and electrical wiring will start.

The photo taken in October shows the President Rahimi of Afghan-American Company on the left, in charge of the construction of schools, on the right is the engineer Feda Mohammed. Rahimi President spoke;

091119_h_installation_of_isogam_is_ More than 70 percent of the people in Afghanistan are illiterate. Without a decent education, there will be no development in this country.

I myself received a scholarship studying engineering at the University of California, received a master's degree in Urban Design at Oxford, United Kingdom. When Afghanistan was a communist country, I was teaching at a university in Saudi Arabia as an associate professor.

Afterwards, I returned to Afghanistan to rebuild the country, and established the company I am working for right now. So far, I have constructed hospitals and agencies residence, and other than that built schools and houses. I will continue constructing as much schools as possible to contribute to the country.

H_isogam_on_the_roof_is_completed Construction work creates employment. Presently, this is the most important thing for this country. "

November 19, 2009 in Afghanistan |

11/05/2009

To all of you with our sincere thanks

Today, I would like to share some photos of Aghan children that just arrived from the field.

 The photographs below were taken during the distribution program of 16 schools in Parwan Province of Charikar District that began from September, and within the same District an orphanage that finished the reconstruction in October.

 I would like to express our special thanks for your support.

091105__63_parchi_11_g2_03db2009 A photo of the girl’s school.

The girls from the second grade class of Pachall elementary school.

Suflab, 8 year old boy from the second grade  of Da mullah yusof elementary, 091105_suhrab_grade_2_age_8_da_mull .

This school does not have their own school facilities, so they are borrowing one part of a mosque to study. He says that he likes this classroom.

091105_orphanage_hand_over National Charikar orphanage

Approximately 150 children live in this orphanage. Behind the children is a warehouse where they can store equipment and household goods. The renovation and reparation of the canopy was completed in mid-October.

November 5, 2009 in Afghanistan |

10/22/2009

DREAM BAG comes true, once again!

091022__51_astiqlal_sejedara_g2_04 Currently, JEN Afghanistan is delivering  “Dream Bag” to approximately over 3,000 children during one month from September 27th. This is our fifth year of this particular project in Afghanistan. Before then, it was distributed to the children in former Yugoslavia.

Every year  our supporters send us all the way from Japan, it contains stationery and toys in handmade bags filled with love and blessing of children from Japan. Since the distribution is not informed to the schools in advance, the staff of the JEN appeares suddenly (!) to make children surprises, just like Santa Clause !! and share the happy time with the children with full of laughter!

Thank you all of you for sending many dreams for the children in Afghanistan.

October 22, 2009 in Afghanistan |

10/08/2009

A new beginning at Islamabad

090716_resized   My name is Junpei Ushikubo, assigned for the Islamabad office from the 5th of October.

  My assignment is assess the areas of administration / accounting for the program in Afghanistan and Pakistan. For the meantime, my goal is to establish a friendly rapport with the colleagues, partners and people here. This is especially important in Afghanistan, as it is a more remote system since the 2007, and as such, the opportunity to talk to face to face is limited.

  Compared to Tokyo, Islamabad is still hot in the noontime, but in the nighttime it feels cool. Maybe for that reason, Athan (a sign for to worship) becomes an awakes me up before my alarm sounds, on the first morning, a pleasant way to be woken. These simple pleasures comfort me, and remind me why it is such a nice place to live.

  I would also just like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to the supporters, for your consistent support which is so sorely needed for pogress to continue.

October 8, 2009 in Afghanistan |

09/24/2009

Enjoying iftar with the local staff

Last week, all the Islamabad office staff prepared iftar. Iftar is a meal that Muslims eat during Ramadan, after the sunset. In town, there is an “iftar buffet” at the restaurant, attended mainly by Pakistanis gathering for that buffet.

A first, they begin with small portions of dates, then pakora a spicy fry like tempura and then samosa. On another occasion, when we were invited by a Pakistani woman, an almond juice was served, a milk-white drink, sweetened with syrup, but without overpowering the coconut taste... During the iftar, we tried some salad with chick beans, and small pasta and with fruit salad dish.

All JEN staff tried to eat the way the local people did Staff were surprised by the fruit salad, as surprisingly it was slightly spicy. Since the other salad was also spiced, it wasn’t strange to eat them together. Today was an education in ifter for the JEN staff!

September 24, 2009 in Afghanistan |

09/10/2009

For support with continuity

 JEN's ultimate goal in Afghanistan: to understand the people who participate JEN's activity; to maintain communication with the central and local government; to always seek opportunities for progress, and understand how to maximize their capability.

  When we interviewed and surveyed the inhabitants of the village, we were often told that there was no supplement for soap distributed after the project. Consequently, despite the children having learnt correct hygiene habits, they often  forget to wash their hands six months later.

  To promote the project effectively, it is necessary to communicate with the government and the local people. over bureaucratic and administerial issues. Points raised include  soap distribution rights after the project is finished and whether the budget is pre-prepared or are goods to be distributed by the community. JEN and UNICEF are discussing the continuation of this project with the Afghanistan Education Department.

  As in the case of inspecting water, the function of management after digging the well and providing clean water, is also important. It is vital to design an effective care system to follow up the project,,to clarify departmental duties concerning water inspection, as well establishing an infrastructure which enables discourse between local people and local government, in order to rectify poor standards. ,.

September 10, 2009 in Afghanistan |

08/27/2009

The Presidential Election

  On August 20th,  Presidential elections took place in Afghanistan for the first time in four years. The number of eligible voters currently stands at 17 million, and voter turnout is considered to be between 40 to 50%.

  Due to security reasons, 10% of the polls have been closed and relocated to a selection of the other 6,200 (approx.) sites.. To prevent multiple voting, qualified voters had their fingertips branded with ink, which  led to threats from anti-government militias that any voters would have their fingers cut-off. This threat was mainly aimed at women, although many still braved the polls – testament to the growing political determination in the country. 

  However, in light of security worries, JEN closed their offices in Kabul and Charikar on the day of election.  The day prior to the election, one member of the local staff was so concerned about the anti-government militias, that he escorted his wife to the polling station so that she could cast her vote unharmed..

The official announcement of the counting of votes takes place on 17th September. If no candidate (including President Karzai, who is expected to be re-elected) wins a majority, a run-off will be held in October. During the election period, it was predicted that further attacks acoss Afghanistan would ensue. However, as yet, there have been no reports regarding any terrorist activity in Parwan Province of Charikar, where JEN's activities are implemented.

August 27, 2009 in Afghanistan |

08/13/2009

Maintain good partnership

090604_no1h_71_low   JEN’s Afghanistan program, school rehabilitation program that started from April is proceeded smoothly. Recruiting constructors for the next coming project runs parallel as well.

  JEN has its activity in Afghanistan since 2001, but, still up to the year 2009, selecting constructors is one of the most important, tedious and the most difficult.

  That is because, since autumn 2007, major operation has been shifted to manage remotely from neigbouring country, Islamabad, Pakistan, thus, it requires a lot of effort to comply the extra works. It is an extremely tough task to maintain the good relationship with the suppliers in such circumstances in Afghanistan.

  In Afghanistan, it is not rare to receive employment applications from connection and legacy, and it difficult to find constructors that match our criteria. This time, from a multiple UN related offices in Kabul, we were introduced a number of local constructors. We are negotiating to develop partnership with them at the moment.

  In such remote management, we cannot come up with new change, unless we improve the the way to work. JEN would like to consistently dedicate our effort to develop the network with the local constructors, the government and  the international organizations from Islamabad.

August 13, 2009 in Afghanistan |

07/30/2009

Activities in the local area

090716_resized   There are concerns all over Afghanistan that the security situation is becoming worse. Especially,  southern and eastern areas close to the border to Pakistan, where tend to become worse. Even though there is a high need for assistance, there are many areas that need to pull out their activities.

  Incidents targeting foreigners are taking place quite frequently all over Afghanistan and the security for the supporting staff at the local area becomes a big burden occasionally.

  Due to unexpected security costs and the time consumption for security, it makes it difficult to accomplish the project within a limited budget and periods.

  Security must be kept in mind for projects in Afghanistan, the staffs of JEN are adjusting their activities daily due to numerous factors that interfere with the project. With support from various people, the local staffs working under numerous risks are making a lot of efforts, and with the tight connection between staff from Pakistan and Tokyo , projects in Afghanistan are being carried out.

We ask for your continual support.

July 30, 2009 in Afghanistan |

07/16/2009

Teamwork 2

090716_resized_2   Late night on July the 6th, the Program Officer who is in charge of Afghanistan and Pakistan of the Tokyo headquarter arrived at Islamabad. Even though it was late at night, the airport was crowded with people and we could feel the heat of Pakistan.

  From the next day, the Afghanistani staff, the Pakistani staff, Japanese and French staff who already arrived in Pakistan started the meeting to exchange information under the slogan “one team= two projects” removing the barriers between each countries projects.

  Opinions were exchanged, such as the progress of the program, the problems and the upcoming strategy. Since the staffs do not have a face to face meeting daily, the meeting time went very quickly and overran the schedule.

  The other night, we all had a Pakistani dinner with the spectaculer view on top of the hill. The scenery from the hill was worth a beautiful one to watch. The time was past 9PM still the weekday but the restaurant was filled with families. With the delicious dinner, we were talking about personal topics other than our work.

  Of course in an Islamic nation, under it's regulation, we are not able to drink alcohol but it was a very nice opportunity for the staff to understand each other.

  Due to the security reasons, it is not possible for the international staff to go the field office most of the time, to support our local staff on spot. But it was very fruitful for the Japanese, Afghanistani and Pakistani staff to meet together since they live apart.

  This must give a progress and strong team work to promote our projects in the future.

July 16, 2009 in Afghanistan |

06/18/2009

The “Needs” discovered from the survey

090604_no1h_71   At the moment, while reconstructing the school at Paruwan province,  we are also conducting the survey for the next schools reconstruction.

  What JEN focuses on now is the water supply and sanitation situation in each school. Local staff members are interviewing over 60 schools and surveying the surrounding villages to see the sanitation situation. Presently, we have covered 80% of the area.

  JEN learned from the survey that lot of toilets at schools only had plain holes without sewers. Schools annexed to Mosques rarely have toilets with a water system. However, with an even higher need are schools in tents where children studying there have to relieve themselves in the open field.

  The number of children at school who receive safe and clean water from spring water and hand pump wells is extremely low. Most children at school drink water drained directly from a flowing canal which has not been treated preoperly. For this reason, children suffer from diarrhea.

  The teachers at school, parents and leaders of the village would like to provide safe and clean water for their children.

June 18, 2009 in Afghanistan |

04/23/2009

Spring has come. - The day to remember -

  Spring has come in Afghanistan after a long harsh winter. The weather is fantastic. Trees, plants, and fields are covered in green in spring. We are filled with happiness although our life remains very difficult due to unemployment and lack of food. People start going out and go on a picnic.   

  In late April, we have a big event. It’s "Mujahideen Day". We celebrate the day since Mujahideen took over the control of Kabul from former president Najibullah’s communist government. It’s now a public holiday and people and children gather in mosques or in pubic halls to listen to speeches and remember the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. 

  As far as this year’s event in Afghanistan is concerned, there is a big one which is due to take place in summer. It’s our presidential election after Hamid Karzai the current President of Afghanistan. People worry about a considerable worsening of Afghanistan’s security situation and have a complex feeling about the upcoming election.

   

April 23, 2009 in Afghanistan |

03/26/2009

MAN AT HIS BEST

090326_qsaim_car_2   Qaseem, JEN’s Driver in Afghan mission. He is a man who takes initiative for humanitarian activity. This vehicle belongs to him. This guy is so tough and is really hard working. He is taking so much care of his vehicle, maintains it very well, and wash it after the every field trip. He is also helpful for small repairs in our source of power=generators and finally, we call him “The little mechanic”.

  Last month, he got seriously ill and had paralysis on left part of body. He was taken to Peshawar (Pakistan) for initial treatment and was brought back for rest and medication. All staff of JEN was in shock at the news of his paralysis and feel really sorry. Now he is at his home. According to the local staff based in Kabul, his left hand is not moving but doctors says that after proper medication and rest of 6 months he will be able to work again.

  Qaseem has been working with JEN for almost 4 years and is so friendly and cooperative with each staff member. His best companion was a former JEN's international staff. He remembers many episodes and shares the stories with us. His job is the only income sourse for his family, which consist of 5 members (2 boys, 1 girl and a wife). JEN will continue to support him and his family till he comes back to work.090326_p8140021_low_3

  During the visit to Kabul  this time, I am missing his presence. And by seeing his car without him was so painful to me. We wish and pray to God for his best health.

Uzair

March 26, 2009 in Afghanistan |

03/12/2009

Certificate of completion and success

  When we start Hygiene Education Program (HEP) in to the sites for the first time we saw the situation and life condition of the people were very bad, due to their personal and public health. People didn't have knowledge about the way of having healthy lives and they did not know the relation of health with their daily lives. MOPH with other organization are working in this regard but there hard activities are not enough for the need of people, because the people suffered long terms war and they were away from knowledge to improve their lives condition in health field.

  Now, with the cooperation of International and Local organization activities for the improvement of people's capacity building is running in every parts of the country. But it needs more time to see the progress of the improvement because the program is not enough for the current large population of Afghanistan.

  JEN, as a partner of DOPH of Parwan started providing workshop for the students and villagers around Toghbirdi village, health condition and controlling from diseases were so weak and the people were in very difficult position of society life because of health bad condition.

  After JEN provided workshop people got knowledge about the way of having good and healthy lives and prevention of diseases in their future lives and improved their capacity for having good healthy lives.

  At the beginning of our program the people were not know about our purpose and type of our activities, when it became clear for them they started their hard thanks and appreciation from JEN and JEN staff and from other hands I got many request of program from other sites of areas by their community leaders.

Also when we start it was difficult of gathering of people in to class but after very short time we got cloud of people which was out of our target numbers.

HEP staff after passing of first week of program they were as a gust of community and they spend more days for getting lunch with the community in the villages.

HEP at the starting stage was boring for all team members (FO, HS, HP, HPA) it is because miss intrusting of all related parties but for the time binge it become very distrustful for all so now HPE team members are washing the continuation of program and from other side they are so happy for learning many new things from the program, therefore all staff had happy party for the success of program.

March 12, 2009 in Afghanistan |

09/18/2008

Completion Ceremony for School Facilities Construction

080918_low   It has now been eleven months  since the remote operation management from Pakistan was introduced.

  Last month the completion ceremony for school facilities construction was conducted in two schools. There were numerous people gathered for the ceremony, such as members of the school management board, school teachers, pupils, and local leaders.

  A speech kicked off the ceremony by a member of Parliament who is originally from where the school was built, followed by the student representatives and then the Embassy of Japan that financially supported the school construction. Female students made the ceremony special  by delivering wonderful songs with eye-catching pastel colors on their burkas.

  What continues to surprise us  on occasions like this ceremony, is how powerfully the Afghans deliver their speeches. . They passionately emphasised the importance of education, and gracefully  described how much they appreciate the contributions from Japan.

September 18, 2008 in Afghanistan |

09/04/2008

The Completion oftoilets in the Orphanage

080904_low   With the support of the Chikuma International Exchange Association and others, JEN constructed four toilets in an orphanage in the Charikar region of the Province of Parwan.

  130 children, who have lost their parents and relatives in the  long war, live at the orphanage and  make the most of the opportunities offered to them in these difficult times. However, the level of hygiene  at the orphanage  is unacceptable, There was only one single toilet so the children had to go outdoors.

  Government support is insufficient for the children living at the orphanage so it is important to let them know that there are people who care about them  who are working to improve their  sanitary situation.080904_low_2

  Shar Muhmmed (14) living at the orphanage exclaimed , “Before JEN put in the toilets, we only had one  that was very dirty. Now we have new toilets, and it is very clean.”

  JEN hopes to continue  the improvement of education and sanitization at orphanages with your support.

September 4, 2008 in Afghanistan |

08/21/2008

Achievement and Appreciation

080819 10 months have passed since Remote Management from Pakistan was introduced.

The construction of 2 schools were completed by July 2008.

We had a banquet to thank the staff, who have operated projects and  put in their best efforts at the field sites on the front line, and  shared the achievements and burdens, which we overcame together.  We enjoyed the local cuisine such as Kabab, Kofta and Palaw with great relish and the natural view at a rustic restaurant along the riverside.  Just those things made everyone absolutely delighted.

We have had banquets like this every time a project was completed.  This time we felt even more achievement than usual as the project operation was done by Remote Management in the mid-flow of the project.

August 21, 2008 in Afghanistan |

07/10/2008

Khadejatul Kobra girl’s school and Chubakhshi Rabat School are Nearly Complete!

080710   With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, various organizations and of course the supporters of JEN, two schools have been renovated. Khadejatul Kobra girl’s school and Chubakhshi Rabat school in Charikar of Parwan Province and Bagran Province are now nearly complete.

  This project started in August 2007, and is now near completion after having overcome multiple hurdles such as a deterioration of the security situation, the switch to remote management, a harsh winter, and land issues caused by the former Muhajideen Commander. Children, who have been observing the progress of the project, can’t hide their excitement over the completion of their school.080710_2 

Watching the near-complete school and the smiles of these children, it is clear that ‘assistance’ is not only the provision of the materials and the building itself, but this assistance reaches the hearts of the children as well.

July 10, 2008 in Afghanistan |

04/03/2008

Delivery of safe water

080401_k7_low JEN with the support by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and individual donnors have been conducting the installation of water pipes which connect water storage tanks and public water pipes in order to supply safe water to students as a part of the construction of schools.

In Afghanistan, sanitary conditions are very bad in most schools. The students of Cobura school  whom JEN is supporting still use dirty water from the channel next to the school for drinking.
Polluted water comes from cities through the channel, so there is no safe water that protects students’ health there.
 
Over a long winter, the construction of water storage tanks has been restarted and the constructions have been advanced to pre-foundation of stones. JEN has been conducting activities in order to make up sanitary conditions that can allow students study safely as soon as possible.

(Photo: The completed base of water storage tank)

April 3, 2008 in Afghanistan |

03/06/2008

Spring has arrived!

080306_brick_masonry_at_kobar JEN’s project site, Parwan province, was hit by a very cold winter from late December to mid-February, which turned it into a land of silver snow.

This winter was especially harsh. A few hundred deaths were reported across the country and in Parwan, temperatures dropped to -22C. In January, we received an order from the school construction board to temporarily suspend construction efforts due to the cold. Unfortunately, JEN had to delay construction efforts until February 24th.

During the last week of February, the temperature made a drastic upturn and shot up to 15C and we were finally able to resume our much anticipated construction efforts. With the end of a long winter, the springtime has brought a renewed energy and motivation!

March 6, 2008 in Afghanistan |

02/21/2008

Afghanistan is the Link

080219 It has been four months since we moved the operation center for our Afghanistan mission to the neighboring country, Pakistan.

Here in Pakistan it is very easy to see the things that Pakistan and Afghanistan have in common. Actually, many second and third generation Afghans live in the regions where there are large former-refugee populations. Amongst these people, there are some whom have never even been to Afghanistan.

These people show great enthusiasm when I greet them in Dali, or tell them that I was recently in Afghanistan. In fact, sometimes I even get discounts and additional vegetables when I go to the local vegetable store!

These people, despite being Afghan, have never been to Afghanistan. Yet I, Japanese, have lived in Afghanistan and am now using Pakistan as a platform of exchange and interaction. It is a strange phenomenon, but it was a moment that provided warmth to my heart.

(PICTURE: A juice-stand in the market)

February 21, 2008 in Afghanistan |

02/07/2008

Reasons to Break the Wall

080205part_of_wall_destroyed_rabat Last December, a man who is known as the Head of the village unexpectedly claimed that a portion of the school was being built on his own land. In his anger, he proceeded to destroy one of the school walls that were still undergoing construction.

(PICTURE: The broken wall)
From the very offset of this project, village representatives, teaching staff, the school principle, and the members of the education council were put together to constitute a well-balanced School Management Committee, whose very purpose was to avoid such problems. Under this Committee, JEN felt that we are doing our best to both prevent and resolve conflicts involving rights to information and land.

However in spite of our efforts, a problem had arisen is the midst of such a small village and the explanation for this can be linked to many factors.

One possible cause is employment. In a remote region where the unemployment rate is close to 100%, a construction of a school provides a unique opportunity for employment. However, this chance of employment cannot possible benefit everyone; it is possible that bitter sentiments due to the missed opportunity may have been the root of this conflict. Often armed groups that have been active through the time of the Cold War or civil war may be behind such problems.

Both the aforementioned causes contributed to our problem. As these individuals are armed, even the village leader has a hard time persuading them to compromise. Finally, the Head was convinced by the School Management Committee to step aside.

This shows that it may be some time before we can reach peaceful times here in Afghanistan.

February 7, 2008 in Afghanistan |

01/24/2008

The Pros and Cons of Remote Management

Photo_2 Three months have already passed since we transferred our project operation center to a remote location. Communication limited to phone and emails has resulted in several accounts of miscommunication. At times we have difficulty communicating exactly what we need with the Afghan people. Tasks that could be completed in 5 minutes if we were communicating on a face-to-face basis, are instead taking 1-2 days.

There are many challenges that we are facing, but we should also note some of the positive outcomes that have resulted. Previously, the staff did not act unless instructed to do so, but they have now started to take their own initiative in finding solutions to the obstacles faced. Of course, this newfound attitude is still in the beginning stage, but we believe that this is an important step forward to reaching the objective of self-initiated development. With that in mind, JEN will continue to support these developments.

(PICTURE: A potted plant that we are growing at the Overseas Office)

January 24, 2008 in Afghanistan |

01/10/2008

A Holiday-less New Years

Site_visit_ns_c1 Afghanistan is a largely Muslim nation, and therefore, unlike the Christian tradition, New Years pass without any holidays. With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives from organizations, and individuals, we are continuing the ongoing school construction.

However, Afghanistan is undergoing a harsh winter, and unfortunately, due to the bitter cold and snow, construction is not proceeding as smoothly as we had hoped.

During most days, the temperature during the day ranges from 2°C to 5°C, but the temperature drops to around -15°C at night. Moreover, there was a heavy snowfall as we entered January, which prevented us from doing construction work for about one week.

R0013159 However, we are hoping to see the bright, smiling faces of the children come springtime when they are due to start school. With that hope in mind, we will not let the cold get to us!

January 10, 2008 in Afghanistan |

10/11/2007

Kabul: Just an ordinary scene

111007_cimg1353  We often see schoolgirls, aged from five and six years old to the junior high students dressed in traditional style school uniforms, all black with a white scarf, walking on the road to the girls school nearby our Kabul office.  It is nothing special, but nevertheless, heartwarming, to see a small girl trying hard to catch up with elder students who are chatting and laughing with her friends.

I see a good future for Afghanistan by looking at this.  It is hard to imagine, but once girls were not educated in this area.  There are many schools we need to rebuild or repair damaged by the long internal war, but it is important to provide a place that all the students can study without worries.

October 11, 2007 in Afghanistan | | TrackBack (0)

09/30/2007

School construction work started!

Photo_3 JEN started construction work of the Cobra School and Chubakhshi Rabat School in August.  We also made a construction ceremony when we started foundation construction work for Chubakhashi Rabat School. 

The ceremony turned up to be a big event attended by people from local government, TV broadcasters from the Parwan state, school related personals, and moreover by almost all the people for the community!

Your image of the school may be different from the ones we are building.  Over 500 students were studying under the heat and packed at a leased half-broken earth-made house from the foundation of the school in 2006.Photo_5  

The construction of the school, therefore, is a big event for the community with enormous joys and expectations. We learned that form the smiles of children we met which lead more efforts and ties to staffs of JEN and school administrative committee.

September 30, 2007 in Afghanistan |

09/20/2007

To the paradise filled with roses

Kabul_office_rose It may surprise you, but Afghanistan is famous for its roses. On the contrary, thinking of Afghanistan, you might picture war-torn images of the country. However, in the summer season, if you visit someone’s home around the city of Kabul and look in the garden you will find the most beautiful roses.  You can enjoy roses in our small garden as well! It is a relaxing moment to find oneself in the garden, reading a book or drinking a cup of tea in the pleasantness of evening time, since normally it is hard to get out of the office due to security reasons.  Prior to the Soviet Union invasion, Afghanistan was once said to be like a paradise for tourists from South-Asia with true Afghan hospitality and beautiful gardens filled with roses. It is a great pity that now there is such a long way to go to get back this reputation due to the worsening security of the country.  JEN will continue to contribute our efforts to rebuild this peaceful paradise through our educational support programs.

September 20, 2007 in Afghanistan |

08/30/2007

An insight into local culture from a receipt!

As we conduct our activities overseas, we encounter a variety of people crucial to the daily processes of our projects besides those who are direct participants to our projects.  Just to name a few: for example, a local government agent, or the various vendors that we use for our projects.  We experience particular local culture through daily interaction with these people.

Afghanistan is not an exception; indeed, local culture in Afghanistan has an outstanding uniqueness.

Afghanistan_receiptYou know this from looking at a receipt brought back by our local staff (we cannot go out to buy the products, due to security reasons); it can show you an insight into the uniqueness of life here.  First of all, almost all the receipts are handwritten in the local language, Dari.  Secondly, we cannot figure out the dates, since they are dated using the Afghanistan calendar, which is different from ours  Finally, the numbers are written in Arabic script, which we can barely recognize.  Even processing a single payment is a difficult task, as everything needs to be translated by our local staff.  Moreover, you can encounter “loose” receipts time to time when you take a closer look.  Dates are missing, there are incorrect calculations, so on and so on and then we have to ask again to get the correct one.  All this is necessary, as we need to be accountable to the supporters for our activities and make appropriate reports.

I have often thought that it is necessary for us, who support the people, to learn further a sense of delicate balance between respecting local cultures and maintaining the policies and standards for our activities.

August 30, 2007 in Afghanistan |

08/09/2007

Afghanistan Pride

One observation of Afghan people is their sense of pride; they will do anything to hide feelings of shame from others.  It is one of the important aspects that we need to pay attention to in relation to our staff management, as pride is an inevitable part of what motivates Afghans, including those who work at our office.

When we held a security workshop for the drivers, we were surprised to hear one of the drivers describe how it was the most unbearable shame to be asked not to resist and to obey the orders of the armed group when caught by them. 

Pride in Afghanistan has survived in the way that throughout their history, the Afghans have never surrendered during war or invasion. Through this they feel that they have never lost the respect of and for the individuals, families, and even their nation despite the suffering of everlasting war and poverty.  The driver’s statement symbolized their worry that by not resisting, their actions would betray Afghanistan’s sense of pride.

  Due to its geopolitical importance, Afghanistan has always been used and suffered interference from the stronger countries. Consequences of this include twenty-five years of long civil war coupled with internal conflicts from religious and political aspects that can be triggered at any time by external interference.

Pride in Afghanistan is crucial to rebuild the nation while co-operating with and integrating the religion of the country.  Outsiders like us should not impose the projects and interfere their life, and need to strongly support and unobtrusively co-operate to accomplish the rebuilding of Afghanistan together with them.

t that it is necessary for us, who support the people, to learn further a sense of delicate balance between respecting local cultures and maintaining the policies and standards for our activities.

Afghanistan2 Staff in JEN Afghanistan Office

August 9, 2007 in Afghanistan |

07/26/2007

Distributing Dream Bags!

Students4 We have again started distributing dream bags to children this year!

This is the third consecutive year that we have carried out this project, which started in 2005. With the collaboration of RKK (Rissho Kosei-kai) 9,549 dream bags have been sent to Afghanistan. The dream bags are handmade by kids and their families in Japan, and they are as big as a supermarket bag.

They are full of stationery and toys that Japanese kids thought would make really nice presents. On June 26th we distributed 186 of these dream bags in KEIBO elementary school, located in the Akrobat region of Bamiyan Province.

The distance from Kabul to Bamiyan is 220km, or a one-day trip; and from there to the School is only 26 km but it takes one and a half hours due to the bad road conditions. A local NGO, as well as teachers and students, participated in the distribution of the dream bags.

The teachers and students welcomed us saying "thank you for bringing such wonderful presents to this remote region"

We still have 9,363 dream bags to distribute during 2007. Since this project started in Afghanistan in 2005, many schools in Parwan Province have already received the dream bags before, so we would like to take the dream bags to more remote places this time. And bring those children what their Japanese friends prepared for them with so much love.

July 26, 2007 in Afghanistan |

03/29/2007

In the Future (a memory of a field officer)

0307_ The projects I devoted myself to in Afghanistan involved daily dialogue with people exposing the realities of their lives.  I left Afghanistan, therefore, with a belief in the need for solidarity among Afghan communities.

JEN had played an important role in empowering individuals by increasing assets and restoring a sense of safety and stability through our assistance projects.  However, these conventional, individual-based relief activities began to be replaced by new strategies based upon building strength among communities in order for sustainable, long-term development. Photo_67 

I realised that to do this a psychological approach was essential: after a disaster, during which society has completely broken down, people’s fears to survive prevent them from working together.  First, there is a need to work to regain solidarity amongst those people.  Only when the solidarity is restored can the community start to become more self-reliant.

Afghanistan is a country exhausted by twenty years of struggle.  JEN must continue our projects until the day when the Afghan people recognise a world where they live in confidence and with respect and in mutual support of each other.

March 29, 2007 in Afghanistan |

02/08/2007

They Studied a Two-Hour Day, Six Days per Week for Nine Months

JEN closed its one-year literacy project in Kabul in the end of January.  As a part of the project, 147 Afghan adults completed a nine-month course in Kabul last November.  They celebrated their certificate with municipal workers.  A survey shows that the course was successful in enlightening Afghan adults about the importance of basic literacy.  Participants regularly came to class a two-hour day, six days per week for nine months.  In addition, they willingly delivered their new knowledge after class to their families at home.

  Initially, three fourth of participants could not use a telephone because they did not know numbers.  Now all of them are pleased that they became able to make themselves understood in writing numbers and words.  In the classroom, for example, they communicate in writing about what they want, how they can get it, and which obstacles they expect to get it.

  The school year starts in Afghanistan in the end of March as soon as the long and severe winter goes by.  JEN, after completing its project, would continue to support public literacy courses to promote adult literacy skills further.

February 8, 2007 in Afghanistan |

11/09/2006

For the future of Charikar

~ The renovation and cleaning project of the groundwater canal~

Dsc00222_1 JEN is currently conducting projects in Charikar, the capital of Parwan Province, where shortage of water is a serious problem for the population of 100,000.  They cannot expect rain during the long summer and all the water that runs in the area is changed to muddy water during the winter. Amid growing concerns that this situation, we could achieve recovery and cleaning underground waterway that had been destructed in the consequence of civil conflict since Parwan administration for 40 years.

On October 10th, we had a ceremony to celebrate the start of the construction with the governor of Parwan and the mayor of Charikar as well as invited officials of MOFA (Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs) .  Although we expect some dangerous work will be involved, we will aim at the success of this project, using the most of the wisdom and experience of the local people who had built a long underground canal in the past.10oct06_27_3

November 9, 2006 in Afghanistan |

09/14/2006

A Gift from God

Water1 JEN started drinking water projects in the Province of Parwan in collaboration with the municipal government.  The Province, despite its potential for economic development as situating in the outskirt of the city of Kabul, has affronted a serious lack of safe drinking water.  In the meantime, unclean water has seriously affected lives of local populations and repatriated refugees in the Province.  JEN’s irrigation projects aim to provide safe clean water by restoring destroyed water pipes and canalising available fountains.  Dsc06404

Villages are sensitive about their water rights.  Local people finally approved JEN’s neutral projects, believing that water is a divine gift from God and thus one should share equally through the JEN’s projects without any discrimination.  The divine water blesses hopefully the future of Afghan population.

September 14, 2006 in Afghanistan |

07/20/2006

A Dream Come True-The Woolang School, Complete!

A1     The Woolang School, that had been under construction since last August as part of the MOFA (Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs) funded "Parwan Province Returnee Support Project," finally saw its completion on the 15th of June, 2006. Many distinguished guests, including the Governor of Parwan, Chief of the Education Bureau, and Secretary from the Japanese Embassy attended the opening ceremony that was held to celebrate the memorable day.

A2_1     The Principal of the school, Mr Abdulluh Sabul, is a man that recognizes the importance of education. He has petitioned the Afghani government and numerous support groups to build more schools in the country, as well as visited the JEN office in Kabul. Since there was no assurance of funding, we supplied 5 large tents to substitute as schools. However, being situated in harsh lands, at the bottom of valleys where the winds are strong, the tents became worn and tattered within the year. Therefore, the children did not have any other choice but to continue their studies inside dark, and occasionally torn tents.

    The opening of the Woolang School marked the day when Mr Sabul's hopes and dreams for the children were finally realized-324 boys and 305 girls, divided into morning and afternoon classes, were able to begin their studies in a brand new school building.

July 20, 2006 in Afghanistan |

05/30/2006

A Girl’s School Ready to Open in Remote Village

1_5_1 The Shiwa Girl’s School, located in a remote village in the mountains of Parwan province, was completed at the end of March in time for the new school semester. (…after 7 months of construction.) 2_4_1


Since the school was planned to be built upon a hill, the project began from flattening out the land. The next step was building a road leading to the construction site; however, there were times when trucks carrying building materials too heavy for its load stalled halfway, and the material had to be reloaded onto a smaller truck. The project also faced some trouble with securing water essential for the construction-the water pump, used to pump up the water from the reservoir built beneath the hill, as well as the generator operating the pump, often broke down which resulted in numerous interruptions of the project. (…water drawn from the village waterway)

In spite of such difficulties faced, when greeted with the girls’ big smiles on the day of the school opening, we could not help but feel joy in being able to see the completion of the school, as well as strongly hope for the bright future of these children.

May 30, 2006 in Afghanistan |