02/08/2007

Completion of the Assistance Projects in Lebanon

20061204_leban_jpf_distribution_khiam2_4 JEN has finished its emergency relief program in Lebanon and would like to thank you very much for your kind contribution to the project.

Israel attacked Lebanon on the 12 July 2006.  JEN intervened and conducted a needs assessment in the Southern part of the country on 17 August, immediately after the cease-fire between the two countries.  Responding to local needs, our team distributed sanitary goods and reconstruction tools to those returnees who were suffering from severe livelihood losses after the war.

JEN distributed hygienic kits in five inland villages that municipal and international relief agencies had not reached.  This project was effective in improving the sanitary conditions of returnees.  JEN also offered reconstruction kits to 38 villages seriously damaged by the bombing.  To do this, JEN established Tool-Kit Committees to manage tool lending to the local population, which satisfied both individual and community necessities.  The Committees were successful in stabilizing community-based sustainable management systems. For example through the advertisement of the program to the local population, the effective and equal selection of the target population, the lending of reconstruction tools, as well as management of the Committees.

Soon JEN concluded that the local communities had established their own self-reliable systems through the reconstruction of their housing and a sense of solidarity within their community.  Therefore, JEN decided to finish our projects in Lebanon out of respect for the sustainable management by the local population.

Thank you very much again for your kind understanding and donation to JEN’s projects in Lebanon.  JEN will continue relief programs for victims of disasters in countries all over the world. 

February 8, 2007 in Lebanon |

01/25/2007

Tool-Kit Committees

20061215_lebanon_jpf_wg_zautar_el_gharbi_2 JEN established “Tool-Kit Committees” in villages in the Southern Lebanon. 

The Committees are in charge of managing a set of construction tools that JEN distributed beforehand to each community.  Each Committee uses its initiative to organize community-based tool lending.  Thanks to their original ideas, JEN’s assistance projects have been widely disseminated to local people in need.

Many Committees advertise tool lending over a loudspeaker of the minaret of the mosque in the centre of their village.  The minaret is a tall tower from which people are called to pray.  The call attracts people’s attention much more effectively than written notices JEN distributed around, as not all people are literate in villages in the South.20061220_lebanon_jpf_distribution_maarou_2

In one village, a municipal worker is involved in the Committee.  He is in charge of housing subsidies and informs those who frequently receive the allowance about tool lending.  In another village, the Committee cooperates with a local construction company.  The company promotes a discount campaign for reconstruction tied up with the Committee’s lending.

January 25, 2007 in Lebanon |

01/18/2007

Use of Tools

20070111_lebanon_jpf_monitoring_zaoutar__6  JEN distributed reconstruction kits and tools in the village of Zaoutar el Ghabiye in December. We monitored the use of tools on the 11 January. 

Here is a feedback from Mohammed in the village:

“I came back to my village after the war from exile and found out my house completely knocked down and baring the whole floors without any walls.  I heard about JEN’s tool-kit project from the municipal government and at billboards at shops.  I borrowed a wheelbarrow, a shovel, a broom, a hammer, a pickaxe, and a saw in order to remove debris and reconstruct the destroyed house.  I do it all by myself for I cannot pay a carpenter.  All the kits are extremely useful, they are all I need and cannot afford to buy.”

January 18, 2007 in Lebanon |

01/11/2007

Lebanese Recipes

Cimg0589_2 Lebanese people eat soft flat bread around 30 cm big (see the picture).  It is rounded and thinner than Indian Nan that it looks like. 

Here are two typical recipes:

*Manou’shi: traditional style baked with olive oil and thyme.  Olive oil and thyme are very popular in Lebanon like in other Mediterranean countries.  Japanese staffs are enjoying the foreign taste familiar in small villages in the South of Lebanon. 

*Labneh: crisped and served with olive oil and sour cream, as popular as Manou’shi.  The exotic mixture of crisp and sour cream excites Japanese staffs gain. 

In winter, people in villages bake it on a hot stove at home.

January 11, 2007 in Lebanon |

01/04/2007

Witness to the Bombardment (no.3)

20061218_lebanon_jpf_distribution_jabal__4 Here is a witness of Mr. Josef Bakarat, a municipal worker of the village of Jbal el Botom in a mountainous region in the Southern Lebanon.  He is a member of a tool-kit committee that JEN established in the village on the 18 December:

JEN distributed reconstruction tools and kits to people of Jbal el Botom in the hope that the kits would help reconstruction of safe livelihoods.20061218_lebanon_jpf_distribution_jabal__5

 

“I remained in my village as a member of the municipal medical rescue team, while my family evacuated to Beirut.  Bombings were targeting on tall buildings in daylight.  Our team had a sleep in woods in the daytime and rescued the wounded at nighttimes.  The Israeli army targeted also on cars, blocked thoroughfares, and stopped the transport of water, food, as well as petrol to the village.  Our team had to transfer on foot a gravely wounded on a stretcher to a 20km-away hospital.  In the meantime, my house was bombarded directly.  I need to reconstruct it completely – a bomb left a huge hole from the roof to the ground.  I am waiting for official housing subsidies while staying at a small flat in a neighbouring village.  My one-year-old baby is still afraid of roaring noise of airplanes.”

January 4, 2007 in Lebanon |

12/28/2006

Practical Arabic?

20061206_leban_jpf_distribution_bei Starting from December 1st, a large-scale demonstration to demand change of the government was held several times by the anti-government, pro-Syrian party.  The location where JEN has its office is very quiet, but in the downtown district where the Prime Minister’s office is located, a lot of people have put up tents and stayed there for a number of days seriously protesting against the government.

The local staff is teaching me Arabic, and in the vocabulary that he teaches me, words reflecting the current unstable political environment have been increasing, for example:

Al Muza-hara: protest action, demonstration
Qutir, Jaishu : lots of military people 

If I were to study Arabic using the standard textbook, I would not have had a chance to learn these words. 

This gives me a somewhat complicated feeling…Staff2

However, as of now, the demonstration has been proceeding in a peaceful way, and as I watch it on the TV, it even looks like people are only having a festival.

December 28, 2006 in Lebanon |

12/21/2006

Japanese Ambassador visited JEN’s Field in Lebanon

20061214_lebanon_jambassador_voisit01_1 On December, 14, His Excellency Mr. Yoshihisa Kuroda, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Embassy of Japan in Lebanon, visited JEN’s operational field in the southern part of the country.  The Ambassador was appointed in Lebanon only three weeks ago.  He arranged the visit upon his arrival in order to see emergency situations in the South.

JEN received the Ambassador at our field office in Marjayoun in the Southern-East Lebanon.  First, the staff briefed him about JEN’s operations in the village of Debbin.  In Debbin, JEN distributed sanitary goods and tools for construction in September and October.  In the meantime, JEN formed a tool management committee in the village so that local population could manage construction kits by themselves.  

Next, the ambassador visited Debbin to see around bomb-destroyed buildings and JEN’s activities to reconstruct livelihoods from debris.  He had a talk with local people and witnessed how people appreciated JEN’s contribution in the village.  The vice-president of the municipality expressed his gratitude to JEN’s operations.  In addition, members of the tool management committee said that the committee helped people collaborate tightly to reconstruct the village.20061214_lebanon_jambassador_voisit20

JEN would continue our projects of reconstruction in close cooperation with the Japanese Embassy.

December 21, 2006 in Lebanon |

12/14/2006

Our Support Activities started at a place near the border with Israel

20061206_leban_jpf_distribution_ait  On December 4th, with the support of the Japan Platform, the distribution of tools to remove debris started.  We were distributing the tools to villages in need of such tools based on our needs assessment targeting about one hundred villages and cities of the Southern part of Lebanon.

One of the villages where we distributed the tools was Aita Ech Chaab.  This was the city with the heaviest damage from the conflict.  The central village office was a small room in a prefab just like a barn, and there was a large tent outside the office.  Important village meetings were held in this prefab. 

While reconstruction efforts are currently underway at a rather accelerated pace in many Southern cities and villages, the village of Aita Ech Chaab continues to have a lot of debris and destruction.  JEN immediately established a tool committee consisting of key persons from leaders of the local community and local agricultural cooperatives.  After doing this, JEN distributes the tools to the Committee, and the local community is mainly in charge of managing tools.20061204_leban_jpf_distribution_q_3

It is expected that the central government will distribute cash for the restoration of housing to each family residing in local communities in the Southern part this weekend.  The local community leaders at Aita Ech Chaab expressed their gratitude to JEN that it was able to distribute the tools before people got cash for the housing restoration.

December 14, 2006 in Lebanon |

12/07/2006

Reconstruction in the South

Taibe3 Four months having passed since the cease-fire, reconstruction is moving ahead at a fast pace in the South of Lebanon. Still, the war scared towns and cities all over the region – thousands of bullet marks on walls, half destroyed buildings, as well as a bridge exposing its skeleton – in consequence of previous bombing campaigns.

In such war-torn situations JEN is visiting cities and villages to explore needs of populations. However, it takes extra efforts to get to areas to which access is hindered because of slow progress toward removal of duds and reconstruction of roads. When we visited a marginalized village, even a main road to the municipal hall was blocked under dud-removing operations. A detour was stopped as well for pavement construction. We necessarily asked workers to suspend construction for a while on our way to and from the municipality. Upon our arrival to the hall, the leader warmly welcomed us as any other international aid agencies has not come to his village. 20061204_leban_jpf_distribution_khiam2_2 

JEN would continue efforts to render assistance to such marginalized villages in the South of Lebanon.

December 7, 2006 in Lebanon |

11/30/2006

The Witnesses of History

061123beirut_funeral_day_2 After the assassination of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel on November 21st, a national funeral took place on November 23rd in Beirut. Almost all stores, companies and government offices were closed following the Lebanese Independence Day on the 22nd.

I watched the national funeral on the TV at my friend’s house. Her families and relatives all came to the house to watch the funeral as well. On the TV, the streets in the City were filled with so many people, a contrast to the more orderly condition of usual times.

When the TV broadcast assembled mourners inside the Cathedral, the families and relatives were eager to point out the mourners on the TV and mention how that person was the relative of someone, explaining as if they are the families’ neighborhood. In this situation, by looking at them watching TV so seriously, I clearly felt that we were observing a national event of great historical importance.

November 30, 2006 in Lebanon |

11/09/2006

Psycho-Social Care

Tiabe_18 In south area, many buildings were destroyed to debris in the war last summer, which led JEN to initiate the support.  Seeing the situation in Beirut, we can fully realize how much resources and time will be necessary to restore the destroyed city.  That leads us to think of even how much more considerable amount of time would be necessary for the people to mentally restore a self- supporting livelihood.

JEN is collecting fund-raise for the emergency assistance. Please contribute to help the people in Lebanon. Thank you for your cooperation.

Account number: 00170-2-538657  Account holder's name: JEN
Please write "Lebanon" on the space for correspondence
If you are considering of a contribution through Japan Net Bank, click

                        

November 9, 2006 in Lebanon |

09/28/2006

Distribution of sanitary goods and set of tool for removing debris

Et_taibe_11_1     23rd August, Toshihiro Yuasa who was dispatched to Lebanon for emergency assistance passed away because of a sudden sickness. Thank you for your condolence and encouragement. JEN continue emergency assistance for people under harsh condition in Lebanon.

    International airport in Beirut restarted on 7th September. In south area where violent combat happened, Army of Lebanon and UN provisional army of Lebanon started bomb disposal after retreat of army of Israel.

     In south area many building were destroyed, also some people are living in destroyed buildings. But they don’t have enough tools so they can’t remove debris surely.
JEN plan to distribute emergency aid supplies for about 400 families in Nagatiyeh, which is close to border between Lebanon and Syria.

    JEN will distribute goods people need most now such as sanitary goods (towel, bucket, bubble, cattle, detergent and teeth brash) and sets of tools for removing debris (wheelbarrow, shovel and hummer).

September 28, 2006 in Lebanon |

08/24/2006

Initiation of emergency assistance for Lebanon

123_6     JEN will send thee staff to begin emergency assistance for refugees and Internally Displaced Persons caused by the conflict between Lebanon and Israel since July 12.

    Four weeks having passed since the outbreak of the conflict, and it is estimated that the number of domestic refugees in Lebanon are about one million and that of refugees escaped overseas are about 220,000. There are too many refugees to support in Lebanon, so those who don't have relatives can rely on are forced to live under harsh conditions.

    One staff will have for Lebanon on August 10 followed by two more on August 11. They are planning to distribute emergency aid supplies such as sanitary goods in Mont-Liban in the mountainous area north of Lebanon. Although many people escaped, there are not enough organizations that provide humanitarian assistance. There are many refugees in Mont-Liban, therefore, they are in need of various types of aid such as food and housing.

    JEN is also considering commencing assistance activities in Syria, where it is said to that 200,000 refugees have flowed in Syria the beginning of the conflict. There is possibility that support areas and contents change depending on the local situation.

Dispatched staffs
Cyril Cappai (Chief of foreign division, from France)
Toshihiro Yuasa (Program officer, from Hokkaido)
Olivier De La Motte Saint Pierre (Program officer, from France)

    JEN is collecting fund-raise for the emergency assistance. Please contribute to help the refugees. Thank you for your cooperation.

Account number: 00170-2-538657  Account holder's name: JEN
Please write "Lebanon" on the space for correspondence
If you are considering of a contribution through Japan Net Bank, click ⇒ here

August 24, 2006 in Lebanon |