Japan Emergency NGO (JEN)

We put our utmost efforts into restoring a self-supporting livelihood both economically and mentally to those people who have been stricken with hardship due to conflicts and disasters. We do so promptly, precisely, and flexibly by fully utilizing local human and material resources, considering this the most promising way to revitalize the society.
Dec 11, 2014

Assessing the needs of the internally displaced

Internally displaced persons camp
Internally displaced persons camp

Iraq has been the theatre of violent internal conflicts since December of 2013. The northern regions of the country have been particularly affected by the ongoing turmoil and as a result, over a million Iraqis have been threatened into forced migration. Humanitarian needs in Iraq are immense, and humanitarian access in many parts of the country remains a challenge for the aid community. Although JEN’s commitment of educational support remains, we have been refocusing our priorities to address the new challenges emerging from the current humanitarian crisis. We are presently monitoring the situation closely and are in the planning phase of a possible emergency assistance response.

The displaced Iraqis are living under very difficult conditions. Many are taking refuge in temporary camps for displaced persons. Cold weather, hunger and lack of access to bathing facilities are among the chief problems identified.

With winter fast approaching – temperatures in northern Iraq can drop to as low as – 15°C (5°F) – many people are in urgent need of winter aids. Kerosene is distributed as a heating and cooking fuel, but in some camps families receive a mere 10 liters (0.25 gallon) of the fuel per month. The queues to have access to bathing facilities are extremely long. In some cases, waiting in line to take a bath can take up to 10 hours. As a result, a high number of refugees bath very little, which contributes to the spread of infectious disease. At certain locations, most of the refugees eat only one or two meals per day because of a lack of financial resources. There is also a shortage of medicines, and camps are generally very poorly endowed with health care resources. Tragically, around 1,500 babies and children have died in the camps since June 10th till now. Many diarrhea and catarrh cases have emerged because of cold weather, lack of kerosene and blankets, lack of food and overall unhygienic living conditions.

JEN will continue to monitor the situation closely in Iraq and aims to bring emergency assistance to the displaced people of Iraq as soon as possible.

While we have refocused some of our attention to the current worsening humanitarian crisis, JEN continues on with its mission of improving educational environments through its school rehabilitation program.

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Dec 11, 2014

Hygiene promotion and winter clothing distribution

Children playing the hand-washing game
Children playing the hand-washing game

Global Hand Washing Day

Global Hand Washing Day is celebrated on October 15th each year to raise awareness that washing one’s hands with soap is a key means of preventing hygiene related diseases – helping prevent everything from diarrhea to colds and flus. This year, JEN celebrated Hand Washing Day with Za’atari Camp’s youth. JEN’s team centered their messages around the most important times to wash hands with soap, which is to say: before eating, after using the toilet, and after playing or touching dirty things.

The day was real fun! Kids seem to learn better by being engaged and active rather than by sitting still listening to classes. The kids really liked the game in which their hands were ink-stamped with colorful pictures of germs.  The next part of the activity was to blindfold three kids at a time and have them use soap and water to wash the germs off their hands.  The one who got the most ink off his or her hands or who demonstrated the best hand washing technique was declared the winner!

Other highlights of the day included walking tours by staff members dressed as the Global Hand Washing Heroes in JEN’s camp districts. This live show has demonstrated to be a very effective approach to visually disseminate hygiene messages while playing with the kids. The disguised staff members have also showed freedom from social conventions or traditional ideas for being unrecognized animators while spreading the hygiene messages in the camp districts.

 

Distribution of winter clothes in Azraq Refugee Camp

Temperatures have started to drop significantly after sunset as winter is approaching in Jordan. JEN has been planning to distribute clothes in the Azraq Refugee Camp and went through a lot of negotiation and coordination with the UNHCR and other humanitarian aid organizations operating in the camp to make this happen.

Prior to the actual distribution, JEN’s distribution team opened the bales and boxes sent to us by UNIQLO and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), sorted out the clothes by type and size, and prepared individual packages for men, women, children and babies. For this task, JEN secured a sufficient number of Syrian laborers, mostly vulnerable women, residing in the camp through an ‘Incentive-based Volunteers’ program run by another organization in the camp.

From the 9-12th and on the 19th of November 2014, JEN distributed the winter clothes sent by our corporate and organizational donors to the whole population of Azraq Refugee Camp. The vast majority of the refugees responded positively to the distribution. A Jordanian lady from another organization who supported JEN staff during the distribution at the Replenishment Site said, “These clothes are from a Japanese brand, right? They are very nice, and I wish if I could get one of these packages for myself!” JEN hopes that the distributed clothes help the refugees mitigate the impact of the harsh winter they must face while they stay at the Azraq Camp.

Supported by your donation, JEN strives to lessen the burden and meet the needs of the 12,000 asylum seekers residing in the Azraq Refugee Camp.

 

Hygiene promotion sessions for parents and teachers’ associations (PTAs)

This fall, JEN’s hygiene promotion team and trained teachers were active in conducting hygiene education sessions for parents and teachers of school children. Education for PTAs is important because parents and teachers are responsible for providing the children with a healthy and clean environment at home and at school.

To organize the event, our team contacted school principals and teachers who then willingly collaborated with us by contacting the parents of their schools’ students. Aiming to have the greatest number of participants, JEN’s hygiene promoters also distributed invitations notes directly to students. To our delight, the turnout surpassed our expectations and what’s more, we were extremely pleased to see fathers and other members of the community we had not attempted to reach directly attending our sessions.

One of the main take-home points of JEN’s sessions was focused on the necessity of providing children with a healthy breakfast and overall good nutrition. A common problem is that children too often come to school without eating breakfast and then are compelled to eat unhealthy, sometimes outright unsafe foods bought from unlicensed vendors.

JEN hygiene promotion team and trained teachers will continuously conduct hygiene education sessions and discuss with PTAs in the aim of improving children’s health.

Our
Our 'hygiene mascots' with children
Distribution team
Distribution team
Girl happily tries on her new coat
Girl happily tries on her new coat
Hygiene promoter giving her class
Hygiene promoter giving her class

Links:

Dec 2, 2014

Agricultural and community-building workshops

Making organic compost
Making organic compost

Agricultural workshop

On November 11th, 2014, JEN held an agricultural workshop. The purpose of the activity was to help the beneficiaries maximize the functionality of their agro wells and to teach them some of the principles of sustainable agriculture.

During the one-day class, many topics were presented. Participants learned about land preparation, organic compost making, organic pesticide making, efficient water management, pest control methods, appropriate timing of cultivation and health problems related to agricultural work. Half of the day was in the form of a classroom lecture and the other half was practical field experiences.

JEN frequently and closely has contacts with the local Sri Lankan agricultural department. As a result of this communication, the department cooperated with us by providing the instructor for the workshop and the agricultural training center as the venue.

In recent years, with the support of local authorities, Sri Lankan agriculture has been trying to shift from chemical to organic pesticides due to health problems caused by the chemicals. JEN’s activities are therefore in line with the aims of the local governments and we have been working in close collaboration with them.

Workshop for community strengthening

As our project outlines, JEN provides Sri Lankan communities with agro wells and agricultural tools. JEN also forms Well Maintenance Comittees for these tools and wells to be equitably shared and properly managed. However, the beneficiaries do not always understand how to make the comittees work efficiently and its purpose, so JEN took the initiative of organizing a series of workshops to teach the beneficiaries the benefits of having a stronger community spirit. The instructor for this workshop was invited by JEN from a Sri Lankan university.

In the workshops held on October 28 and November 4 and 5, we explored the following subjects: what is a stakeholder, what is leadership, and how to deal with conflicts and trouble in the community.

At the beginning of the workshop, to make the participants more at ease, the instructor initiated social interchanges and conversations. Then, to build trust among the participants, team-spirit-building games and exercises were conducted. The sessions had an apparent positive effect. In one workshop in which participants were from two different project sites, initially the two groups didn’t intermingle, with members of each group sitting at opposite side in the classroom. But as the activities went along, the two groups started to talk to each other and a community spirit could be felt.

In all the activities, group work was the central theme. We hope that by providing these workshops, shared resources will be better managed and communities will become more supportive.

Making organic pesticides
Making organic pesticides
Community strengthening
Community strengthening

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