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.
Sep 12, 2014

Improving the Living Environment

Teaching Personal Hygiene
Teaching Personal Hygiene

World Environment Day Hygiene Promotion Event in Za’atari Camp

JEN conducts hygiene education activities in order for Syrian refugees to live in sanitary environments with access to clean water and to decrease illnesses associated with poor hygiene. In Za’atari Camp, over half of the population of about 80 thousand is 17 years old and younger. Activities targeting children are necessary since it also results in their psychological care.

June 5th was World Environment Day; therefore from June 3rd to June 5th we conducted a three-day hygiene promotion event. This was geared towards having the children in Districts 3, 4 and 5 of the Za’atari Refugee Camp enjoy learning about hygiene.

On the 1st and 2nd days of the event, JEN promoters conveyed hygiene messages to children through games, songs, quizzes and dances. JEN will repeatedly hold such events aimed at having children learn how to practice good personal hygiene and acquire the habit of washing their hands and faces.

On the 3rd day of the event, JEN’s promoters organized focus groups with adults in order to discuss saving and safety of water. The promoters participated in group meetings as advisers, where several issues of waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea, as well as water conservation were discussed. On the same day, for the purpose of raising awareness of environmental protection, refugees planted sage in their camp located in the middle of desert. At the present time, refugees face problems such as an unhygienic environment and plagues of flies and mice because of the lack of trees and poor drainage.

JEN will keep working with the refugees in bettering the environment of the camp, providing safe water and familiarizing themselves with the practice of washing their hands and brushing their teeth.

Completion of the Construction of 12 Classrooms

As a part of host community assistance activities, JEN built 12 classrooms in 4 schools and repaired water facilities such as bathrooms and hand-wash facilities in Irbid, Mafraq and Zarqa Prefectures.

The number of Syrian refugees has sharply increased and Syrian children have started attending public schools in the Prefectures in Jordan. However, the local schools cannot cope with the sudden surge of students. At the moment, the Syrian and Jordan children have to study in classrooms that are too small for them. To deal with this issue, it is imperative additional classrooms are built and water facilities are prepared.

In order to cope with an increasingly overcrowded learning environment, Jordan's Ministry of Education has adopted a double shift system in crowded schools. However, students cannot attend classes in the schools full-time due to the system. The student's school time is reduced.

JEN will continue to enhance the learning environment by repairing water facilities and constructing additional classrooms. We will keep working hard for both Syrian and Jordan children so that they do not become hindered by their educational environment.

Washing and Chlorinating Water Tanks

From July, we had been cleaning and disinfecting 311 drinking water tanks with chlorine in JEN’s activity area. Our staff had been working to clean up 10 to 15 tanks per day with chlorine. In the region, the temperature gradually rises from May, exceeding 30 degrees C in the summer time. As every refugee uses the water in the tanks as drinking water, we were concerned about the hygienic situation worsening due to heat.

Water tanks were set in various places and water was supplied to all tanks every day. JEN worked to wash and disinfect the tanks with chlorine in the three districts where it is working as a focal organization of the hygiene issue. Polluted water may cause serious health problems so we do our best to ensure healthy and safe living in Za’atari camp.

Cleaning Up the Camp

Each month, JEN launches a cleaning campaign with the people in Za’atari camp. The main objective of the campaign is to have the refugees be motivated to keep their environment clean. JEN organized August’s campaign on August 27th.

During the campaign, JEN’s staff asked the community to participate in the campaign. Because some refugees do not view the camp as their permanent home, less attention is paid to the environment. However, the campaign raises awareness of the disadvantages of littering in the streets and the prevention of disease caused by bad hygiene practices. In August the total number of participants was around 20 refugees.

One of the participants shared his thoughts with us saying, “This campaign is a good opportunity to work with agencies and the community together. I hope this activity will continue.” Another participant also commented, “I like this campaign with JEN because the community can work together. It will not only improve the environment but also prevent disease caused by hygiene problems.”

Hygiene Education Event in Za
Hygiene Education Event in Za'atari Camp
Many Students in a Classroom
Many Students in a Classroom
New Classroom Designed by JEN
New Classroom Designed by JEN's Female Engineer
Washing Water Tanks
Washing Water Tanks
JEN Staffs Kicked Off the Cleaning Campaign
JEN Staffs Kicked Off the Cleaning Campaign

Links:

Aug 26, 2014

Come to see local people in Ishinomaki!!

Fishing Experience & Interacting with Local People
Fishing Experience & Interacting with Local People

Feel the current environment in Oshika Peninsula, Miyagi Prefecture!

In Oshika Peninsula which we introduced in the previous report, we held the event “Let’s Go to the Sea!” 4 times in total from June to August 2014.

It is new style experience-based reconstruction assistance. In Japan, many people have been interested in the current situation and the community recovery there and still finding the way to contribute to assistance there for those affected by the disaster. 

We offer good opportunities for them to come to Oshika Peninsula and experience local environment, fishing, participating in a local festival and interacting with local people. 

We also vitalize the local economy and to boost reconstruction there by call in many participants from outside the area. 

In this report, we would like to introduce the event, the 8th “Let’s Go to the Sea!” held in June this year.

It had been held for 2 days, on June 7 and 8, at Yagawahama and Sasunohama, Oshika Peninsula.

In this event, the participants experienced fishing, listening to the locals talk about the disaster and recovery, visiting a temporary local shopping street which had been reconstructed 8 month later after the natural disaster hit the region and supported the locals, and looking around the city of Ishinomaki to know the present conditions.

Participants were able to learn directly the realities there such as the locals’ actual disaster experience and their positive spirits which they tackle difficult tasks to recover their hometown with, which they could not know through media coverage.

They shared their thoughts on the project with us:

 “I was able to hear the situations in Tohoku through the media after the disaster but found out through the experience there that the reality was totally different from what I thought”.

“The event’s great attraction is that we can interact with the locals; they are genuinely kind-hearted, so I come to like Oshika Peninsula very much.”

JEN will keep conducting the event till the completion of reconstruction in the region.

 

Strengthening family bonds! 

We have been conducting assistance for community reconstruction in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture since the earth quake and tsunami hit the city over 3 years ago.

On June 28, we held the event, “Parent-and-Child Hometown-Rediscovery Class” in order to strengthen their family bonds and to refresh their bodies and spirits. 

JEN give an opportunity that elementary school students and their parents living in Ishinomaki city participate the out-of-door activity and learn about their home town.

A series of 6 classes are scheduled to be given in the June-December period, and are going to be improved so that they can give participants better opportunities to learn and experience various features of their hometown Ishinomaki.

This event held for the first time this year, was themed on hiking in Mt. Magi and photography class joined by 12 families of 29 parents and their children in total. 

Firstly the photography class was conducted at the car park at the foot of the mountain and we distributed disposable cameras to each child.

Nowadays Japanese children only have experience of using digital camera so we taught them how to wind the film and how to take picture with the disposable camera.

At the beginning, children seemed puzzled to use the camera but once they started taking photo, they seemed to relax and we noticed their smiling faces and lively voices everywhere at last. 

After that, the parents and children headed towards the Hitsujisaki Shinto Shrine on the top of the mountain which has an altitude of 250 meters.

In the middle of hiking, they listened to local histories and myths of Ishinomaki from a local historian who accompanied them.

Children were so excited about insects and plants living in the mountain which normally they cannot find in the city and the old tales that have been handed down in this area such as “from when human beings started dwelling at Ishinomaki city” and “a myth of Maki clan” whose name was possibly derived to the name of the Magi mountain.

Waking through nature trails, they found an obstacle course for kids, so they dashed towards it right after having lunch. The parents seemed to get more refreshed by seeing their children playing joyfully.

JEN is planning to hold classes such as fishing, camping in a remote island and cooking in the near future.

We are committed to our working on offering opportunities that parents and their children in the disaster-stricken area can strengthen their family bonds while rediscovering their hometown, Ishinomaki.

 

Promoting the empowerment of women!

On July 12, we held the event, the 5th "Handicraft market, Hands-on exhibit in Ishinomaki: Making Handcrafting into Jobs". The event was one of the women empowerment projects, aimed at giving women a leg up who make handicrafts in the area.

This time, we offered opportunities of making-goods experience such as weaving as well as selling and buying handicrafts such as handmade bags and other handmade items. The hall where this event was held became crowded with a lot of visitors right after its opening.

After that, JEN staffs and the local handicraft-sellers who sold things in the event, had a monthly meeting.

In the meeting, many ideas such as a central theme and layout of the next event in August were thought up by the local participants. They also actively worked on making public announcement about the event such as handing out the leaflets.

JEN is working hard aiming at developing the cooperative system between the local participants through having this kind of meeting in order them to hold the event by themselves.

Hiking in Mt. Magi
Hiking in Mt. Magi
Handicrafts market, Hands-on exhibit in Ishinomaki
Handicrafts market, Hands-on exhibit in Ishinomaki
Selling her hand-made items
Selling her hand-made items

Links:

Jun 16, 2014

Continuing to Improve Iraqi Students' Lives

Students with their new portable trash boxes.
Students with their new portable trash boxes.

The Student’s Impression

A twelfth grade student from one the school’s JEN renovated expressed his sincere gratitude towards JEN. He stated that some students used to go the bathroom outside in soiled areas because the school’s restroom facilities were squalid, and now that they are newly renovated, he would like to work with JEN to keep his school clean. The headmaster was also thankful and was impressed by JEN’s work in Diyala in cooperation with the Department of Education. With summer coming soon, JEN donated fans to the schools to combat the scorching heat. The students were thankful for their new fans as well. JEN will continue to work on renovating schools and their WASH facilities so that children can be safe and comfortable at school.

 

Iraqi 2014 Elections

After the multinational force’s liberation of Iraq over threw Saddam Hussein’s government in 2003, they also installed a temporary administration that represented all of Iraq’s population. The January 2005 elections to begin writing the constitution were also the first free and fair elections in Iraq’s history. Since then, the voter turnout has become 51% of the population who is eligible to vote. The most recent elections, which took place on April 30th, 2014, were to determine a new Parliament and government for the next four years. The streets of Baghdad were covered with campaign posters of the different candidates; sometimes food items contained campaign ads too! Other politicians reached out to the poor and provided free meals and called them “The Gift of Dr./ Mr. ________.” Another candidate claimed that he is to earn a seat in Parliament by order of the Prophet Muhammad. The parliamentary elections this year were filled with competitive candidates and campaigning.

 

Need Survey

A need survey points out the strengths and weaknesses of a facility and is considered a major part of an NGO’s policy. It is also the very first step of JEN’s projects. After visiting the facilities, such as schools and health centers, JEN created a database to ensure proper health conditions at each location. The survey provides proper training to the individuals in these facilities to help maintain personal and environmental hygiene. Today in Iraq, children attend very crowded schools where there is a lack of health and educational support. The need survey allows us to solve issues by finding the root problems. JEN utilizes two surveys; one is the need survey and the other is the monitoring survey. As previously stated, the need survey is issued before renovation and uses questions to estimate the health environments of individuals. The monitoring survey takes place after a facility has been renovated to assess the completion of a project. JEN uses these surveys to continue creating effective and impactful projects.

 

Booklet on hygiene for primary school students

JEN is working with the Iraqi Ministry of Education to create a short cartoon story to inform students about the importance of hygiene. The story contains a plot and throughout it, a set of instructions and tips on how to maintain personal hygiene. This will raise general awareness of personal health and environmental hygiene. Through the students, the messages we are trying to convey will be passed on to their parents. Simple text and colorful drawings by professionals will attract the young students. The booklet will also encourage students to listen to their teachers when they explain hygiene in school. Several meetings have already been held to ensure the best story for the students.

Campaign posters fill the streets.
Campaign posters fill the streets.
A teacher shows her student how to brush his teeth
A teacher shows her student how to brush his teeth
A meeting for the hygiene booklet.
A meeting for the hygiene booklet.

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