Most of refugee children in Iraq do not have schools in 2014, this is because the schools far away from the camps. The other reasons of the schools in the cities centers, which cannot assimilate the large numbers of refugee students, are more than the half of Iraqi refugees in the camps of Kurdistan cities. The Kurdistan government prepares 66 caravans, using it as schools for the refugee students and 46 schools (caravans). Now, it still does not prepare the requirements like desks, blackboards, books, copybooks and teachers.
These caravans do not assimilate 15% from the refugee students in Kurdistan, we ask all of the humanitarian organization and the Iraqi government to prepare the enough schools for them. The fact is they loss two scholastic years and we do not know how many other years they will be loss.
The government requires a manger of the Department of Education (DOE) to install 200 caravans for the classrooms of the refugee students and 20 caravans for the latrines. Now, still only 15 schools (caravans) are prepared at the suburbs. The Iraqi government provided 500 caravans for the other suburbs as 80 caravans for each of the DOE.
Although there is the lack of the school buildings for the refugee students, the international society must be aware of supporting the children with the facilities for the children’s study.
2.1 million people, from the refugees have very hard conditions in the hardiness of the cold weather, more than 100 children and babies dead in this winter.
The Displaced Students
As we train teachers and students to raise their hygiene; health and environmental awareness, distribution of hygiene, and cleaning materials for them in schools covered by JEN project.
We have noticed that there are the numbers of displaced students from other governorates. They have been enrolled in these schools. We have made a statistic about their numbers. It has been agreed with the authority on the need to provide them with hygiene like the rest of the students and add other materials to them. Where it was agreed to:
The materials were purchased and transferred to the place where we arrange materials, according to the share of each school.
We met the school administrations in the presence of environmental education and school health official in the Department of Education (DOE). We talked with them on the need for special attention to the displaced pupils and distribution of materials on them. We asked them to tell us the date of Parents and Teachers Council hold in the second semester of the school year in order for us to attend, and in cooperation with the school administration gives parents of students some guidance pertaining to the public and personal health and pay attention to hygiene. We also delivered the school administrations CD disk containing items of training curriculum to be used to educate students and their parents in different occasions.
Also, subsequently we delivered school administrations the materials allocated to them; we visited the schools and participation with school administrations in distribution of materials to the displaced students and gave them advice concerning cleanliness importance and some guidance that raised their health and environmental awareness.
This initiative has won the thanks and appreciation the DOE officials and the administrations of schools and student in turn; they gave thanks to the Japanese people in general and in particular to JEN.
Distribution of Winterization items vouchers – Preparation phase
JEN is preparing the voucher distribution for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). This voucher can be used as a payment for winterization items such as heater, kerosene, and blanket so on.
There are three ways to distribute items to people in needs. The first way is that NGO procures items and distribute them directly to people. The second one is that NGO distribute vouchers to people and people buy pre-identified items at pre-appointed shops. The last one is that NGO provide cash to people and people buy what they need at their selecting shops.
The best way to distribute items is up to the situation of area where NGO is working. For example, immediate after natural disaster the distribution of cash or voucher is not realistic because the most of shops and logistics are not working. As for IDP assistance in Kurdistan, taking into consideration that needs among families hugely varies and shops are properly functioning in the area, JEN decided to distribute vouchers.
The most important activities in preparation phase are the assessment/registration of voucher recipients as well as the arrangement with local shops.
For the assessment/registration of voucher recipients, JEN staff visits household by household and collect the information of household such as ID card, the number of family members, and the current situations, by using smartphone applications.
In local shops which agree to participate in our voucher scheme, JEN staff explains shop owners about the administrative procedures and terms and conditions so on, by visiting one by one.
Every time we visit people and talk with shop owners, we are getting more confident that this voucher distribution could accurately response people’s needs and could contribute the business increase in the host community.
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.
History of Education in Iraq up to 1991
Iraq is still lacking in adequate education buildings. Many areas use caravans to make up for the lack of buildings but the capacity is only 50-60 students and the lifespan is much shorter than proper buildings. The capital province of Bagdad announced that 4000 buildings are needed and that 500 caravans will be provided as a temporary solution.
Action Taken by JEN
To combat the insufficiency of school buildings in Iraq, JEN's “Improvement of Hygienic Environment in Primary and Secondary Schools in Central and Northern Part of Iraq” program has targeted 6 schools each in the provinces of Anbar, Diyala and Kirkuk for rehabilitation. The rehabilitation process has been completed for 6 schools. JEN has also been working with the Iraq Ministry of Education to produce a short cartoon booklet on the importance of hygiene for primary students. The story contains instructions and tips on hygiene in general and raises health and environmental awareness among students and their families. JEN is now in the process of printing the booklet.
JEN is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. In the first half of 2014 an anniversary meeting was held at JEN's Baghdad office. Many of Iraq's Ministry of Education officials and directors of companies attended and wished JEN continued success and the people of the world in general and of Iraq in particular more prosperity and opportunity. There will be a celebration of JEN's 20th anniversary in Tokyo on October 26th.
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.
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.
[One page on “Majallate” magazine]
In the last report we introduced about our new project on school hygiene started on the end of last year. However JEN is facing a rapid worsening of security in Anbar, the one of three governorates our project take place.
To maintain safety of staff, JEN have suspended our activities in Anbar Governorate and also restricting transportation of staff.
It is important for us to recognize that our project site is not always a safe place, but it is also true that we see so many childrens waiting for help in the place like here. Therefore it is all the more important for us to always ensure to monitor security conditions and share security information with all staff.
Today JEN is also working through one of the kids magazine. The magazine: “Majallate” runs articles of the kid’s culture in Iraq and has ever been issued monthly for 44 years. It is one of the famous magazines in Iraq and many families get the magazine as it contains various themes and meaningful stories for children.
After JEN undertaking editing one of the sections of the magazine with cooperation of Ministry of Education, the magazines had been distributed to students in the primary schools in the previous JEN projects. They expressed their admiration for it and they understood the importance of hygiene education and preservation of the environment which are contained in the magazine.
*Due to the security reasons, no photoes of local people are attached. Apology for incoveniences caused.
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