Nov 23, 2016

A new project called "ASUKUMA" started!

The participants for ASUKUMA
The participants for ASUKUMA

A project called “ ASUKUMA -Asu no Kumamoto jyuku-” that encourages Kumamoto has been started.

It’s been six months since the Kumamoto earthquake and JEN has recently launched a new project. The project name is “ASUKUMA -Asu no Kumamoto jyuku-”. ASUKUMA (ASU means tomorrow and KUMA is short for Kumamoto) is based on the people, things and culture that Kumamoto is proud of and its purpose is to bring vigor to the area. This is a workshop program that will last for two months and was started on October 2nd. Twenty people, whom are all concerned about the future of Kumamoto, gathered.

The first day of workshop started with a talk session. Three mentors were invited. These mentors started up a new business and have supported a community development with inhabitants from Tohoku area since the Great East Japan Earthquake. They also provided lectures and have a lot of experience in the establishment and commercialization training.

It’s been a month since the beginning of the workshop. The participants were divided into groups according to their interests and each group went on fieldwork. One group examined reconstructing markets and stalls in Mashiki town, whereas the other group visited Aso town to check the damage incurred by the Kumamoto earthquake. The last group interviewed an architect who owns houses that were damaged in the Minami Aso area and Nishihara village. They could therefore examine various fields.

Consequently, the participants of ASUKUMA found a lot of ideas through this workshop and fieldwork.

We will continue to report any progress on the ASUKUMA project.

Discussing about the participants' interests
Discussing about the participants' interests
Interviewing in the architect's damaged house
Interviewing in the architect's damaged house
Nov 10, 2016

Recycling project in Za'atari Refugee Camp

One of the recycle products
One of the recycle products

Recycling in Za’atari Camp is recently becoming a popular activity.

JEN has been encouraging the activity which involves making new products out of old clothes, plastic bags, containers and papers.

The purpose of this project is to reduce waste and make refugee women independent by earning revenue through making and selling handmade products.

Recycling is beneficial to everyone. By reusing the goods and modifying it into newly usable ones, the living cost is reduced as buying new things will not be necessary. Also, it becomes a “fun activity” for female house members who can acquire simple skills such as sewing and knitting. The ladies of the group can make beautiful products such as children’s clothes, bags, shoes and house decorating goods.

All of the materials are used clothes that no one wears anymore. Here are some products that we make:

1. Dolls using old socks.              
What you need: old socks, needle for sewing, thread, button, cotton, clothes, newspapers, etc.

Put cotton, newspaper and clothes in the socks. Next, sew the socks with needles and threads from the bottom. Finally, attach eyes, nose and mouth using buttons to make the socks look like a doll.

2. Small bags using a pair of jeans
What you need: Old pair of jeans, needle for sewing, thread, button, and scissors.

Cut the jeans into rectangular shape.

Then, sew them using a needle and threads to create a shape like that of a small suitcase. Lastly, decorate the bag with buttons to look beautiful and attractive.


The most difficult part of the activity was that it took time to think what to make because the quality of some materials was really bad. (This problem was solved by producing carpets instead). Also, it requires careful work to create something by recycling.

We will provide new ideas as well as spend more time with the group and encourage them in the future.

They held the bazaar twice. The most recent bazaar was held on May, 2016 and the group sold the recycled goods for reasonable prices and gave an opportunity for refugee women to gather safely.

The members of the group had an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process in terms of what to make or what to sell. They also collaborated with each other during the bazaar and talked to the customers effectively.

Remaking the doll
Remaking the doll
Remaking the bag
Remaking the bag
The members of the group
The members of the group
Oct 17, 2016

The construction of a well has been started

The excavation with a power shovel
The excavation with a power shovel

In Sri Lanka, the construction of a well, which is one of JEN’s main activities in the current projects, took off in July.

Agrowells are essential for those who are living in areas where only reinforced agriculture is possible, but access is currently limited.

We plan to construct 24 wells for 93 households in the next two months.

A 10-meter hole will be dug and blocks will be piled up from the bottom, so that almost all of the work will be done in the ground.

In areas where this project will take place, the quantity of groundwater is large so the construction sites are covered with groundwater once it rains. This makes very difficult to proceed with construction since frequent drains are needed while working on the construction.

For this reason, the plan is to finish by October when the rainy season starts in northern Sri Lanka.

In the process of construction of a well, there are main steps such as excavation, stonemason, plastering, and measuring the amount of water. As for now, excavation has been completed on almost all wells that our constructor has started working on. Although excavation is done with power shovel, it often happens to be bedrocks on a couple of meters from the ground, which are hard to break with power shovel. In that case, a jumbo breaker is used to break them to proceed with excavation.

Local people who are looking forward to have agrowells have started preparing small seed beds in order to start farming at the same time of accomplishment of wells. Also there are some of the people who try to draw water from an excavated hole using a bucket and a rope when the excavation finished because there is plenty of water in the hole which will become a well.

JEN will continue monitoring the construction of wells for people like this who have high motivation to start farming as soon as possible.

drawing water from an excavated hole
drawing water from an excavated hole
 
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