Children
 Iraq
Project #12023

Educational Support for Children in Iraq

by Japan Emergency NGO (JEN)
Vetted
The celebration stage
The celebration stage

Iraq celebrated the World Health Day, an event held in the country every year. JEN was invited to this year’s event and distributed posters and brochures with pictures of JEN’s contribution to Iraq society as well as hygiene materials provided to schools.

The representative of sports activities made the opening remark. There were a lot of questions about JEN’s activity during Q & A sessions of the ceremony.  Also, the Ministry of Education in Baghdad provided an occasion of children’s drama and poem reading which aims to raise awareness of maintaining hygienic environments.

At the end of the event, JEN received acknowledgement and praise from the event’s participants and a letter of appreciation from the Ministry of Education. This is because JEN has dedicated to improve the local people’s health and hygiene. In fact, our project for the health and hygiene improvement is not only in the local, but also in an IDP camp.

In the camp, JEN staff facilitating discussion with CHPs (community hygiene promoter) group. The agenda is for example, hygiene kits distribution in the summer and its issues. The issue is especially considered how the promoters will operate smoothly at an occasion of the distribution. Also, the CHPs are a group of the camp residents and they work as volunteer for maintenance of the hygienic environment in the camp.

The kids stage of a drama
The kids stage of a drama
The promoters
The promoters' meeting
The training session
The training session

Hygiene promoters in the local community are trained to do door-to-door visits

The picture shows the promoters practicing with one another during the training. In March, they started doing real door-to-door visits, during which they taught proper hygiene practices and asked residents to refrain from dumping wastes in the common drainage.

The group of Community Hygiene Promoters has been growing larger and larger. It now consists of about 50 male and female volunteers who actively help spread the hygiene knowledge among local people. Those volunteers come from diversified backgrounds and have various careers, but they all carry the passion to make the community better.

Here, we would like to introduce a special member of the Community Hygiene Promoter, who is a 22 years old male living in the camp where JEN is working. He is an IDP (Internal Displaced Person) from Kurdistan.

The disability of his leg was caused by medical malpractice when he was a child. As a result, he has been using a cane ever since. In spite of his disability, he actively conducts tent-to-tent visits for hygiene promotion, participates in the camp’s Cleaning Day, and attends Community Hygiene Promotion meetings.

In fact, the camp is not an easy place for disabled people to live in because of its hills and the gravel roads. In addition, the camp is actually fairly large in the absence of convenient transportation.

A JEN staff asked him about the reason why he is so active and why he wanted to be a Community Hygiene Promoter at the very first place. He answered, “I wanted to advise people and support people. There were not any volunteer groups in my hometown, but I think this kind of volunteerism is very necessary to ensure the health of people living in the camp. Also, I just really like this volunteer work.”

The JEN staff then asked him if he felt any changes after conducting tent-to-tent hygiene promotion. He answered, “I think before tent-to-tent visits, people always used water to clean tents and wash cars even though water scarcity had already been reported in some areas. There were also a lot of children walking outside without wearing shoes. After hygiene promotion, I feel that those behaviors have been greatly reduced.”

JEN will continue to facilitate such action of promoting proper hygiene practices in the camp.

The role playing
The role playing
Distribution venue
Distribution venue

On December 2015 and January 2016, JEN conducted distribution of winterization items in mountainous area where JEN works. The neighbourhood of it was surrounded by an armed group between August 2014 and December 2014. During the last five months, many people from the neighbourhood evacuated to the camp. After one year of the liberation, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are still facing hard living conditions especially during freezing cold winter.

JEN planned to conduct a distribution of winterization kit to support them. Also, we organized a focal group discussion with the community to clarify their situation and needs, and also, household assessment to create database of household numbers. As a result, JEN provided items to reinforce tents, blankets, winter clothes and carpets.

The first distribution was blankets and children’s clothes. There were many people in the distribution, and so itmadeslightly difficult to do the well-ordered distribution. This is because such occasion did not take place for long time in the community. Our operation became more organized and completed smoothly after the first distribution.

The distribution is very small part of the solution for their entire problem.

In the queue of distribution
In the queue of distribution
Distribution venue
Distribution venue

On December 2015 and January 2016, JEN conducted distribution of winterization items in mountainous area when JEN works. The neighbourhood of it was surrounded by an armed group between August 2014 and December 2014. During the last five months, many people from the neighbourhood evacuated to the camp. After one year of the liberation, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are still facing hard living conditions especially during freezing cold winter.

JEN planned to conduct a distribution of winterization kit to support them. Also, we organized a focal group discussion with the community to clarify their situation and needs, and also, household assessment to create database of household numbers. As a result, JEN provided items to reinforce tents, blankets, winter clothes and carpets.

The first distribution was blankets and children’s clothes. There were many people in the distribution, and so it made slightly difficult to do the well-ordered distribution. This is because such occasion did not take place for long time in the community. Our operation became more organized and completed smoothly after the first distribution.

The distribution is very small part of solution for their entire problem.

In the queue of distribution
In the queue of distribution
Water come out from the well!
Water come out from the well!

In August 2015, JEN conducted well rehabilitation in newly liberated area in Iraqi Kurdistan. As natural water source in many parts of the Northern area is limited, the residents depend on the deep wells to provide water that they need for everyday use. However, many of the wells have been damaged, making it more difficult for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to return to their villages.

As a result, in September there were around 35 wells in the villages that JEN considered as ‘rehabilitation possible’. However, out of only 11 wells were functional. These wells are connected to a main water reservoir for the village, which can be 20 to 30 meters high. When there are not enough functional wells, they cannot produce enough water pressure to fill the reservoirs. Furthermore, if the reservoirs are not be filled, water will not  be delivered through the water network. In out of the six villages that JEN considered, we decided to work on two wells that provide water to a village that has around 500 returnees.

The reason, the wells are not working, is from a well to another. Some wells have a burnt motor from overuse, some have damaged pumps, and others just have damaged cables or switch boxes to turn the well on. Therefore, JEN visited the wells with a group of electricians and technicians to assess the damage at first, and then to repair the wells with necessary equipment. This time, all parts including: the motor; the pump; the cables, and the switchbox were replaced for the first well. It is also just that the pump was replaced for the other well. As a result, the wells are now functional and are able to provide water into the village’s water reservoir and to the village itself.

JEN is planning to continue the well rehabilitation work, in coordination with the other area and its governorate water department to prepare necessary water infrastructure for when people begin to return to their villages.

 

 Latrine Installation

The otherJEN’s ongoing challenge in Iraq was Latrine Installation in a mountain area in the need of better sanitation since the winter, which is expected high precipitation, is approaching. This situation is especially grave for facilities to set up for vulnerable people, such as the three health posts and the child friendly space in the mountain, as those of the people, seeking medical attention, are more susceptible to diseases that can be spread through improper sanitation. As cholera has been reported in various parts of Iraq, proper sanitation is one of the priority issues.

One of the major challenges for close 1000 families of the IDPs living in the area is to access to the proper Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) facilities that are culturally appropriate. As their lives in the mountain are temporary, their WASH facilities also tend to be temporary with their latrines consisting of a hole in the ground over a shallowly dug-up septic hole, surrounded by four sides by cloth for privacy. Such latrine can pose serious health risks as the septic tanks can easily overflow and spread to the living areas. 

Therefore, JEN decided to install pre-constructed latrines and shower stalls in those four facilities, which included the digging of larger septic tanks with more capacity. The work included a close coordination with the department and another organization that are in charge of the health posts and the child-friendly space, as well as volunteer workers in the mountain who dug the septic tanks.

With the new latrines, up to 120 patients and 250 children per day can have an access to proper and well protected latrines during their visits to those facilities.

Lartines being delivered to the mountain
Lartines being delivered to the mountain
 

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Organization Information

Japan Emergency NGO (JEN)

Location: Tokyo, n/a - Japan
Website: http:/​/​www.jen-npo.org/​en/​index.php
Project Leader:
Miyako Hamasaka
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan

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