Project #12023

Educational Support for Children in Iraq

by Japan Emergency NGO (JEN)
A hygiene education posters displayed in a school
A hygiene education posters displayed in a school

One of the key activities JEN is carrying out in Iraq is the hygiene education for teachers and students. JEN is aiming at raising their awareness towards hygiene, health, and the environment, in addition to improving their families’ hygienic habits through proper education.

With the cooperation of the Ministry of Education, JEN has put together hygiene leaflets for elementary and junior high school students.
In addition, the posters to be displayed in schools have been prepared, and a special training curriculum for elementary and junior high school teachers has been introduced. The leaflets and posters have already been printed and distributed to the teachers. It is expected that these materials will help improve the hygienic environment of the schools in conjunction with the cleaning equipment that has already been distributed to each school.

Since it is recognised that hygiene education is vital for keeping the children in good health, JEN has been giving lessons to elementary school students on brushing their teeth and washing their hands.

The representatives of the Ministry of Education, school governors, teachers, and students have expressed their gratitude to JEN for promoting hygiene education.

A school official thanked JEN by giving a cake on which “JEN” was written as a present. That official has told us that he expects JEN’s activities will be conducted in as many schools as possible in all regions of Iraq.

The hygiene education leaflet
The hygiene education leaflet
The leaflet for teachers
The leaflet for teachers
A hand-washing lesson
A hand-washing lesson
Registration and providing vouchers
Registration and providing vouchers

People living in camp as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) use limited belongings to keep the hygienic environment.

In order to live in better conditions, JEN provides voucher to buy cleaning tools and kitchen stuff, such as brooms, dustpans, rubbish bins, food containers, buckets and so on. This is for keeping the clean environment and it is necessary to do so, although the IDPs’ current housing is expected by a temporary stay.

The way to ‘the shopping’ in the camp:

1. To receive the voucher at the entrance of the shop;
2. To go to select the necessary tools and goods in the temporarily established the shop;
3. To be guided by a Community Hygiene Promoter (CHP) and select the products;
4. To check the selected products and it must be the equal sum to voucher;
5. To pay for the products;
6. To queue up at checkout lines and to receive their purchase.

Although ‘the customers’ purchase is essential household products, they try do not buy due to their financial circumstances and accessibility of shopping.

A CHP showing around the shop
A CHP showing around the shop
A queue to get the purchase
A queue to get the purchase
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

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Organization Information

Japan Emergency NGO (JEN)

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

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