A MIRACLE IN ROPPONGI – MEETING A YOUNG AFGHAN MAN AGAIN AFTER TWO YEARS

[Original by Ryo ONOYAMA, Afghanistan Project (June 5, 2018); Translated by N. Mizutani] It was a miracle. In Roppongi, right in the middle of Tokyo, I met again a youth I had met in Afghanistan two years ago. Chances for Afghan people to visit Japan are very limited, so it is amazing that he was exactly from the area JVC has been working in! His name is Ihsanullah. He was visiting Japan with some other Afghan people, to participate in a training program on disaster prevention held by a Japanese NGO. Participants were appointed by the Afghan government, NGOs and the local community. Ihsanullah came as a representative of his…

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NGOs in Japan and the Constitution

This panel and discussion event seeks to provide a casual space for English speakers to learn about and share thoughts on the Constitution of Japan, in particular Article 9 and the ruling party’s current efforts to revise it. The event will be held in English, and it seeks to provide an opportunity to find out more about one of the biggest political topics in Japan in recent history and its global stakes. The panel will feature NGO speakers sharing their experiences with the international roles of NGOs and community engagement in Japan, in relation to the Constitution. Then, the floor will be opened for attendees to discuss in a casual…

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We request for extension of ceasefire, cessation of violence and progress on peace process in Afghanistan

22 June 2018 Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC) Karez Health and Educational Services (KHES) Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) We are Japanese NGO engaged in the support of Afghanistan together with the people of Afghanistan. Welcoming the first ceasefire between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, and as people were able to feel the hope for peace that the ceasefire brought about, we will continue seeking peace in Afghanistan and we request for the following: About extension of ceasefire We welcome the ceasefire which was realized for the first time between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban.…

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A conference for annual plans and the “Marshmallow Challenge” are now completed!

[Original by Mariko OMURA, Cambodia Project (March 6, 2018); Translated by Y. Hirono] Each JVC local office had been reflecting on their 2017 activities and operations, and having conferences for annual plans for 2018 during this spring (the blog about the conference for annual plans in South Africa can also be read here.) In Cambodia, all the staff members also gathered together and held the conference during the period of 12-16 February and 26-28 February. We rented accommodation for the second round of the conference and lodged together for two nights. JVC in Cambodia has conducted food-processing trainings for farmers and afforestation at some schools. We discussed how these operations…

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PEACE WORKSHOP HELD BY CITIZENS IN AFGHANISTAN: EXPERIENCE-EXCHANGE WITH RESIDENTS OF CONFLICT AREAS

[Original by Ryo ONOYAMA, Afghanistan Project (April 19, 2018); Translated by E. Nagatomi] In Afghanistan, we have conducted Peace Actions in which residents in JVC project areas learn from each other about methods of solving disputes among family and/or in the region, as a countermeasure against the current situation of violence and guns being common in their daily lives. On 14th March, an Experience Exchange workshop was held by inviting residents from 5 regions (non JVC project areas) of heavy combat situations, as a new approach to extending our activities. About 50 people participated in this workshop. In these regions, three parties, which are the governmental and American forces, the…

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The life of Razan Al Najjar, a volunteer at a partner organization, has been taken

[Original in JVC Facebook written by Yoshie NIMODA (June 5, 2018); Translated by K. Iuchi] Volunteer medic Razan Al Najjar of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), a partner organization with whom JVC has been working for over 10 years, was killed on June 1st, 2018 upon being shot by a bullet to the chest at a protest in Gaza. With people being shot in succession around her, Razan, still 21-years-old, had been rushing to the aid of a wounded protestor when she was killed. Some of you may have seen this on the news. JVC attended Razan’s memorial held in Palestine (photo included). An attendee said, “Twice before, Razan…

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THE COUNTRY CALLED SUDAN (4)

[Original by Takahiko HASHIMOTO, Sudan Project (November 2, 2017); Translated by M. Kanai] Hello to everyone who supports JVC. My name is Hashimoto. Recently we have power failures almost every day. We don’t know when it happens or how long it lasts. In the event of a power cut in the daytime while it is bright, we can still carry on our work. But power failures at night cause a lot of problems. Now I want to take a bath, but can I in complete darkness? The fan stops and the room temperature suddenly goes up. But I cannot open the windows lest mosquitoes are encouraged to enter. Hopefully I…

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THE COUNTRY CALLED SUDAN (3)

[Original by Takahiko HASHIMOTO, Sudan Project (November 2, 2017); Translated by M. Kanai] Hello to everyone who supports JVC. My name is Hashimoto. Today, I would like to introduce you to the JVC Khartoum office. The JVC Khartoum office is about a 20 minute-taxi ride from the Khartoum International Airport. It is housed in a building located in the Manshiya district. The owner of the building lives with a large family but has some space for rent, and JVC occupies the second floor as a tenant. Entering through the gate, there is a courtyard surrounded by a building where the children of the owner’s family are always enjoying soccer. Going…

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Messages from 4 Palestinians Out of 5.9 million

– Discovering the reality of the Palestinians, who make up the largest refugee group in the world, from their real voices – Photo Exhibition of Palestine (May 19 – June 6, 2018) Workshop and talk event (May 26): The Palestinian embroidery inherited by Palestinian refugees Palestinian refugees have not been able to go back to their own home for 70 years since the foundation of Israel in 1948. The number of refugees at first was around 0.7 million, but it has increased to approximately 5.9 million people through generations. Nowadays, Palestinian refugees make up the largest group of refugees in the world. Peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine have become…

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Film Screening of “Zan”

About the film In Henoko, Okinawa, there lives the Dugong, an endangered species. Zan is a documentary that documents these creatures and the people yearning to protect them from the construction of a new U.S. military base. Through this film, we meet nature conservation groups, researchers, citizens who participate in protests, and local residents; we experience the sheer beauty of the natural environment in Henoko; we are made to consider the vital importance of living in peace with the sea that houses the Dugong. Title: Zan Director: Richard Grehan Released: 2017 Country: Japan Duration: 73 min Language: Japanese with English subtitles DATE AND TIMEThursday May 31 2018, 7pm-9pm PLACEJapan International…

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