A follow-up report about the COVID-19 Prevention Campaign in Afghanistan!

[Original by Maki KATO, Afghanistan Project (April 9, 2020); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/A. Taguchi] As I have written in my previous article, YVO, our partner organization in Afghanistan, has launched an activity to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. In Afghanistan, Herat Province, which borders Iran has the largest number of cases, followed by Kabul, the capital. Nangarhar Province, our operation site, has recorded only a few confirmed cases, but the situation is unpredictable because there are patients who haven’t yet been tested, and hygiene and medical facilities in the region are scarce and difficult to access. The villagers who take part in the volunteer work for the prevention activities…

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YVO, our partner organization in Afghanistan, has started prevention activities against the spread of COVID-19 infection!

[Original by Maki KATO, Afghanistan Project (April 2, 2020); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/A. Taguchi] On the 1st of April, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Afghanistan has seen 196 cases of COVID-19 and 5 deaths nationwide. It is urgent to prevent the spread of the infection. Especially in rural areas far from big cities, people bear more psychological burdens because they have less access to information. Many people are very anxious that they might be infected. Afghanistan faces a high risk from a pandemic, especially because the long-standing conflicts have prevented the country from organizing public health and sanitation. It also has a border with Iran which is reported…

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A daughter’s dream, a mother’s dream – Voices of the first graduates from the literacy classroom –

[Original by Maki KATO, Afghanistan Project (March 10, 2020); Translated by K. Adachi/M. Olagoke] JVC works for the educational activities in Afghanistan together with a local partner organization YVO. Men and women over 15 years old learn reading and writing of a local major language; Pashto, and mathematics for 9 months. They aim for the educational level equivalent to the third grade of public elementary schools in Afghanistan. We have a system to cooperate with whole villages, where villagers also participate in selecting teachers and the location of classrooms. What is unique to this is that we do not call teachers from outside but select them from among villagers. This…

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Why can’t people put Christmas trees away?

Behind-the-scenes story related to Christmas in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip [Original by Yoriko YAMAMURA, Palestine Project (January 28, 2020); Translated by H. Ueda/A. Taguchi] What comes to your mind when you hear the word Christmas? It is widely recognized by the Japanese that December 24 is Christmas Eve and the 25th is Christmas Day. After the 25th, people in Japan put away Christmas trees and put up New Year decorations instead. However, things are slightly different in the Holy City of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, Christmas decorations including Christmas trees remain here and there even after the 25th. The same scene can be seen in the West…

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At the end of the 4-year Project: The Growth of the Children Observed at the Symposium

[Original by Syunya NAKAMURA, Intern of the Palestine Project/ Yoriko YAMAMURA, Palestine Project (February 25, 2020); Translated by J. Sparks] On February 4th, a symposium was held in the theater room of a partner organization in Ramallah, the center of the West Bank, to conclude the East Jerusalem project, which JVC has supported for four years. The project has been implemented in order to improve both the resilience of the Palestinian youth living in East Jerusalem and the health environment in the community by cooperating with local NGOs. Resilience is “the power to flexibly come back from events or encounters with difficult situations”, and in a Palestinian area routinely exposed…

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We have conducted a Peace Yard Activity. The situation in Iraq is still unstable.

[Original by Emi NAKANO, Iraq Project Team Assistant (March 3, 2020); Translated by E. Miyazaki/A. Taguchi] Fighting continues with the remnants of the “Islamic State” (ISIS) in some areas of Iraq. Also, there have been riots between demonstrators who opposed corruption and the government. Approximately 500 people have become victims so far. Under these circumstances, we conducted a Peace Yard program with the support of INSAN, a local NGO. A total of 57 children from the age of 7 to 13 participated in the program from October 7 to December 14. Many children participated, such as locals of the Kirkuk area, evacuees from other regions, Arabs, Kurds, and other ethnic…

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Announcement of the temporary closure of the JVC Tokyo office and our action against COVID-19

In view of the widespread COVID-19 infections, we have decided to act as follows (as of April 2, 2020): Staff duty In order to secure the safety of our staff members, we will close the Tokyo office from April 6 to May 6, 2020. We will continue our work at home and take advantage of online meetings. We ask for your kind understanding and cooperation on this matter. You can still make donations and shop on our website as usual, but it may take some time for the following procedures: Dispatching of documents or goods from JVC such as the issuance of receipt and materials. Response to postal mail or…

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A Day in the Life of a JVC Cambodia Office Representative @ Phnom Penh

[Original by Mariko OMURA, Cambodia Project (February 13, 2020); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/M. Olagoke] Following the previous blog report, I’d like to tell you about my official trip to Phnom Penh, the capital, which I make once or twice a month. A four to five-hour drive completely changes the landscape I go to Phnom Penh by the JVC car or by bus (one-way costs $11). There are many domestic flights to Phnom Penh, so I suppose that most businessmen prefer traveling by plane. From our project site to the capital, it takes four hours in the fastest case or five hours if the traffic is heavy. Phnom Penh is in…

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Families torn apart by war are reunited – After 8 years of separation

[Original by Ko IMANAKA, Sudan Project (February 3, 2020); Translated by Y. Miki/S. Altman] There has been a significant change in Sudan since 30-years of dictatorship has finally ended in April 2019. The negotiations of a comprehensive peace agreement have been continuing by a new government leader, who considers the dispute settlement to be their top priority, and South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, as an arbitrator. South Kordofan, which is JVC’s base of operations is also undergoing to great changes. People were divided into two areas, a government area and anti-government area, since the conflict in 2011. After that, traveling across the border had been strictly controlled, especially in the…

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