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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Challenge! Peace Action in Tora Bora (2)

[Original by Maki KATO, Afghanistan Project (November 6, 2019); Translated by M. Goto/K. Takemura/A. Taguchi] (continued from Part 1) The JVC staff and the residents of Kuz Kunar district finally arrived at the Tora Bora area in the Pachir Wa Agam district. The exchange program about peace talks started here between the residents of Kuz Kunar and Pachir Wa Agam districts. We had a preliminary meeting at the house of Mr. Mahir, who brought JVC into contact with Tora Bora. He is the leader of the Spin GharYouth Association and once visited Kuz Kunar as a participant of the previous Peace Action. His friends explained the security situation of this…

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Mahir’s death

[Original by Maki KATO, Afghanistan Project (April 22, 2019); Translated by H. Ueda/M. Olagoke] The vernal equinox day, March 21, is New Year’s Day in Afghanistan. It is a national holiday called Nowruz, when people gather to share joy with their families, relatives, and friends, celebrating the new year. On this very day, when I was just simply pondering; “People must be having a good time in new clothes and eating delicious food,” a local staff brought me some sad news. Mahir-san was killed. The following is the information provided by Sabirullah, our local staff: Khan Aga Mahir, a strong partner of the JVC Peace Action, was killed. He was…

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Challenge! Peace Action in Tora Bora (1)

[Original by Maki KATO, Afghanistan Project (September 2, 2019); Translated by M. Goto/K. Takemura] One day in February, I got a Skype contact from Sabirullah, the representative of the local office in Afghanistan. He said, “Maki, finally!” Today is a very special day in our peace action activities. Seven villagers of the Kuz Kunar district, where we have implemented our projects, are going to visit another area with JVC staff and experience interaction with the villagers there! This program required long time for preparation, since the area is so insecure that even the transportation of people is difficult. The destination is an area called “Tora Bora” in the Pachir Wa…

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Zubaida, a New Female Staff Member

[Original by M. KATO, Afghanistan Project (July 29, 2019); Translated by H. Ueda/J. Sparks] Unfortunately, the female staff member I introduced to you in my previous blog left our office at the end of March, 2019. It is hard for local staff members, especially for women, to work for a long time under the current social circumstances. After recruitment efforts, however, we found a new female staff member that joined us from June, 2019. Female staff members are indispensable to us given the participants in our literacy program that we are now working on with our partner organization, YVO (Your Voice Organization), are mostly female. Zubaida, please introduce yourself. Hello,…

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PICTURES DRAWN BY AFGHAN CHILDREN (Vol. 2)

[Original by Asako SHIRAKAWA, Volunteer for Afghanistan Project (November 11, 2019); Translated by K. Otake] Thanks for your support, here’s the second series of the pictures drawn by Afghan children. They did their best to draw these pictures for New Year’s cards that JVC produces every year. This time I would like to introduce some pictures of dogs, sheep, and monkeys from zodiac animals. 〇I can’t take my eyes off this one. How cute this whining dog is. It looks like a fluffy plush dog. What is it at the end of its tail? 〇Among the pictures of sheep, this is drawn in the most realistic way. What is this…

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Joint statement by Japanese and Afghan NGOs

[Original (December 4, 2019); Translated by K. Takemura/M. Kato] A shooting incident happened in Afghanistan on December 4, 2019. Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, head of an NGO called Peshawar-kai, known locally as PMS, and its five local staff were killed in this incident. We express our deepest condolences to them, their families, friends, and those concerned, and strongly condemn any kinds of violent attack to civil societies. We have received many voices of sadness and anger from Afghanistan about this incident. Here is a joint statement by JVC and Your Voice Organization (YVO), our partner NGO in Afghanistan. Joint Statement: We strongly condemn the armed attack to the activities of NGOs…

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Message from the representative of YVO

[Original by Maki KATO, Afghanistan Project (July 30, 2019); Translated by K. Adachi/D. Duchaine] The local office of JVC Afghanistan became independent and locally incorporated as an NGO registered in the Afghanistan government in March 2019. The name of this new organization is Your Voice Organization (YVO). From this April onward, JVC will be working on community education and peace building with YVO. We deliver this message from Mr. Sabirullah, YVO representative: Click here to learn the background of localization.

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