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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A New Wind Blowing in Sudan

[Original by Ko IMANAKA, Sudan Project (October 1, 2019); Translated by Y. Nakamura/A. Taguchi] As-salamu alaykum! My name is Imanaka. I am working as a resident staff in the JVC Sudan office. Sudan is now drastically changing, so I would like to report on its latest situation. Sudan stepped in making democratic progress, as the Constitutional Declaration was signed by concerned parties with the mediation of Ethiopia and African Union (AU) in August 2019. The Sovereignty Council of Sudan consisting of six civilians and five military representatives was set up. Mr. Abdalla Hamdok was appointed as Prime Minister. He had long work experience in international institutions. For example, he was…

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A Day in the Life of a JVC Cambodia Office Representative @ the Project Site

[Original by Mariko OMURA, Cambodia Project (December 25, 2019); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/A. Taguchi] I came back to Japan for one month from the middle of last November. Whenever I am in Japan, I often get questions from the people who attend events about what kind of work I do and what my daily schedule is. So, I would like to write here how “A day in the life of a JVC Cambodia office representative” is like. I will start with my tasks at our project site. 7:30 Morning Meeting. Everyone wakes up early in the morning in Cambodia! In Cambodia, many corporations and organizations start work at around 7:30-8:00.…

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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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Project to help the residents in the rural areas of the Savannakhet Province to manage and use natural resources

[Original (March 7, 2019); Translated by E. Miyazaki/M. Olagoke] ◉Project areas JVCwill implement projects in two districts in the Savannakhetprovincewhich is located inthe middle south of Laos. It is adjacent to Vietnam in the east and Thailand in the west and has a population of 940,000 people. This area is experiencing overwhelming development:the Route 9, known as the “East and West Corridors” (a highway), is being built in the center of the province with Japan’s support, and a specific district for economic developmenthas been established along the Mekong River. In the Atsaphangthongdistrict,rice-paddy cultivationis actively done but plantationsarealso rapidly developing. Our project areasarelocated in the northern part of the districtalong the…

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Coriander Challenge Part 3 – The First Day of Shipping

[Original by Mariko OMURA, Cambodia Project (November 25, 2019); Translated by E. Miyazaki/ A. Taguchi] (Continued from Part 2) The first day of shipping It was early July 2019 when we shipped our coriander for the first time. Unfortunately, Ms. Chomno was absent for another appointment, and we could not take any pictures of her. Here, we report how Ms. Bopper did it. We made a video of her journey from the day of the first harvest until the shipping, so please take a look at the video clip. She looks so happy that it makes us smile! (Video captions) She lives with her mother. This reservoir was made with…

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Coriander Challenge Part 2 – Coriander Growing Training

[Original by Mariko OMURA, Cambodia Project (November 21, 2019); Translated by E. Miyazaki/A. Taguchi] (Continued from Part 1) Coriander growing training JVC provided training on growing coriander to two women, Ms. Bopper and Ms. Chomno, who wanted to try shipping their coriander to the restaurant. The training took place at the end of April 2019, after we went on the study tour to Siem Riep in March. Weekly follow-up After the training was completed, JVC staff conducted a follow-up with Ms. Bopper and Ms. Chomno at least once a week to check how they were doing and if there were any concerns. In order to ship coriander at a constant…

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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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We Call on the Japanese Government to Mediate Negotiation Efforts in Relation to Tensions between the U.S. and Iran

10th January 2020 To: Mr. Toshimitsu MOTEGI (Minister for Foreign Affairs) and Mr. Taro KONO (Minister for Defense) Tensions rose between Iran and the U.S. following a U.S. strike that led to the death of the major general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on January 3rd, 2020, and as a consequence, the safety of those living in Iran, Iraq, and surrounding areas has been threatened. In the Middle East, repeated wars have created many refugees and displaced persons, and people have been exhausted by a chain of violence. The recent U.S. killings as well as Iranian retaliation have invited further destabilization to the region. The US has been strongly…

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We dug a reservoir!

[Original by Mariko OMURA, Cambodia Project (June 4, 2019); Translated by M. Goto/M. Hajjaj] Hello, I’m Omura from Cambodia. Today I would like to report about the reservoir which I reported in “Where should we dig a reservoir?” and “Behind the meeting.” After narrowing down the candidate places in the meeting with villagers, we interviewed residents about the access condition to water, conducted a geological survey, and consulted with the village headman and the local administrative officer. We finally decided the place to dig a reservoir at the end of January 2019 and held orientations for villagers to explain the rules on how to use it. For instance: “Do not…

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