Jordan [Syrian refugees]

The emergency assistance for flood damagep in Zaatari camp


The second winter has come since JEN started its support in Zaatari camp and the host communities in Jordan.

The rain season and winter come at the same time in this country. Jordan tends to be brought up the image of a hot and dry weather, but to our surprise, sometimes it snows in winter. Due to the snow storm that continued for three days in mid-December 2013, the transportation system was entirely paralyzed in Amman.

【JEN`s car covered with snow in front of AMMAN Office】
131226 ①雪に埋もれたJENの車

While it was severely snowing in Amman, heavy rain poured on Zaatari , 50 km east  of Amman. Although precipitation is limited and rain is a precious water resource in Jordan, this rain caused flood damages in Zaatari camp and therefore, Syrian refugees’ dwellings were submerged.

【a huge puddle caused by the gutter for constructing a road】
131226 ②溝のたまった水

JEN started the emergency assistance in cooperation with UNHCR and other INGOs to mitigate the flood damage caused by the rain in Zaatari camp. The caravans and tents were badly immersed in the various sizes of puddles formed by this rain. Another concern that emerged was the danger caused by the electricity cables in addition to the deterioration of hygienic environment.

【JEN`s staff desludging the stagnating rain water using a sump pump discharge hose】
131226 ③JENスタッフ

On the next day of when it started raining, JEN immediately allocated 5 trucks which possess sump pump and a tank with a capacity of pumping around 16㎥ of water. Almost 1228㎥ of stagnating water had been taken out of the camp, and more than 20 of JEN staff had managed the operation. Two more trucks were prepared in case the situation worsened.

【the truck allocated in the area submerged by muddy water】
131226 ④配備されたトラック
【The nozzle is put in a puddle to vacuum up stagnating water】
131226 ⑤泥水を吸い上げ回収

In addition, JEN established an emergency hotline for all WASH Committees so that they can inform JEN of the puddles which have risks of causing electric shocks. This hotline helped to spot out the exact location and the situations of puddles in the camp as well.

【Over the nozzle, the power line submerged in rain water】
131226 ⑥ノズルの先に電線

JEN’s hygiene promoters and community mobilizers have also been playing important roles in preventing residences from flood damages. The WASH Committees received the distribution of shovels and pickaxes in advance as weather forecast had announced heavy rain. These tools are used for digging trenches around caravans and tents to protect them against flooding water. The hygiene promoters and the community mobilizers went on house-to- house visits, informing and advising refugees about the availability of the tools in addition to instructing them on the proper usage of the tools.

【This emergency operation was possible thanks to the Japanese Government】
131226 ⑦ODA_トラック

Winter season in Jordan has begun and is expected to last for three more months. JEN’s teams are consistently supporting the Syrian refugees by providing proper and immediate assistances in order to help them live their lives safely.

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.

Warm clothes distributed to Syrian refugees in Zaatari to support them face winter


At the beginning of December 2013, winter is coming to Zaatari camp in northern Jordan. To get ready to face the cold temperatures, a winterization program had launched at the beginning of the month by organizations working in the camp and JEN is taking an active part of it by distributing warm clothes to the Syrian refugees.

During the winter months, the temperatures drop in Jordan and Zaatari camp located in the north west of the country makes no exception. In fact, since it is located in the desert the nights can be very hard to endure especially for the thousands of families still living in tents, with kids and babies.

To help them face the harsh temperatures, JEN is distributing personalized family packages containing sets of warm clothes for every family member. To fit the needs of each household, the bags distributed are organized in a system of more than 350 different types corresponding to each type of family resident in the camp. For example,  Type 1 is for a couple with no children while Type 144 is for a couple with eight children.

[A type 85-bag means the family is composed of 2 males, 3 females and 4 kids]
131212 ①タイプ85

The distribution started from the end of October 2013 and to date, with an average of 2 distributions per week, 10 out of 12 districts of the camp have been covered so far. A new day dawning marks the onset of a distribution day for JEN’s staff as the trucks need to be loaded by 5am. They then take the road for an hour drive to go to the camp in a convoy of 8 to 16 trucks depending on the size of the district.

[A beautiful sunrise on the way to Zaatari is  the best reward for JEN’s team waking up before dawn twice a week!]
131212 ②トラック決定版

Each truck is loaded with boxes to be distributed to one or two streets in a district. When the trucks arrive at the camp, each of them is accompanied by JEN’s staff member who would lead the way to the destination.

In each street, one of the caravans is emptied and ready to receive the boxes for distribution. The boxes are unloaded from the truck to the caravan, and opened to be ready for the distribution of blue bags.

[Refugees gathering in front of the caravan to be called to collect their bags]
[refugee in charge calls the names of households from the distribution list provided by JEN]
131212 ④代表者
[Once called, the refugees hand their ration cards to JEN’s staff member to verify their identity… ]
131212 ⑤JENスタッフが確認
[A staff member hands over a blue bag]
131212 ⑥[Even when the bag is too big, the kid insists to be the one who carry it back home]
131212 ⑦バッグを持つ男の子
[Children like to wear the bag tags as necklaces]
131212 ⑧少年たち
When visiting the districts in which the distribution has been done in the previous weeks, JEN receives positive feedbacks from the refugees. Refugees are happy about the quality of clothes, the personalized packages and the way they have been involved in the distribution process.

The distribution is going smoothly and as scheduled. By mid-December 2013, all the families in Zaatari will receive warm clothes to face the cold winter.

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.

Leaving Zaatari Refugee Camp after spending an year and 3 months


I have been working on JEN’s assistance activities in Zaatari Camp from September 2013 when this camp was still at its initial stage: two months after it opened up for the Syrian Refugees. And today I’d like to let you know that I will be departing this camp very soon as my term will be coming to an end.

When I reminisce the time when I visited Zaatari Camp for the first time, I remember how the constructions of roads and toilet facilities had just begun. There were several hundred tents dispersed in the middle of the desert. I saw Syrian refugees who evacuated from insecurity with few clothes and belongings, who also had to live in a extremely harsh environment where the desert climate easily rose clouds of dust into the air. I couldn’t even see a couple of meters ahead of me when that happened.

Now I can see that the living environments of the residents have drastically changed. More than 80% of the population lives in caravans instead of tents—roads are paved with asphalt, schools and hospitals are in operation, and there are lively shop streets which stretch 2km that are called “Champs-Élysées” and “Fifth Avenue.” “Champs-Élysées” started out with a couple of vegetable shops and perfume shops (as there was a large demand among the refugees who couldn’t take a bath so often). Now I see butcheries, electronics shops, and Kebab shops. I am amazed at how people have become so independent despite their harsh circumstances.

131114 ①シャンゼリゼ通り                  [People selling various products in ”Champs-Élysées”]

At the same time, the socio-economic gap is widening and inequality is everywhere. There are those who possess several caravans and abundant home appliance, and even have built water fountains in the middle of their self-acclaimed property areas. In the meantime, there are a huge amount of people left behind who cannot sustain their livings without the assistance of humanitarian NGOs and UN agencies. Among those people are children and youth 18 and under, whom cover more than half of the population of 120,000. We also need to make sure that the disabled people and women who are heads of their families receive abundant and appropriate support because this vulnerable population tends to have more difficulty accessing services and distributions. This is an urgent issue that needs to be tackled by every humanitarian organization working in Zaatari Camp.

I have so much more to share so for those of you that are interested in further understanding the history, current conditions and future prospective of Zaatari Camp and the Syrian refugees, please attend JEN’s event in which I will be talking not only about the aforementioned topics but also about my thoughts, experiences and JEN’s activities.

Date: November 27, 2013 Time: 7pm Place: JICA Ichigaya Details: Please click the link below.

Lastly, I should stress that the Syria Crisis will protract a lot longer than any of us can imagine and no one knows the fate of it. Therefore we need much more support in order to better support the Syrian refugees who have experienced fear, fatigue, depression and hopelessness. It was my honor to be able to work in Zaatari Camp from the start engaging so many Syrian residents along the way. I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to you who have supported us and also would like to ask for a continuous support. Your thoughts and prayers matter a lot.

131114 ②同僚と           [My JEN colleagues who have been supporting me all this long]

Hiroshi Sasaki Program Officer,
Zaatari Refugee Camp JEN Amman

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.

Inspired by JEN hygiene promotion


Currently around 77% of Syrian refugees in Jordan temporarily live in host communities outside of camps and are benefiting from the public services generously provided by the Government of Jordan such as education and health services.

In the last term, the number of Syrian children enrolled in the Jordanian public schools was around 30,000 students only while the number reached 70,000 students in September 2013 as the new term started. However, there are still 50,000 school-aged Syrian students don’t go to schools. It is the key issue for aid agencies to increase Syrian children’s access to education and to assist public schools whose learning environment have worsen due to the hugely increased numbers of students.

In Jordanian public schools of host communities, JEN is working on the renovation of water facilities,  sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion activities. Hygiene promotion activities consist of teacher trainings on hygiene education and student hygiene sessions done by the trained teachers.

Student hygiene sessions in some schools in Zarqa governorate were carried out last week by JEN’s hygiene promoters. The contents of student session were developed through sharing various education methods between JEN’s hygiene promoters and teachers in the teacher training.

In one classroom, one of the water-borne diseases, cholera, was the theme of the hygiene promotion activity. It started by students’ role-play  with a moral that a child who buys and eats snacks from an unhygienic food stall suffers from a stomachache and might go to a doctor. It was full-fledged roll-play, for example, the student who played the role of a stall seller painted a mustache on her face while the student who performed as a doctor checked up Vibrio cholera under a microscope.

[Students nailing the characters of the play]
131128 ①演じる女子生徒IMG_7053

The expressive role-play was followed by groups’ work in which each group wrote down about cholera such as causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment on big papers followed by plenary discussions.

Although cholera outbreak has not been confirmed in Jordan so far, education and awareness of this sanitation and hygiene related epidemic can always be very useful in such emergency situations for both the Syrian refugees and the Jordanian host communities. . By rolling out the information acquired throughout the sessions, the students can be messengers in their families and small communities.

In the last stage of this student session, all students went to the water fountain and practiced the right way of hand washing.

[students washing hands (the third girl is the stall seller in the role-play with her mustache still painted on her face)]131128 ②手洗い実践DSC_1029
Messages for water saving practices were written on the walls near the water fountains. The students in this class collected some coins, brought a can of paint, and painted such informative messages . This school has organized its own hygiene campaign where each class has individually implements its method of improving the hygiene environment. Another class brought rubbish bins and set them in different spots in the school premise.

[ Water saving messages written by students on the wall]
131128 ③メッセージIMG_7121
The improvement of school hygiene environment cannot be accomplished by JEN’s sole efforts. JEN strongly believes that it is essential to ensure the ownership of activities and motivate headmasters, teachers and students to do what they can do for their own good learning environment.

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.

Winter Clothes Packages for Syrian families displaced by conflict


The approach of winter is making a harsh life even harder for more than 120,000 Syrians living in Zaatari camp. JEN’s Jordan country programme is working around the clock to ensure that the Syrian refugees in the camp will be sufficiently prepared for upcoming winter days of low temperatures. Key activity will be the distribution of winter clothes to everyone in the camp.

[The workers are preparing individual package which consists of T-shirt/shirt, jacket/sweatshirt and trousers]
131031 ①PicBlogOct(2)
In August 2013, JEN received around 550,000 pieces of UNIQLO clothes donated by FAST RETAILING CO., LTD. JEN employed more than 30 labors every day to sort out the clothes based on age and gender and re-packed them into individual packages for male, female and children. Selection process is also done to ensure that the items are appropriate to winter conditions and cultural practices of the Syrian refugees.

[Family packages are prepared based on the needs of each household]
131031 ②PicBlogOct(3)
The family, as a natural unit, is the target of our distribution. However average family size and composition of the families may vary especially for families affected by the Syrian Crisis. Thus prior to the distribution, JEN conducted a rapid assessment of family structure in Zaatari camp. It enabled us to prepare personalized family packages in accordance to each household needs.

[JEN staff held a meeting with refugees to discuss about the assessment and distribution activity]
131031 ③PicBlogOct (1)

JEN is involving the refugees in the target area into the every steps of distribution. Several meetings with the community groups on each district in the camp are held in order to increase the feeling of ownership of the distribution process and take responsibility in building their community.

JEN’s distribution of clothes has started to commence on the last week of October 2013.

Trisa Lusiandari, Programme Officer

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.