Jordan [Syrian refugees]

Security Incident in Za’atari Refugee Camp


Established in July 2012, Za’atari Refugee Camp will soon enter its third year of operation.  Though the security situation in the camp was volatile during the first year, close collaboration with the Jordanian police, strong camp management, and sufficient services offered by various agencies and organizations have fostered a sense of stability in the camp and the camp had not seen any major security incident in several months.

[Everyday lives at Za’atari refugee camp in April 2014]
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On Saturday, 5 April, however, an incident broke out in two districts of Za’atari refugee camp, which began from a dispute between the camp police and refugees living in the district.  The incident quickly escalated and attracted more than 3,000 refugees living in the neighboring areas to join the riot.  A few tents and caravans were burned during the riot and many people, including close to 25 police officers, were injured and one refugee died.  Causes of the riot are still under investigation.

[Pictures of smoke in the camp]
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As soon as the fight broke out, all staff working for international NGOs were reallocated to a safe space to ensure security.  Since the fight broke out at night, JEN only had 2 staff working the night shift in distribution.  Though the incident lasted one night and was limited to a few districts in the camp, all camp staff and managers were instructed to remain outside of the camp the following day to ensure safety.  By Sunday afternoon, JEN was able to mobilize 2 distribution staff to begin clothes distribution in the camp, as the bus carrying new refugees was scheduled to arrive to the camp.

The incident was limited to two newer established districts of the camp, where the majority of residents are recent arrivals to the camp and the services provided are not as comprehensive as the older parts of the camp – a reminder that everyday frustration has the potential to cause security incidents.

In a refugee camp that spans over 6 square kilometers accommodating over 100,000 refugees, differences in the availability and quality of services based on districts is unfortunate, but inevitable.  To ensure services offered match the needs of the community, JEN employs community mobilizers who regularly work with refugees to conduct hearings related to issues and needs in the community, as well as to respond to questions.

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

What day is it on 22nd March?


22nd  of March is the World Water day, which was decided by the UN General Assembly in 1992. This day is a good opportunity to think about the importance of water, water consumption and hygiene.
Water shortage is also a chronic issue in Jordan, as the country is known to be the fourth water poorest country. Water shortage is especially problematic this year because of the unprecedented low precipitation during the rainy season in the winter.
In Jordan, water is usually supplied through water tanks placed on rooftops of each schools and homes, which is filled by public water delivery several times a week. If we leave the tap open, water runs out very quickly! Water is the most important and the scarcest resource here.
JEN’s work in host community in Jordan is divided into two parts; renovation of water-related facilities and hygiene promotion in public schools. As a part of hygiene promotion, not only the waterborne disease prevention but also water saving are addressed.
On 20th of March, UNICEF and JEN held the World Water day joint event at the school where JEN had renovated water related facilities.

[Water is Life]
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Through the students role playing, sing a song and dancing, all guests, students and teachers had a great time to think about the importance of water.

[ A drop of water is leading the dance]
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[ Students wore ‘drop of water’, ‘hand’ and ‘soap’ costumes]
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JEN’s hygiene promoters conduct hygiene promotion activities by going around the schools and training teachers through the training-of-trainers (TOT) model using their knowledge and method. So far, teachers have been trained at 142 schools and hygiene kits have been distributed in 124 schools. It is really difficult to raise hygiene awareness and make hygiene practice as a habit. Trained teachers are able to teach students about hygiene practice, such as washing hands and brushing teeth, to students every day and repeatedly. Both Syrian and Jordanian students can be benefit by these sessions led by trained teachers.

Using the TOT model allows JEN to provide sustainable hygiene education that not only focuses on this generation, but also benefits the next generation so that they continue to carry on the education without JEN’s direct participation.

[ Hygiene Promotion Team ]
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World water day is not familiar in Japan. But it is also an important part of our work to raise awareness about the importance of water and remind the Japanese people that there are a lot of children who are still suffering from insufficient and unsafe water.

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

Welcoming new arrivals in Za’atari refugee camp with warm clothes


March 15, 2014 marks the three-year commemoration of the beginning of the Syrian crisis.  Three years later, the number of refugees in Jordan, currently at 585,000, continues to grow and new refugees arrive at Za’atari Refugee Camp every day.

In order to respond to the needs of the refugees arriving to Za’atari, JEN has started distributing clothes to the new arrivals in the reception area of the camp.
After passing the border, the Syrian refugees are registered in UNHCR and then arrive by bus in the middle of the night in Za’atari. There, they receive food provided by WFP and Save the children, blankets by UNHCR and since Monday 10th of March 2014, JEN is distributing to each newly arrived family a bag filled with UNIQLO clothes.

[JEN distribution caravan in Za'atari reception area]
140320 ①配布キャラバン

In previous distributions, family bags are personalized depending on the family size and structure following assessments to each family living in the camp. Contrary to past distributions, however, assessments cannot be carried out for new refugees and the personalization of the family bags has to be done on site. To do so, JEN distribution caravan is opened 24/7 and 7 distribution staffs work on day and night shifts to ensure efficient distributions and replenishments.

[JEN staff preparing clothes on site according to family size and structure]
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On the first three days of distribution, JEN has assisted more than 800 individuals who were very glad to receive warm clothes in the middle of the night.

This distribution would not go as smoothly without the hard work of the warehouse team who sort and repack the donated clothes into neat sets. The role of this team is vital to the distribution but even so it tends to be overlooked. So JEN Amman Office is taking the opportunity to put the light on them! The team has already prepared 40,000 individual sets since the beginning of January 2014!

[The warehouse team]
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The number of refugees arriving in Za’atari camp varies every day, however, JEN team is ready to welcome them with warm clothes to the Syrian refugees cope with the first cold night in the camp.

Emmeline Guerin
Program Officer


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

Responding to the need of each school


It has been more than one year since JEN Amman office started its assistance to Syrian refugee students hosted by schools in Jordan. In the host communities, JEN has continued the renovation of water and sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion activities in Jordanian public schools. Finally, all renovation works in 150 target schools  are approaching to the end.

What makes this project difficult is its objective, 150 schools. The scale of work in each school is relatively smaller than that of other countries’ project. On the other hand, it requires surveying more than 150 WASH facilities, discussing with 150 principals and renovating facilities in 150 various ways.

For example, in a school with over 1,000 boy students, there were only 4 latrine seats. As a result of discussion with Directorate of Education Engineer team and the headmaster, JEN remodeled the store into a new latrine.

[Store before remodeling]
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[During remodeling]
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[Store converted into latrines]
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In other mixed school, boys students and girls students use the same latrines. Thus, girls were hesitant to go to the latrine as boys were playing nearby. Hence, and for better use of unutilized space, JEN converted the dead space into the latrines and built a partition to separate it into two latrines, one for boys and another for girls.

[Girls’ latrine and boys’ latrine separated by a partition]
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Likewise, JEN engineering team has decided to renovate the schools on a case-by-case basis where practicality and cost effectiveness are of paramount importance. And yet, passion and quality of work never to be compromised. ..

Such an achievement would definitely lead to the schools’ high satisfaction. A headmistress was grateful for  JEN’s works and posted before-after pictures on school’s Facebook page. The comment said, ‘Thank you very much for JEN and all participating in the improvement of our school environment’.

[Pictures of JEN’s work posted on Facebook]
140220 ⑥FacebookJEN’s support to Jordanian public schools is not over yet.  To response growing needs, JEN will additionally renovate water and sanitation facilities in 50 schools. In addition, to expand the schools’ capacity for accepting Syrian students, JEN started building new classrooms.


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

Higene promotion ivent inZa’atari camp!


A new year, new activities!  JEN’s Za’atari camp hygiene promotion team is starting a new activity this year that focuses on children.  With close to 40% of the camp’s population of over 110,000 being children under the age of 11, there is a dire need to increase activities that target children.  As many of these children are affected by the ongoing situation in Syria, activities need to focus on not only promoting good hygiene behavior, but also providing psychological care for the children.  In other words, they need to be FUN!

On 16 January 2014, JEN’s hygiene promotion team organized an all-day kick-off event at JEN’s tent in District 4, inviting children from all over the camp to participate.  This is part of JEN’s monthly activities designed to reinforce hygiene promotion messages from the previous month.  Based on the key message of December 2013, the kick-off event this month focused on “water conservation.”

The day turned out to be windy and cold, so the team was worried about a low turnout at the event.  To attract children to the event, some hygiene promoters dressed up as clowns and danced along the streets, which received much positive attention from the camp residents.

[  HP staff dressed up as a clown attracted children to the event]
140206 ①ピエロに扮装した衛生促進活動員

Activities at the event included sing-along to songs that relate to water, a skit about a trial of people who waste water, a quiz corner about water, and a poster contest.  All activities engaged Syrian children at the camp and even identified six rising stars of Za’atari who participated in the skit.  As actresses, they completed many hours of practice with JEN staff leading up to the event, and put together a wonderful show.

[Syrian children dance to show the importance of water]
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[Children enjoyed talking about water through quizzes]
140206 ③水をテーマにしたクイズに子どもたちも興味津々

During the poster contest, children were divided into groups and were provided with drawing materials to create posters with the theme “What does water mean to you?”  JEN’s team found out that there are many artists among the children too – all posters were really well done.  Through these interactive activities, JEN works to reinforce the hygiene promotion message from within the children’s minds.

[Children showed their creativity through poster making]
140206 ④水って何?子どもたちはそれぞれのクリエイティビティを見せてくれました

And of course, you cannot end a party without gifts!  JEN believes that effective behavior change starts with people having a positive impression of the message.  All children who attended the event received toys like whistles and balloons, as well as personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, soaps and toothpaste, all leading to January 2014 key message of “personal hygiene.”

The kick-off event was also a great team building exercise for JEN, as the hygiene promotion team from host community joined camp team too.  JEN is looking forward to the next event in February 2014 – for sure, children are looking forward it too!

[ JEN’s hygiene promotion team at Za’atari Camp]
140206 ⑤ホストコミュニティとキャンプで活動する衛生促進活動員たち

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