Jordan [Syrian refugees]

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]
140220 ①リフォーム前
[During remodeling]
140220 ②リフォーム中
[Store converted into latrines]
140220 ③新しいトイレ

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]
140220 ④女子トイレ
140220 ⑤男子トイレ
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]
140206 ②劇を披露してくれたシリア人の子どもたち

[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.

My visit to Jordan


From 15th to23st December 2013, I had an opportunity to see JEN’s activities in Zaatari Camp and projects in Jordan. Since programs that I am in charge for Pakistan and Afghanistan do not allow us to visit project sites for security reasons, this was my first time to directly see JEN’s oversea projects. On 23rd December 2013, I arrived at Zaatari camp. With my slight preparation, I was not able to imagine the scale of the camp where hundreds of thousands are living. In the huge desert area, there were tremendous number of tents and caravans. It is easy to imagine the difficulties in their lives such as lack of privacy, warmth, sanitation, food and many other things.

[The landscape of the camp sweeping away behind a donkey pulling the load]
140123 ①荷を引くロバの背後に広がるザータリキャンプの様子
During the way to the camp, I heard from colleagues that there was heavy rain until few days before I arrived and that rain water has become a big problem in the camp. Since I can see many other needs in the camp, I could not understand why the rain water was the top priority to tackle. But soon after I arrived, I realized that the water drain ability in this area is very bad. Many refugees are drilling holes around their tents to discharge the wastewater, but when the rain water filled the holes sewage flows back into their tents. Also, the electricity outage occurred and bare wires have caused electricity shocks to a few refugees. I can certainly understand this risk, but realized that things we do not care in our usual life might be a big problem inside this camp where people are running their unusual life.

[JEN staff operating the water discharge work on the street flooded with the heavy rain.]
140123 ②大雨で冠水した道で排水作業を行うJENスタッフ
[A muddy and slippery street in Zaatari camp]
In the main street of the camp, there was a street called “Champs-Élysées”. There were shops selling daily goods, vegetables, butchers and small restaurants selling electronics and also running internet café somehow. My colleague commented them as “people who don’t waste time”, and I was also surprised that people could be so motivated.

[A boy selling candy floss at “Champs-Élysées” street]
140123 ④シャンゼリゼ通りで綿アメを売る少年
[A telegraph-pole with nested electric lines]
We have no idea when will be the day these refugees can return to their homes. But meanwhile, JEN will try as much as it could to support and make better days for the returnees.

Tasuku Futamura
Administration and Financial officer JEN Afghanistan/Pakistan


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

Happy new year from a newcomer in Za’atari refugee camp!


After managing JEN’s Haiti Program for 3 years, I arrived in Amman on December 9th to work as the Program Officer of “JEN Syrian Refugee Assistance Project in Jordan.” This new assignment is still about WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) but doesn’t regard access to drinkable water anymore. This time my task is to ensure accessibility to clean and functional WASH facilities in which toilets, showers, sink and laundry areas must be available to the refugees at any time.

With around 110,000 people living in the camp at the beginning of 2014, Za’atari refugee camp has the population of a decent town in a much smaller area! This density in addition to the fact that the refugees have escaped a war zone and lost everything makes the task nowhere near easy.

Like any small town in any country, the camp also hosts a tiny minority of people who neglects or even properly vandalize the common public services unfortunately.

Walking around the camp from a WASH facility to another on a daily basis I am discovering and understanding a bit more about this community of Syrian refugees.

Working for the first time in a refugee camp I have to admit I had no real idea of how “life” could be in Za’atari…

And guess what?

It is actually like in any other town! Children playing around, sadness, disease and death in some household; happiness, hope and birth in others! To start the New Year with good news, let me show you the house a refugee proudly showed me a few days ago!

140109 ①家の外観
140109 ②家の中
Though it is not complete outside, the entrance of the house is simply gorgeous!

The owner, the gentleman on the right, has borrowed money and spent around 600,000 JPY to buy 3 extra caravans to add to the one he and his family was entitled to, and to furnish and decorate the property.

My favorite “touch”? The indoor fountain!

140109 ③泉
140109 ④寝室
When I asked the proud owner of this place if his motivation to create such a nice place was a decision of staying and living in Za’atari camp long, he answered: “Well, there is a civil war in my country; nobody knows how long it will last… In the meantime life goes on! I always wanted the best for my family and here is what I can offer best to my family now!”

Very few families in Za’atari refugee camp have people they can borrow such amount of money from and it is not everybody who has the energy and the creativity like this man have.

But to be honest I never imagined it would exist and that I would meet one on the very first day of 2014 wishing me a happy New Year!

Romain Briey
Zaatari Camp Program Officer

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

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.