Jordan [Syrian refugees]

Monthly cleaning day


On 27th August 2014, JEN had organized a cleaning campaign with the community in Zaatari camp.

[JEN staffs kicked off the campaign]
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The main objective of the campaign is to let the refugees recognize and be motivated to keep their environment clean by themselves. During the campaign, JEN’s staff asked the community to participate in the campaign. Some refugees think that the camp is not their home place to be, and sometimes this thought makes them do not pay attention to  their community environment. However,  this activity would be an awareness to the disadvantages of littering  in the streets and prophylaxis to disease caused by hygiene bad practices.

[Participants from community and wheeler]
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Including children before going to schools and many refugees from community joining the campaign in spare time away from  work, the total participants were around 20 refugees.
One of the participants, Abu Ali said “This campaign is a good opportunity to work with agencies and community together. I hope this activity will keep continuing.” Another participant, Tarik, also commented “I like this campaign with JEN because community can work together. It would not only improve the environment but also prevent disease caused by hygiene problem.”

[Teaching the importance of using gloves to children]
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To improve the environment, the awareness and continuous practice are the key. One day campaign might not bring big impact, but JEN will continue to address this issue by taking various kinds of approaches.

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

【Click here to know more about JEN 20th Anniversary innitiative】

Experiences in creating Za’atari magazine in the refugee camp


Since the end of June, I have been working as one of team members to make a monthly magazine that JEN initiates in partnership with UNHCR. The concept of this magazine is to have refugee voices’ heard by their words. At the moment, both Japanese staff and Jordanian staff are mainly editing, including a picture selection. Although we are editing, all articles in the magazine come from the refugees.
As I walked into the camp, what I felt was the camp is large enough and it was not what I had imagined. Thus, it might be a little difficult for refugees to communicate with each other. This magazine gives them ideas such as what are other people living far away doing? How do they spend their spare time? And what is happening in the camp now? What is new? and so on. In this way, it can be said that the magazine could be a communication tool as well as a source of entertainment.

[Children holding the magazine]
The magazine has created many opportunities for me to meet and talk to refugees. One thing that I have noticed is that their way of life is gradually changing considering that it has been 2 years since Zaatari Camp was opened. Currently, many refugees live in prefabs rather than simple tents that are made of vinyl. You can see many prefab decorated colourfully. Some of them decorate their rooms by using curtains, mat and lace materials. This is just one example that I present. As you can imagine, there are many refugees who are good at playing music, decorating, creating artistic pieces, creating proverb as well as poems and playing sports and much more. many talented individuals indeed.

[colourfully-decorated prefab]

I would especially like to talk about the children and the youth in this camp, more than 50% of total camp population are estimated  under 17 years old. Young people are full of potential. Even though the situation is very dire and it seems that opportunity for them is limited, they have creativity and originality to get through this tough period in their lives and make something new of their own.
By drawing pictures and writing articles/stories, the children and the youth could participate in JEN’s monthly magazine. What this magazine could do more is that it gives chance for them to enhance their creativity by offering them opportunities as to how to edit the magazine or how to take pictures and so on. This magazine will surely be a good tool to encourage their potential.

[many children attending events]

[a boy making a kite by polystyrene]
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Reported by Okabe

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

【Click here to know more about JEN 20th Anniversary innitiative】

The real situation of host community in Jordan


When JEN staff visited the renovated school the other day, we went to research the situation in host community. There was in Amman.
There was a family where live terrible place. The family is consisted 4 sons, 4 daughters and parents. Due to collapse house by the conflict, they evacuated 3 months ago to Za’atari camp. Then, they moved to Amman according to suggestions their friends and looking for job.
The house they lived was leaked domestic sewage from next to their house. It made a bid pool inside the house and exuded stinky smell.

pic1 for 20140807©JEN: The father was explaining us the leakage domestic sewage from the next house.
In the front of this picture, there was a pool of sewage.

They have not received any help even though they registered UNHCR as refugees. They cannot afford to go to the place where they would register again to receive any support.
Moreover, no one could go to school. This is because their father does not have job and instead of him, two sons, 8 years-old and 10 years-old, is selling something for livelihood. There is no money to go to school not only these sons, but the other children also cannot go to schools.
pic2 for 20140807pic3 for 20140807©JEN: Only mattress and pillow.    No table and not enough dishes.

Children who miss schooling more than 3 years are possible to refuge to enrol in formal education as Jordan government suspects that those who away from schools more than 3 years do not adopt the schools. This is most critical and crucial issue.
JEN continue to construct classrooms in order to all children are not refused to enrol because of insufficient space. In addition, children can protect themselves from water-borne diseases using practical knowledge which children are taught through JEN’s hygiene promotion in schools and homes.

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

【Click here to know more about JEN 20th Anniversary innitiative】

Electricity in Za’atari Camp


In a camp that accommodates approximately 100,000 refugees, the cost of utilities can also be exorbitant. The camp residents receive certain utilities, such as water and electricity for free, provided by various organizations, including UNHCR and UNICEF.

Water is trucked daily into various public water tanks, where refugees can come and collect their share of the water.  Electricity is provided for main services in the camp; however, refugees often make illegal connection by connecting their wires from the main line to their individual households.

[Illegal wires are connected to the main electricity line]
Because of these individual connections, electricity bill exceeds USD 500,000 a month, which takes up a large portion of the operational fee of Za’atari Camp.  In particular, majority of the electricity is being consumed in one area of the camp: Champs Elysees Market Street.

Champ Elysees Street is home to about 600 shops in the camp.  These shops sell anything from food to clothes to electric appliances like washing machines, TVs, fans and even more computer game stations where children enjoyed playing games against each other.  Seeing these developments, it is no wonder that the electricity usage in the camp is very high.

[Electronic appliance store on Champs Elysees Street]
[At the game arcade, children enjoy playing computer games]
Because of these large costs required to run a refugee camp and the uncertainty related to how long the refugee camp will stay open, there is a dire need to consider adopting an assistance strategy focused on cost recovery.  To do this, there is a need to foster an environment where able refugees, particularly shop owners, begin paying for their own share of electricity and water usage.  As a first step, UNHCR will be setting a few hours during the day where they cut of the electricity in the camp to reduce the amount of electricity consumption and to introduce the idea of the payment system to refugees.

As a long-term camp management requires a strong engagement from the refugee community, these new developments are being implemented with close coordination with refugees. Not only electricity, but these longer-term planning is also necessary for water provision in the camp.  As JEN is a partner WASH actor in three districts, we continued to work with UNICEF, other WASH actors and the refugee community to improve ways water is delivered and distributed, in order to make lives in the camp more comfortable and sustainable.

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

【Click here to know more about JEN 20th Anniversary innitiative】

Disinfection of water tank


The hot season has started in Jordan, and temperature is continuing to be more than 35 degrees in the day time. In conjunction with Ramadan, the heat warmth keeps us to have tough days here in Za-Atari camp.
This temperature makes concern of worsen hygiene situation in the camp. The refugees in Za-Atari are drinking water from the water tank which is set in various places. The water is distributed every day to the tank. But to keep the quality of this water, we need to be sure that the tank is also clean. If one of the tank contains pollute inside, it might affect health to hundreds of refugees. To avoid this risk, JEN’s staff is now working to disinfect the tanks in areas where we are working as focal organization of hygiene issue.

[Staffs climbing the roof of wash facility and cleaning the tank]
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In these areas, there are 311 tanks of water and our team is working to clean up 10 to 15 tanks every day with chlorine. The size of these tanks is 2 cubic meters, which is capable for 2,000L.

[Brushing the tank with chlorine spray]
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Polluted water can create serious health problem, and all refugees are using water from the tank.

We will do our best support to improve their life in Za-Atari not to harm them health of refugees.

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

【Click here to know more about JEN 20th Anniversary innitiative】