10.30.2014

East Japan: Libraries for People with Disabilities

Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) has been setting up libraries and providing books to facilities for people with disabilities that were struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake in the prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate. The libraries greatly help to stabilize the minds of children with disabilities who are likely to have trouble adjusting to the new environment brought about by the earthquake.

 Large-sized picture books have enriched children's emotions – Fukushima

Ever since the large-sized picture books arrived, it has become a valued time for the staff members to read books aloud to the children.  The 'picture book room' in Fukushima supported by AAR Japan.

10.21.2014

Laos: Having Completed AAR Japan’s Mission in Xieng Khuang

In Laos, many cluster bombs dropped during the Indochina War still remain in the soil as unexploded ordnance (UXOs). From 2010 to June 2014, AAR Japan set up a local office in Xieng Khuang Province, a province located in the north of Laos that has been badly affected, and provided various activities to reduce damage inflicted by UXO-related accidents.
From June 2013 to June 2014, AAR Japan provided training in first-aid techniques necessary to survive UXO-related accidents to 305 village health volunteers (VHVs) in 171 villages and 56 nurses for 22 health centers (HCNs). In 26 villages which had recently suffered many UXO-related accidents, AAR Japan provided workshops on first-aid techniques to a total of 1,300 villagers. In addition, with cooperation of a local organization, we prepared posters to have villagers know how to be alert in their daily lives to prevent UXO-related accidents and composed a song on the dangers of UXOs, offering them to the organization and radio stations.
Below is a summary by Noriko ANDO, an AAR Japan volunteer involved in the initatives, including the details of the hands-on training and workshops at the site and remarks from villagers.
AAR has installed ramps and constructed accessible lavatories to make it easier for children with disabilities to attend school in Khwowaja Sayaran Public School and Sediqi Public School in Parwan Prefecture.
Noriko ANDO instructs HCNs on resuscitation. (December 23rd, 2013)

10.17.2014

Pakistan: We are the Hygiene Kids Leaders!

Pakistan accepts approximately 1.6 million refugees from its neighboring country, Afghanistan. The country has the largest number of Afghanistan refugees in the world. The north-west refugee camp, which hosts most of the refugees, and its surrounding areas do not have the infrastructure to provide them with access to safe water. In addition, a lack of toilets in this area is forcing the refugees to defecate outside. Children suffer from diarrhea and infectious diseases as a result of drinking unsanitary well-water contaminated with Ecoli and from not washing their hands regularly. Since 2011, AAR Japan has performed maintenance on wells and toilets in 54 elementary schools in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In these schools, AAR also carries out hygiene education for the prevention of infectious diseases.

"I was able to help protect my mother from sickness" 

Zahib (10), a fourth grader of Ghulam Rasoor Korona Elementary School is one of the students who participated in AAR’s hygiene education program. Zahib is the youngest of five siblings. Through AAR’s hygiene education program, he  has developed a habit of washing hands and brushing teeth, and has been telling his family about the importance of maintaining good sanitation. He said, "the AAR staff from the hygiene education asked me to tell my family what I learned at school." As soon as Zahib got home, he told his mother to brush teeth every morning and wash hands before preparing meals and after excretion. The family even made a new rule that the family does not eat until his mother washes her hands. Before AAR’s hygiene education program,  Zahib did not know the benefit of washing hands with soap nor that drinking unsafe water could be a cause of illness. Zahib gratefully told us, "I was able to share these things with my mother, so that she will not get sick. I think I am being helpful to her". 

Zahib teaches his mother (right) how to wash her hands (Nowshera, August 8th, 2014)     

10.15.2014

Haiti: Keep Yourself Clean, And Feel Refreshed

October 15th is Global Hand Washing Day!

In many parts of the world where AAR Japan has been actively involved, a lot of people, many of whom are children, have lost their lives to infectious diseases that could have been prevented if they had lived in Japan. This is due to a lack of safe drinking water and adequate knowledge of hygiene.

Since the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, there has been a large-scale outbreak of cholera, which is transmitted by unclean water. The outbreak has left the country with the highest rate of cholera-infected persons in the world. In other regions too, people have no choice but to use unclean water, for example, in the north-western part of Pakistan, where a large number of people have taken refuge from the civil war; and also in the north-eastern part of Kenya, where many people have settled because of the repeated droughts that have made their nomadic life impossible.

Besides providing these countries with wells, toilets and washrooms / washing facilities, AAR has been teaching Haitians the proper way to wash hands and the importance of using a toilet, so that hygienic habits will become part of their everyday lives.

“Where should we pee or poo?” AAR staff in Haiti asks the children in Sacre Coeur primary school, showing pictures of the toilet and hand washing facilities.  (March 25th, 2014)

10.06.2014

Typhoon Haiyan, the Philippines: Cooperating in Building a Disaster-Resistant Community

The Province of Leyte, in the Philippines, was stricken by the typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda, and typhoon No.30 of 2013 in Japanese numbering) in November, 2013, and rehabilitation of the affected areas is under way. AAR Japan is continuing its support to the devastated areas for the purpose of not only recovering to the pre-disaster conditions, but also building communities that are resistant to future typhoons and other disasters. In August, 2014, we organized training workshop on housing construction and distributed housing repair materials in affected areas.  AAR Japan’s local staff member Ryan Labicane reports.

Organizing workshops to build disaster-resistant houses

"Build back better" workshop at New Kawayan, Tacloban City (August 6th, 2014)

10.01.2014

Photo Exhibition “Women in Mine Action – Commemorating the 15th Anniversary since the Mine Ban Treaty” [December 17th-19th, 2014]

Photo Exhibition “Women in Mine Action – Commemorating the 15th Anniversary since the Mine Ban Treaty”
 
Focusing on women working in mine action in the world in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty [the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction], AAR Japan will hold a photo exhibition on “Women in Mine Action” at the Kensei Kinenkan, Tokyo.
Our female staff lecturing women about the risks of mines with a poster of full-size images (Afghanistan, February 19th, 2014 )

Great East Japan Earthquake: Making Delicious Lunch Boxes for Sale with a Smile - The Endeavor of Centers for Persons with Disabilities -

In cooperation with Accenture Japan Ltd, a consulting firm, AAR Japan has been supporting welfare centers for persons with disabilities, affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, for the purpose of improving their profit from sales. Here is a report on “making and selling a popular lunch”.

Ms. HAMAUCHI (left), who is teaching CAFE Sweet hot staff members, says, “It’s very important to measure seasonings accurately, so that you can always provide the same taste.”  (Fukushima Prefecture, July 31st, 2014)