Annual report showcases projects of member NGOs and voices from the field
27th August 2021
In South Sudan, the humanitarian situation has continued to deteriorate even after the formation of the new Transitional Government of National Unity in February 2020 due to drought, pest damage, and the spread of a new coronavirus infection, in addition to the long-term civil war, and the number of refugees who have fled to neighboring countries has reached approximately 2.2 million. Many children have lost their parents or were separated during the evacuation, exposing them to risks such as violence and child labor.
JPF supports education and protection from violence in South Sudan, child protection and distribution of goods in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan, as well as the prevention of the new coronavirus infections. In the Annual Report, we introduce the activities of our member NGOs and voices from the field.
Click here to view the FY2020 Annual Report on page 18.
Debriefing on PLAN's Support for South Sudanese Refugees
29th July 2021, 23:30
PLAN International Japan (PLAN), a JPF member NGO, held an online debriefing session on its JPF program to support South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.
In the session PLAN introduced its support project for children through the Child friendly space, distribution of sanitary kits to girls and women, and activities focusing on young people who are often left out of the support.
Activities to Improve Women's Menstrual Hygiene in Refugee Settlements
1st June 2021
Last month, May 28th was Menstrual Hygiene Day, and here is a video of the activities of Peace Winds Japan (PWJ), a JPF member NGO, to improve women's menstrual hygiene in South Sudan refugee settlements and surrounding communities in Kenya. They are distributing cloth menstrual pads and creating an environment where all community members, including men, are interested and can support each other.
The girl says happily, "These cloth menstrual pads have given me confidence.”
ADRA Helps in South Sudanese Refugee Camps in Ethiopia
18th May 2021 15:00
ADRA Japan, a JPF member NGO, is implementing a sanitation project in a South Sudanese refugee camp in western Ethiopia.
In the Kule refugee camp in Gambella State, Ethiopia, the penetration rate of non-public, household-based toilets is less than half of the total number of households. ADRA is implementing the installation of household latrines. ADRA is also working on the installation of barrier-free toilets to facilitate access for refugees with disabilities who live in wheelchairs or on crutches due to the injury from civil war and infectious diseases such as polio.
WVJ Child Protection Project in Refugee Settlements
World Vision Japan (WVJ), a JPF member NGO, is implementing a child protection project in the Bidibidi refugee settlement in northwestern Uganda as a JPF program.
The Bidibidi refugee settlement is the largest refugee settlement in the countries surrounding South Sudan, and more than half of the refugees are children.
Many of these children are separated from their parents and have no legal guardians, and are exposed to various risks such as gender-based violence and child labor.
WVJ provides children in refugee settlements and host communities with the support they need, tailored to their individual cases, to ensure that they are protected from all risks and can live safely.
PWJ Assisting People Affected by the Conflict
29th March 2021 18:00
JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is providing humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected people in Jubek and Torit states of South Sudan.
In South Sudan, the world's newest country that gained independence in 2011, humanitarian crisis has persisted. This is due to armed conflict continuing due to political strife, the food crisis deteriorating, Ebola virus disease originating in the Democratic Republic of Congo being a persistent threat there, and the influx of repatriated refugees.
PWJ is working to improve sanitation and to secure safe water through providing trainings on measures against infectious diseases such as cholera and Ebola, sterilizations to ensure hygiene, and improvements on water supply and sanitation facilities such as wells and toilets.
SCJ’s Child Protection Project for the South Sudanese Refugee Children
As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO Save the Children Japan (SCJ) is implementing a project to protect refugee children in northwestern Uganda who have fled South Sudan.
Since the beginning of the crisis in South Sudan, many children have fled to Uganda as refugees. These children are living in environments where they are at risk of abuse, neglect, early marriage, corporal punishment, and child labor. Many have lost their parents or were separated during the process of displacement and are living with relatives or foster families. The spread of the new coronavirus has also had a serious impact on child protection, including increased violence in the home.
In order to create a system that allows community-led child protection to continue even after the project has ended, SCJ provides child protection training to community organizations and government officials, as well as training for leaders in parenting practices that do not rely on corporal punishment.
As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO World Vision Japan (WVJ) is currently supporting education in the Upper Nile, South Sudan, as an emergency response.
Since 2013, South Sudan has experienced a series of spontaneous warfare throughout the country, and this has led to a serious humanitarian crisis. The education system, which was already fragile prior to the civil turmoil, has deteriorated further due to the prolonged conflict.
The school that WVJ supports in Baliet County, Central Upper Nile State, is in danger of closing if the necessary support does not arrive, so WVJ is helping to ensure that children do not lose access to education. They provide a safe learning environment and training for teachers so that the children can learn safely. The photo shows a temporary schoolhouse constructed at one of the supported school sites.
PLAN's Protection Project for Children and Young People
As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO Plan International Japan (PLAN) is implementing a project to protect children and youths in Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement and the host communities in Arua District, Uganda, who have been affected by the conflict.
Refugee young people lack employment opportunities, and many do not have the means to earn an income. As part of this project, PLAN offers courses to 18- to 24-year-olds to help them acquire a means of livelihood. Participants are learning high-demand skills such as shoe repair and baking.
As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO World Vision Japan (WVJ) is currently implementing a project that supports education in the Upper Nile, South Sudan, which is currently in an emergency period.
WVJ's assistance project is in Baliet County, Central Upper Nile State, where there is education is at risk of being disrupted due to the prolonged conflict. WVJ is supporting vulnerable children through repairing school facilities and providing teacher training for improved quality of education so that the children can be provided with a safe and secure learning environment.
PWJ's Hygiene Awareness Training at Refugee Settlements in Uganda
As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is currently providing housing and hygiene support in public facilities for South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda.
Last month, PWJ conducted a hygiene awareness training at Kenavaly Primary School inside Bidi Bidi refugee settlement in northern Uganda. The training was conducted with a minimum number of people, including members of the school's health club and the club's advisory teacher, to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. The purpose of this training was for the attendees to learn about hygiene habits for disease prevention and to maintain and manage hygiene and water supply facilities in the school. They discussed topics such as proper hand washing and knowing how infectious diseases are transmitted, and they ended the training with a discussion on future plans for the health club.
As part of the JPF program, JPF member NGO Plan International Japan (PLAN) is implementing a project to protect children and youths in Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement and the host communities in Arua District, Uganda, who have been affected by the conflict.
Even though more than half of the refugees living in the Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement are children under 18 years of age, and a quarter of all refugees are young people between ages 15 and 24, support for children and youths have been limited. PLAN hosted a vegetable garden session as part of its project to promote the healthy development of children and youths. The project’s goal is to make children and youths aware of the importance of shared responsibility through working in groups and taking care of the vegetables.
AAR’s Educational Assistance Project
31st August 2020 18:15
As a JPF grant project, JPF member NGO Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR), has been delivering educational assistance in the refugee settlement for South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda.
Last month, AAR conducted 10 workshops for community leaders of the refugee welfare council who are in charge of disability affairs. The purpose of these workshops was to improve the level of understanding that parents and community members have about children with disabilities, as currently there is a lack of support for children with disabilities in terms of both in-home learning experiences and physical support while attending schools.
The workshops provided a forum for participants to engage in discussions on a variety of topics, including the challenges faced by children with disabilities as well as the challenges in the communities and among parents. Community leaders who participated at this time will provide support for the next workshop to be held for parents of children with disabilities.
As a JPF grant project, JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is currently providing comprehensive support to improve living conditions for South Sudanese refugees in the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement.
PWJ has created and distributed a comic book for children that explains what the new coronavirus is and how to prevent infection. This was created by pediatricians and mental health professionals in the U.S., and the illustrations and messages were modified by a Kenyan cartoonist to make them more accessible to Kenyan and refugee children. It depicts preventative actions against infection while conveying the facts and risks to children who are already fearful of death and social sanctions associated with COVID-19.
Children were delighted to read the comic book, which was created in both English and Swahili, saying, "Look, this is a corona comic book!” By the time they finished reading it, we could see them distancing themselves from each other as they said, "2 meters!”
We heard one child say, “Kids and adults around me talk about ‘corona’ every single day, but I didn't understand what it was or think about it seriously, so I'm glad that I was able to learn about it through this comic book. From now on, I want to practice proper hand washing and covering when coughing, and tell people around me how important these practices are.”
South Sudan, a country which has been experiencing conflict since 2013, has had close to 2,000 COVID-19 cases and over 30 deaths. “COVID is going to hit hard, but not necessarily in the way that we think [with people simply being infected and dying from the virus],” said the UN official with its mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). In a nation with already fragile healthcare system, response to COVID-19 will strain other health care services such as vaccinations, maternal health services, and treatments for curable diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia. The UN official added that South Sudan may see a greater number of deaths due to the collapse of the healthcare system than from COVID-19 itself.
As a JPF grant project, JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is providing comprehensive support to help improve the living conditions of South Sudanese refugees in the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement in Kenya.
For the refugees living in Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement and residents in the surrounding communities, cholera and other fly-borne infectious diseases have become a serious problem. These diseases are caused by the ubiquity of the open defecation practice, and also due to the fact that the surrounding villages do not have enough toilets for the number of residents.
PWJ’s sanitation improvement project ultimately aims for zero open defecation, and the first step, or the triggering session, was held at this time. In each village, this session takes around three hours where people learn about how their village lacks health and sanitation facilities such as toilets and how people can be victimized by diseases caused by open defecation. Participants went through experiential learning that led them to a raised consciousness about the matter, taking ownership of the issue and the need to fix them.
In late February, a parasports event was held in the refugee settlement. In the Palorinya Refugee Settlement in which AAR works, there are quite a few people who have a bias against children with disabilities, regarding them as “cursed” or that their disabilities were caused because “they were touched by witches.” To combat these biases and to promote understanding of diversity and disabilities, they hosted a parasports meet where children with and without disabilities could enjoy themselves together.
On the day of the parasports meet, the children played goalball, a parasport that was originally created for those who are blind or visually impaired and is played with a ball that has a bell inside. Spectators were diverse, including refugees who live in the settlement, the other local residents, students’ parents, and teachers’ families. They all cheered quietly to make sure the players can hear the bell while they played.
The game proved to be an exciting activity for everyone. Whether the students were with or without disability, they got to interact with those from other schools with whom they have few opportunities for interaction on a daily basis. They seemed to have been greatly encouraged by each other.
(Note: In late February when this sports meet was held, there were no COVID-19 cases reported in Uganda.)
As part of JPF’s humanitarian response program to the conflict in South Sudan, multiple JPF member NGOs are implementing assistance projects for South Sudanese refugees who have fled to neighboring countries. One of these projects is by Japan International Support Program (JISP), who operates a child resource center (CRC) for South Sudanese and other refugee children at the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement in Kenya. Things have progressed since the CRC was set up two years ago, and JISP now also focuses on development and training of refugee adults so that they can take ownership of CRC operations themselves.
In late February, JPF Monitoring and Evaluation Division staff visited the site, monitored their activities, and interviewed people. We hope that the CRC would continue to serve the children well so that those who live in the refugee community can live safely.
JPF member NGO Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR) has been assisting South Sudanese refugee children with disabilities living in Uganda. In the region in which AAR’s project takes place, there is quite a lot of prejudice against children with disabilities, so AAR is training leaders and schoolteachers in the refugee communities to help establish a supportive system for these children. There are plans for a sports festival where children with and without disabilities can enjoy themselves together.
As a JPF grant project, JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is supporting South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda in the areas of housing and WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) at the health center. The people have fled South Sudan and are now living in the Imvepi Refugee Settlement in northern Uganda. PWJ staff reports on how the residents are making the most of external assistance as they combine it with their own wisdom and ingenuities in their daily lives at the settlement.
Save the Children Japan (SCJ), a JPF member NGO, is implementing programs to protect refugee children in northwestern Uganda who have fled South Sudan, and to improve the environments in which they are being raised. Over 800,000 refugees have fled South Sudan and arrived in Uganda. SCJ is providing nutritional support at the Mother Baby Area in the refugee settlement.
The so-called first 1,000 days of life, or the time between the woman's conception and the child turning two years old, are a crucial period of time for the child to grow up healthy. However, children are often not receiving proper nutrition when the family is living as refugees, so SCJ provides counseling for pregnant women and mothers, assesses children's nutrition, and connect families to health services when there is need. Also, in the popular cooking lessons provided at the settlement, participants learn how to cook highly nutritious dishes using inexpensive and easily accessible ingredients.
JPF member NGO Plan Interntional Japan (PLAN) is promoting protection and hygiene among South Sudanese refugee children who have fled to Uganda. PLAN has launched a children's club for those who have been actively participating in their child friendly space, a space designed to protect children and to offer psychosocial care during disasters and conflicts.
The children's club offers its members an opportunity to discuss a variety of topics including children's rights, challenges that children face particularly during crisis times, the importance of education, and other issues adolescents struggle with such as menstruation or early marriages and pregnancies.
Through these opportunities, children acquire the knowledge necessary to protect themselves, and also serve as ambassadors and share the lessons they learned with other children in their community.
Through their child friendly spaces and children's club activities, PLAN strives to strengthen child protection by enhancing the capacity and knowledge among children themselves as well as among the adults in the community.
JPF member NGO Plan International Japan (PLAN) is working on the protection of South Sudanese refugees, who have fled to Uganda, and also on hygiene promotion. PLAN launched and manages a child-friendly space designated to protect children and offer psychosocial care during emergency times. There is great expectation for the child-friendly space to help reduce stress among children who have fled conflict. We sincerely hope for a day when we can take for granted that these children are smiling every day.
On Aug. 28, JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ)held a TICAD7 side event (held in Yokohama from Aug. 28 through Aug. 30) titled "People forced to leave their homes: Stories from people delivering aid to refugees and IDPs in Africa." Members of the JPF Public/Media Relations Division also attended to hear about JPF funded programs being carried out in Uganda, Kenya and Mozambique (Humanitarian Response to South Sudan Conflict, Emergency Response to Southern Africa Cyclone Idai).
At the event, three PWJ members delivering aid on the ground took the podium, and introduced the situation on the ground and what assistance they were providing, along with photos. Based on their experience, they talked about the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as issues that they face while delivering aid, which was all very interesting.
We also heard about how life on the ground has been for them. Their experiences varied depending on their dispatched location, and it was amusing to hear some honestly expressing their envy towards another's circumstances. After the panel discussion, students interested in topics such as development aid and the refugee problem asked many questions, resulting in a very lively Q&A session that went on until time ran out.
The atmosphere was relaxed throughout the event, but at the same time, it was also clear that staff members of JPF member NGOs were facing various difficult issues and harsh conditions on the ground. We hope that those working on the ground will continue to look out for their own health and safety as well when delivering aid.
We express our gratitude to the PWJ staff who helped make this a very successful event. We were able to hear valuable stories thanks to your hard work. We were also happy to see the JPF logo in some of the photos from the ground. Thank you again!
Plan International Japan, a JPF member NGO, is carrying out programs in Sudan and Uganda to protect South Sudanese refugee women and children, and improve their sanitation and hygiene conditions.
The refugee camp in Sudan is especially difficult to access, and conditions are very harsh. Within Sudan, the state of White Nile, where they are carrying out their programs, is accepting the largest number of refugees from South Sudan, but in some locations, several hundred refugees are sharing one latrine. Many of the makeshift clinics within these camps are built using corrugated metal and plastic sheets, and are not sufficient to provide adequate medical care.
The construction of more than 500 household latrines and a semi-permanent clinic are planned. We hope that people at the refugee camp will be able to live under improved sanitation and hygiene conditions through these programs.
Plan International Japan, a JPF member NGO, launched programs in Sudan and Uganda to protect the South Sudanese refugee women and children, and to improve their sanitary conditions.
At a refugee camp and host community in the district of Arua, Uganda, they are educating parents on the protection of children and running a kodomo hiroba (child friendly space) to provide children with protection and emotional care. In addition, they are building household latrines and clinics in a refugee camp and host community in the White Nile State in Sudan.
We hope that these programs will secure the safety of women and children living under harsh conditions, and allow them to receive appropriate medical care and live under improved sanitary and hygiene conditions.
▼See here for Plan International Japan's activity report https://www.plan-international.jp/act.../report/20190704_5275/
On Saturday 1st June, WVJ hosted a "Refugee Youth Symposium" at Meiji University Surugadai Campus, aimed at having more people think of the refugee issues as their own. The symposium proved to be an opportune time for the audience to hear various speakers from different perspectives, including a former refugee who used to live in a South Sudanese refugee settlement in Uganda, high school students who have visited a refugee settlement, WVJ staff who are working with South Sudanese refugees overseas, and Ugandan Ambassador to Japan as a representative of a country that accepts many refugees.
JPF PR staff attended the event and was intrigued to hear stories from a person who was a refugee himself, visitors to refugee settlements, an aid worker, and somebody who represents a country that takes in refugees. There was quite a variety of attendees at the event that included students and non-Japanese persons, and this seemed to be a great opportunity to have the NGO's activities known to a wider audience. The Q&A session involved accepting questions online via the audience's smartphones, and we found this event exciting overall.
As a JPF grant project, JPF member NGO Associaiton for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR) is providing educational assistance in the South Sudanese refugee settlement in northern Uganda. On 25th April, there was a ceremony to officially hand over the science room and teachers' residence that AAR built in the Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in Uganda. This is the first science room among the private schools in the settlement. AAR's representative in Uganda spoke at the ceremony and stated the following: "Ten years from now, students who have learned here will be making great strides wherever they may be in South Sudan and Uganda and making great contributions to society. For the people of this community, it is our hope that the science room and the teachers' residence will be well taken care of for many years to come so that the next generation of children could also benefit from them."
As a JPF grant project, JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is implementing hygiene promotion activities in the Bidi Bidi and Imvepi Refugee Settlements in northwestern Uganda. In order to lift the psychological burdens for female students so that they can focus on their studies, PWJ has been building toilets, bathing facilities, and shelters, and establishing spaces for girls to change and wash their clothes in case they unexpectedly have their periods at school. They are also providing menstrual hygiene management training so that the girls can learn about appropriate ways to deal with such cases.
As a JPF grant project, JPF member NGO Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) is promoting hygiene at an camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Sudan through the building of bathing areas. About 7,000 IDPs are living at the Al Mahad IDP Camp where PWJ is constructing bathing areas. Since the camp lacks showers, many IDPs are seen washing their bodies at water supply stations because there were no private facilities to bathe. There was a need for improvements both from sanitary reasons and also to secure protection of women and girls. When the bathing facilities are constructed, female IDPs can safely bathe.
The Republic of South Sudan gained its independence on July 9, 2011, and two years later in December 2013, armed conflict broke out and spread throughout the country in this new nation. In the end of April 2016, the transitional government of national unity (TGoNU) was finally formed, however, due to severe critical factors including the ravaged economy and the government's financial crisis, violence flared in Juba around Independence Day in July. As a result, millions of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) have no prospects for returning home.
JPF has been assisting repatriation and implementing capacity building projects for government and communities to promote Consolidation of Peace since 2006. Starting in 2014, JPF has been offering emergency response for those who have become refugees and IDPs due to the newly erupted civil war. We conducted a field assessment in 2016 to ascertain the validity of extending assistance for this protracted humanitarian crisis and to determine the program policy based on this assessment. Consequently, we are currently implementing shelter, water and sanitation, protection, and educational projects etc as well. While showing JPF commitment to the field, JPF member NGOs implement projects in high-risk and rural areas, too. Currently, we are active in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. We will respond flexibly should anything unexpected arise in the future.
Due to the prolonged conflict, numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees have increased.
We are committed to preventing the spread of cholera through improving hygienic environments, and to delivering education to the children.
The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan originated from an armed conflict in December 15, 2013, and have since turned into a civil war. At Japan Platform (JPF), in order to respond to this ongoing crisis, we have continued providing aid to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees who have fled to neighboring countries.
Initially, the conflict saw some movement toward political resolution with mediation by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), but the ceasefire agreement was not honored. Fighting persisted in rural areas, and the national economy continued to worsen. As of June 2017, there were over 2 million IDPs, and more than 1,969,344 refugees are said to have fled to neighboring countries (*1). At JPF, in order to respond to this complex humanitarian crisis (CHE), 7 Member NGOs have carried out 9 projects in South Sudan and Kenya, and expanding to Ethiopia and Uganda as well.
Within South Sudan, JPF Member NGOs have implemented hygiene aid projects through building emergency latrines and bathing facilities, collecting trash, and raising awareness of hygiene issues at United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) Protection of Civilians (PoC) Sites in Central Equatoria and Jonglei States. These efforts contribute to maintaining the minimal hygienic environments even under harsh conditions, and to preventing cholera and other infectious diseases. In Jonglei State's Bor County, Member NGOs distributed emergency goods to those who fled the fighting, and in Juba, new initiatives have been undertaken to support victims of violence and to prevent conflict. And to help cope with the sudden influx of South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda, Member NGOs worked on setting up new refugee camps through water provision, improvement of hygiene environments, emergency education, and establishment of pediatric wards.
It is very difficult to implement aid activities within South Sudan, as Member NGOs must remotely operate their activities while based in neighboring countries, and there have been projects that could not be completed. Despite these difficulties, JPF has been carrying on this humanitarian assistance program citing how JPF can make unique contributions based on what we have learned from our experiences so far.
NGO's Project : ADRA Japan (ADRA)
Delivering assistance in water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH), while placing an emphasis on safety, long-term vision and participation of refugees
From April 2014, ADRA Japan has been delivering WASH assistance to refugee camps in Gambella Region, Ethopia, where many South Sudanese refugees reside. With no improvement in the situation in South Sudan in sight and refugees entering their third year in displacement, there is a need for a transition to long-term facilities as well as participation of refugees to prevent dependence on assistance. In addition, many refugees are women and children, which increases the importance of a transition from public toilet facilities to household toilet facilities. ADRA Japan provides assistance including education on hygiene and building household latrines with the participation of refugees.
Voice from the Field
Grateful of household latrines that protect from diseases and dangers
I was a farmer growing grains in South Sudan, but I fled with my family of six. It's been three years since I began living in Tierkidi refugee camp. In South Sudan, we would relieve ourselves in the bushes and this would make us sick sometimes, but now we have our own latrine and we hardly become sick anymore. The latrine is very close to our home, so I am no longer worried that my wife and children will be sexually assaulted. My younger children still sometimes relieve themselves outdoors near our home, but when that happens, we have learned to collect the waste in plastic bags and throw them away in the latrine. I clean the latrine once a day and I used to use the soap that was distributed, but I feel that it is a waste so now I use ashes. I am grateful for the people that built this latrine.