Japan boosts education with nine more helpers

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TALOFA LAVA: New Japanese Volunteers with JICA Resident Representative, Toshiaki Tanaka (far left) and His Excellency, Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki (wearing bow tie).

TALOFA LAVA: New Japanese Volunteers with JICA Resident Representative, Toshiaki Tanaka (far left) and His Excellency, Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki (wearing bow tie).

Nine more young volunteers for Japan International Cooperation Agency (J.I.C.A) have arrived.

The volunteers, whose ages range from 22 years to 35 years, come from Aichi, Gunma, Kanagawa (2), Miyazaki, Okayama, Tochigi, Tokyo and Wakayama.  For most of them, this is the first time they have offered to work abroad and to make Samoa their home over the next two years.  

They have encountered so many new experiences since arriving in the country.  One volunteer, Yuka Nozawa happily commented that “the people of Samoa are so very friendly.  They are always smiling and waving.”

Eight volunteers have been assigned to work under the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C) within selected primary and secondary level schools mainly assisting in Maths and Science subjects, as well as Physical Education for both Upolu and Savaii.

This leaves one volunteer who will work alongside the staff and patients of the Samoa National Kidney Foundation at Moto’otua.

This first week, the group started their pre-assignment orientation programme by meeting with government officials and representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Public Service Commission, as well as the Japanese Ambassador to Samoa, Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki.  

Towards the finale of their programme, they will experience living with their ‘Samoan families’ for one week during Homestay, before commencing assignments with their host organisations (selected schools) from 4th September 2017.  

From 1972 - 45 years ago, the overall number of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) or Junior volunteers assigned to Samoa is now close to 700, with 29 Junior and 9 Senior Volunteers, altogether 38 J.I.C.A volunteers currently posted here.  

J.I.C.A and Samoa continue mutual friendships and understanding through technical cooperation, by ensuring to contribute to the economic and social development of Samoa and its people. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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