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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Japanese volunteers bring new ideas to Phl communities 

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The Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) Program of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) fields its 178th batch of volunteers, mostly millennials, to foster resilient communities in the Philippines. 

JICA, in partnership with the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), regularly sends Japanese volunteers to partner communities and local government units (LGUs) in response to a variety of development needs. The four newly arrived JICA volunteers now began working in areas of disaster education, agriculture, and advocacy and protection of disadvantaged children. 

“Our volunteers are more than ready and excited to work together with Filipinos, but they cannot do their tasks alone. They will need to collaborate with Filipino counterparts in LGUs and communities. JICA’s motto is ‘mutual understanding, mutual respect’. Through our mutual collaboration, we are reinforcing a cycle of doing good for the common good,” said JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema. 

KINOSHITA Tsuyoshi is an agriculturist with research experience in Japan and Ghana, Africa. He will share his knowledge in organic farming, soil management, hydroponics, and postharvest technology with the teachers and students at President Ramon Magsaysay State University in Zambales, in collaboration with his counterpart. 

MAEKAWA Miho has experience in promotional activities. She will work for the multi-platform marketing activities and others with non-profit group A Child’s Trust is Ours to Nurture Inc. (ACTION). ACTION, Inc. promotes the rights and welfare of children and has been recognized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Japan Foundation for their positive impact in various key areas of child protection.  

NISHIZAKI Kazuya is a professional in the field of customer relations and marketing having worked in a world-famous sports brand company in Japan and in the Tokyo Olympics Sports Village. He will also collaborate with ACTION for various activities.  

YAMAMOTO Shion is a skilled firefighter in Japan. He will work with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in La Trinidad, Benguet mainly to develop manuals on disaster preparedness and conduct emergency evacuation drills for grade school students in the area. 

These four young Japanese volunteers who join the JOCV Program bring with them new ideas and innovations assisting communities in addressing various development challenges. In the past, Japanese volunteers in the Philippines pioneered introducing design technology, animal breeding techniques, disaster management mobile app and tools, among others, helping their local counterparts and communities become more resilient and self-reliant. 

The JOCV Program is recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s Nobel equivalent, in 2016 for their work promoting mutual understanding and solidarity with Japan’s partner countries. To date, a total of 1,692 JICA volunteers has been dispatched to the Philippines.

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