Dec 11, 2020 / 18:05

JICA resumes volunteer program in Vietnam

JICA's president has visited Vietnam in his first overseas trip since the coronavirus outbreak.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has resumed Volunteer Program in Vietnam to continue support for development projects in the country after months disrupted by Covid-19.

 JICA’s President Shinichi Kitaoka (1st right) talks with volunteers. Photo: JICA Vietnam

The first batch of Japanese volunteers returned to Vietnam on November 25 after they flied to Japan in March because of coronavirus outbreaks. They finished the 14-day quarantine and get ready for work in different parts of Vietnam.

 JICA’s President Shinichi Kitaoka (2nd right) at the meeting with volunteers. Photo: JICA Vietnam

On December 9, JICA’s President Shinichi Kitaoka visited Vietnam in his first overseas trip since the pandemic broke out globally early this year.

One day later, in a meeting with the volunteers, Mr. Shinichi Kitaoka emphazied the importance of mutual understanding in volunteer programs in Vietnam and the meaning of the missions to the development of Vietnam.

He said the experience gained in the voluntary missions will also be helpful for Japan that is promoting recruitment of overseas human resources.

 JICA volunteers at the meeting. Photo: JICA Vietnam

Miwa Omori, a voluteer working in Long An General Hospital, said “We will be aware of preventive measures to fulfil our missions and help keep the assistance uninterrupted.”

Decade-long support

JICA’s Volunteer Program was launched in Vietnam in 1995 with three first volunteers came to the Southeast Asian country to teach Japanese language.

Since then, the cumulative number of volunteers reaches 670 working in 41 cities and provinces across Vietnam to provide healthcare, rehabilitation, Japanese language teaching, communication development, sports, agriculture, tourism, support to children and people with disabilities.

 Sayuri Shimizu works in Hue city. Photo: JICA Vietnam

JICA believes that the resumption of Volunteer Program that focuses on support at grassroots level will help Vietnam address its issues and contribute to the mutual trust between the two countries.

 Kaori Taneichi (right) works in Chau Doc city, An Giang. Photo: JICA Vietnam

Noriko Nishiyama works in Hanoi. Photo: JICA Vietnam

JICA’s volunteer program or Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) Program is one of Japan’s technical cooperation schemes operated as part of its official development assistance (ODA).

 Noriko Nishiyama works in Hanoi. Photo: JICA Vietnam

Inaugurated in 1965, it is one of the oldest volunteer programs in the world targeting those between ages 20 and 39 who wish to participate in assisting developing countries in a two-year service term.

 Miwa Omori works in Long An. Photo: JICA Vietnam

The program has three objectives, including cooperating in socio-economic development and reconstruction of developing countries; promoting international goodwill and deepen mutual understanding; and developing international perspectives and give back the experience to the Japanese community.

Meanwhile, Senior Volunteers (SV) are Japanese volunteers from 40-69 years old to actively support work for socio-economic development in developing countries. The first four SVs were dispatched to Hanoi in 2001. Japanese SV in Vietnam are mainly in such fields as productivity management, quality management, business management, factory management, marketing, among others.