MEMBERS of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) over the weekend celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the program since the first volunteers were dispatched to Solomon Islands.
The event was staged on Saturday at the national art gallery in Point Cruz.
JOCV is one of the schemes under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to support developing countries in the economic and social development.
Speaking during the opening ceremony JICA Resident Representative Solomon Islands Office Motoyuki Uegaki shared a brief history of JOCV existence in the country.
He stated that JOCV has established in 1964 when JICA created the scheme and has dispatched more than 50,000 volunteers to more than 90 countries.
The first volunteers to SI were dispatched in 1979 after the state’s first independence in 1978.
“There are 36 JOCV currently working in 26 fields in 6 provinces which involved the education sports, medical services, agriculture, fisheries and environment education,” Motoyuki added.
He said the volunteers have been closely working with the people of the grassroots and cooperate with the people till now and I hope that the JOCV program will continue to build a better relationship between Japan and Solomon Islands,” he said.
Undersecretary (US) for the Ministry of Public Service Jude Devesi on behalf of the Permanent Secretary thanked the JOCV and JICA for their volunteering services rendered to this country since the establishment of JICA here in the country.
“The work that JOCV volunteers are doing complements the Solomon Islands Government’s efforts in ensuring that sustainable growth is achieved without leaving anyone behind,” he said.
“They have shared their skills and knowledge and have helped built the capacity of those who may not have the good fortune of opportunity and education,” he said.
He highlighted within the Public Service, JOCV have filled in for some critical human resources gaps that are usually not provided for in the ministry this includes environment, water engineering IT or physical therapy.
A good number of people, guests and officials attended the event where those who attended the program got to experience the Japanese Culture through Origami, Japanese Calligraphy, Japanese and their traditional clothes or tasting of the Japanese food or health check.
There was also some performance on stage which included magic show, Japanese martial arts, music and dance.
By LEOTINA AKWAI