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Japanese Volunteer Support for SL Development at Grass-root Level

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Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) have extended their support for Sri Lanka’s development efforts at grass root level.

Ms. Tanji Megumi and Ms. Numano Sayaka, the new Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) arrived in Sri Lanka on the 15th of September with the aim of providing their expertise to improve and add value to activities carried out by the Department of Social Services and Early Childhood Education Development Authority of the Northwestern Provincial Council.

Over 1,100 Japanese volunteers have come to Sri Lanka within a span of 40 years as a part of JICA’s on-going Volunteer Dispatch Program; and they possess a variety of skills covering several technical fields.

Ms. Tanji will be helping with early childhood education based at the model pre-school in Kuliyapitiya and Ms. Numano will be joining the Department of Social Services and serving in the region of Kurunegala, promoting welfare towards persons with disabilities in the area.

The strengths of JICA’s volunteers are their practical approach to problem solving and the use of local languages (Sinhala) which enables them to understand and speak to the hearts and minds of local people.

These volunteers not only transfer technical skills, but also share knowledge on cultural aspects, and most importantly, build strong and long-lasting friendships with local people that outlast their stay in Sri Lanka.

The new volunteers were introduced to their host organizations at an assigning ceremony, which was held at the JICA Sri Lanka Office, on the 13th of October 2022.

The occasion was graced by Officials of the Department of External Resources, volunteer host organizations and JICA Sri Lanka Office.

W.M.S Mangala, Director of Technical Assistance (TA) division at Department of External Resources under the Ministry of Finance said the Sri Lankans were really happy that the two volunteers introduced their activities very clearly in Sinhala Language after a very short period of study.

He expressed the belief that both of them will speak Sinhala very well when rgwt finish service in Sri Lanka. Also, I hope that you will make the most of your experience, skills, and Sinhala language, and do your best in their assignments.”

As a response, the 2 volunteers answered, “The Sinhala language is really difficult, but doing our best to master the language. We would like to learn a lot from the people we will interact with. What we want to learn would be about the beliefs of education and teaching methods in Sri Lanka, social norms in raising children and about this beautiful island.”

Since the inception of JICA’s Volunteer Dispatch Program in Sri Lanka in 1981, a total 1,156 volunteers have worked in Sri Lanka, and their contribution towards development activities at grass-root level is greatly valued by the organizations that have received their services.

After a hiatus of more than 2 years we restarted our volunteer activities in the month of August 2021 and this will be the dispatch of the 5th batch since then. Therefore, they are proud of new volunteers continuously being recruited to the country with respect to the activities that both of them hope to carry out.

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