August 12, 2022
Languages and cultural differences are among many aspects that can make volunteering in a new place difficult, but JICA volunteer Mr. SEKIGUCHI Takuya unequivocally determined to break down these barriers and open the doors to new opportunities for two nations.
"This is my first time to be outside of Japan. Here in the Philippines, everything is new and exciting for me. But anyway I'm definitely ready to fully share my knowledge and expertise on computer education with Filipino teachers. I want to contribute in this connection," said SEKIGUCHI who is among the first batch of JICA volunteers to return to the Philippines after two years interval due to COVID-19 pandemic. He is assigned to Cavite State University (CvSU).
Prior to volunteering in the Philippines, SEKIGUCHI has been teaching basic computer skills to students in Japan. Using Scratch, a visual programming language, he taught young Japanese how to create computer-based projects online.
To prepare for his volunteer work, SEKIGUCHI attended about 2-month training in Japan under the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) Program of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). During the training, SEKIGUCHI learned, in addition to the Filipino local languages, the role of international cooperation and reaching out to those in need.
"Being part of the JOCV Program is my privilege to share my knowledge with other Filipino teachers," added SEKIGUCHI, who graduated from Tokyo Denki University and majored on Information Environment.
The CvSU's Department of Computer Studies where he is assigned has 11 faculty members and about 300 students. The volunteer's assignment is to enhance the knowledge of the school's teachers beyond Powerpoint presentations and basic computer programming languages. His task includes helping improve the course designs of the department's subjects on system analysis and design, database management system, and other advanced computer programming languages. This way, the school's computer science courses can be up-to-date and more relevant to skills needed in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.
The Chief Representative of JICA Philippines, Mr. SAKAMOTO Takema said, "JICA's volunteers are just the clear sign of the goodwill of Japanese nationals. They are so called ‘Grassroots Ambassadors', who contribute to knowledge sharing to boost further development of the Philippines and also to much stronger friendship between two nations with the concept of mutual understanding and respect. SEKIGUCHI is encouraged very much by JICA in this context, and my team will support him in every sense. I'm sure he can create the brilliant future of our beloved Filipino friends."
"I look forward to helping the teachers in CvSU and I also want to experience how schools are like in the Philippines," said SEKIGUCHI.
SEKIGUCHI Takuya (middle) during turnover of volunteers to their local partners.
(Rightmost is the Chief Representative of JICA Philippines, SAKAMOTO Takema.)