November 9, 2022
A Japanese, Ms. Ayusa OKUI, has created two Swahili picture book movies, Kijiji cha Tupa Tupa and Hazina ya Bibi na Babu, and shared them on YouTube to emphasize environment preservation in Tanzania.
"Major reason for preparing the books is my love towards Tanzania, its people, and its nature. I hope that this beautiful environment will continue," she noted.
Ms. OKUI is a former member of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) program, which is one of the programs of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
She was assigned as a Community Development Volunteer (2017-2020) in Ifunda Ward, Iringa District Council. During her two-year assignment in Iringa, she often went around the community by a bicycle or on foot to meet the farmers deep in the villages. At that time, she was impressed by the beautiful forests she passed through. That refreshed her spirit and took all her exhaustion away.
However, she was shocked to see beautiful trees being cut down and sections of the forest reserves disappear day by day. Although she understood cutting trees was for firewood, farming, and other daily necessities, she started thinking of what she could do to show some possible reasons for people to care more about those valuable treasures of nature.
Based on this she decided to create educational stories related to environmental protection, illustrating them with pictures and movies, and post them on YouTube.
She believes that her stories could encourage people to protect the environment, which could also lead the Tanzanian community to have good quality of life.
Creating such videos is not an easy task, but she has already made several of them and posted on YouTube.
According to Ms. OKUI, it takes at least two months to create one story and complete a video. She creates the stories, drawing pictures, translating the stories into Kiswahili, recording narration, editing the videos and so on by herself. A Tanzanian Swahili teacher based in Japan assist her in improving the translations.
Now, she is hoping that her videos will make more and more people enjoy and smile. However, what she really wants is to see people smile when they live a harmonized life with nature.
YouTube video link: (Stories, Pictures and Narration made by Ms. OKUI above)
About JOCV (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers):
JOCV is a program under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Technical Cooperation scheme. JOCV started its operations in Tanzania in 1965 and by March 2021, more than 1,700 Japanese volunteers had been dispatched to work in various sectors and areas of Tanzania. The program aims at assisting developing countries to enhance social and economic development with emphasis on self-reliance for sustainable change. The volunteers are mainly dispatched to work indifferent professional fields such as agriculture community development, education, health, industry, vocational training and sports (karate, judo and baseball) etc.
About JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency):
JICA is an incorporated administrative agency in charge of administering Japan's ODA (Official Development Assistance). It is one of the world's largest bilateral aid agency supporting socio-economic development in developing countries in different regions of the world.
In Tanzania, JICA has been a long partner for 60 years in various sectors since 1962.