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Chief Representative's Speech

December 12, 2015

Motivational Program of Self Employment and Poverty Alleviation (SEPA)
(12/Dec/2015 @ Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Center, Dhaka)

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Mr. Abdul Matin, ndc, Chairperson of today’s event and Director General, Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Center, BITAC,
Dr. Syed Ihsanul Karim, Director, BITAC
Mr. Iqbal Hossain Patway, Project Director of SEPA Program,
Dear trainees of SEPA Program,
Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
Assalam alaikum, Namaskar, Good Afternoon.

First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to BITAC for inviting me to such a great event in which empowerment and self-sustainability of women is really happening. Also, I am really delighted to participate in the program in which JICA's engagement has written an important page in the development of Bangladesh.

As some of you might have remembered, Ms. Yumi Mizumori, one of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), had played an active role in improving the quality of SEPA Project while teaching carpentry for the female participants for about one year. Throughout trial and errors, Yumi and teaching staff of BITAC have improved curriculum of the Program, thereby increasing the employment rate of the participants from 20% to 70%. This is, indeed, a remarkable Progress.

In addition, some of you have learned the skills of wall-painting from Yumi, and their paintings have turned the dry and tasteless atmosphere of Dhaka city into cheerful and comfortable spots. Throughout this activity, they have changed the atmosphere of the City while acquiring self-confidence by earning a little bit money for their works. I think this is a beautiful model case of empowerment, self-sustainability and innovation.

When it comes to volunteer's activity of JICA, you cannot forget the names of the two senior volunteers, Mr. Yoshiaki Fujita and Mr. Tadato Onitsuka, who had introduced Kaizen Program in BITAC from 2012 to 2015. My colleagues had repeatedly reported to me that the workplace of BITAC had become much cleaner and working attitude of the staff had become more disciplined. At the same time, I hear participants of SEPA had been practicing Kaizen under the two volunteers. I can see the footprint of their activities in your attitude and the cleanliness of this room today, making me recognize the beauty of international cooperation between Bangladesh and Japan.

International Cooperation, as I mentioned, is not a one-way message or a one-way traffic. As you see, two volunteers of Yumi and Mr. Yoshiaki Fujita continue to visit Bangladesh even after their graduation as volunteers. They mention that they learned a lot from you when they were trying to improve the curriculum of SEPA and introduce Kaizen in BITAC. This precious experience had given them strong motivation to come back to Bangladesh again and again, which has produced a virtuous circle of further cooperation between the two countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

JICA's relationship with BITAC will continue and evolve more. As you see, JICA will initiate Technical Cooperation Project with BITAC by dispatching experts and introducing some machinery to improve the light engineering sector of the country. We will try to initiate this Project sometime next year. I wish some of you (participants from SEPA Project) will join in our Technical Cooperation program with BITAC and learn the new skills of light engineering and other sectors in the near future.

Now, four million Ready-made Garment female workers are the foundation of the social and economic development of the country. It is yourself who might be the driving force of future development of Bangladesh with emerging new industries. You will pave the way for the beautiful and affluent Bangladesh.

Shobaike Onek Donnobad. Thank you.

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