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November 1, 2017

Crown Prince and Crown Princess Grant Audience to Returned JOCVs

Eight representatives of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) who finished their two-year assignments in developing countries and have returned to Japan were granted an audience with Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako at the Crown Prince's Palace on July 25.

Since 1999, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess have succeeded their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan in the practice of meeting with representatives of returned JOCVs, giving them the precious opportunity to report on their activities abroad.

JOCVs who had returned from Asia, Africa, Central America and Oceania met the Crown Prince and Crown Princess this time.

photoIn the front row from left are Manami Takahashi, Yamamoto, then director general of Secretariat of JOCV, Rumiko Nishi and Shiori Nagatani. In the back row, from left, are Toshiaki Kamada, Kiyohito Kimura、Manami Kawamoto、Maya Ezoe and Koho Iha

photoHolding a workshop on restrooms with students at a local university. Rumiko Nishi is at left

• Working on tourism development in an area of historic ruins
Rumiko Nishi participated in developing tourism in an area of historic ruins and green tourism planning at the Special Region of Yogyakarta in Indonesia. She made tourist information maps based on interviews and distributed them at three tourist information centers in the city.

photoAn ensemble in preparation for a concert, with students at one of the schools Toshiaki Kamada visits. Mr. Kamata is on the left

•Instructing the national youth orchestra and at schools
Toshiaki Kamada was assigned to the Western Music Department of the Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka in Colombo. He instructed the national youth orchestra and conducted concerts. He held 50 training sessions in methods of teaching the recorder and of piano accompaniment, and at schools he gave instruction in wind instruments and orchestra.

photoShiori Nagatani gives instruction in the technique of resuscitating newborns to midwifery students in Laos. Ms. Nagatani is second from right

• Aiming to improve maternal and child healthcare
Shiori Nagatani was assigned to Salavan Provincial Hospital in Salavan, southern Laos. Ms. Nagatani taught nursing and midwifery techniques and worked to improve maternal and child healthcare. She assisted with the introduction of fetal monitors and the creation of a "Guidebook to Using Maternal and Child Health Handbooks."

photoManami Kawamoto with members of the Volunteer Children Officers, which works to cope with and prevent problems relating to child protection in various villages. Ms. Kawamoto is in the center

• To protect the rights and welfare of children
Manami Kawamoto was sent to the Eldoret West Sub-County Children Office, western Kenya. Ms. Kawamoto worked on optimizing the use of a system of Cash Transfer programme for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, putting to use and improving the capacity of Volunteer Children Officers, organizing and training local stakeholders, and supporting the reunification of the families of children in guardianship.

photoKiyohito Kimura, back left, checks the nutritional status of mothers and their children with a village health inspector

• Revising the maternal and child health handbook and improving child medical examinations
Kiyohito Kimura was sent to Edingeni Health Center, Mzimba South District Hospital in Malawi, where he mainly assisted with medical examinations of children 5 and under. He also created a revised edition of a health passport (the equivalent of Japan's maternal and child health handbooks) used for child medical examinations and saw them put to use.

photoUsing a card game to learn the types of resources used to make items) Manami Takahashi is second from right. (Photo by Kenshiro Imamura of JICA

• Helping spread the sorting and collection of recyclable waste
Manami Takahashi was assigned to Municipal office in Tibas city in San Jose, Costa Rica. There, she improved the management of the waste recovery center and instructed staff. After acquiring the cooperation of the media and companies, she promoted a project to reclaim recyclable waste and contributed to the spread of waste sorting and collection.

photoStudying the history of the settlement with third-generation Nikkei students. Koho Iha is in the back at left

• Thinking about identity at a Nikkei school
Koho Iha assisted with physical education and Japanese language instruction, as well as school events and club activities, at elementary and middle schools in a Nikkei settlement in Colonia Okinawa in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Ms. Iha participated with students in the Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival in Okinawa, creating an opportunity for them to think about the identity of Nikkei people.

photoMaya Ezoe corrects problems students have finished solving

• Making math drills and improving the curriculum
Maya Ezoe worked with local teachers in math classes at a public elementary school in urban Palau. In addition to making and using math drills, she proposed curriculum improvements to the Ministry of Education. She worked to improve fundamental academic ability in elementary education in Palau as a whole.

At the meeting, the representatives reported to the Crown Prince and Crown Princess about such matters as problems that were apparent where they worked, innovations they made in addressing those problems, the results, changes in the situations, their various work activities, why they decided to volunteer and their lives in the countries where they worked.

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