Volunteer Report “Was there a meaning of my activities in Malawi, at least a little bit ...?”


Name: Yo Tabata
Specialty: Physiotherapist

Some people ask me "Are you Japanese?” when I’m here in Malawi. After they find out I am Japanese, they are happy and tell me stories about Japanese people they have met in the past. They have a very good impression of Japanese people and are proud to talk about how they have been helped by Japanese people in the past and that they are friends. Most of these stories are about people who had been sent to Malawi as Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) in the past. Hearing these stories makes me feel proud as a Japanese and as a member of JOCVs. That is how many people in Malawi know about JICA. Once again, we can see how many JOCVs have been active in Malawi in the 50 years since the first deployment to Malawi.

I realise that it is because of the activities of those who have worked in Malawi in the past that I am now able to live a happy and fulfilling life in Malawi. At the same time, I feel that I must follow in the footsteps of my predecessors and carry out activities so that Japanese people who come to Malawi in the future can be proud of themselves as Japanese.

I only four months left of my activities, I wonder what I could have done for the people of Malawi. My days in Malawi could mean something for Malawi, if I think that the relationships which I built with the people of Malawi during my casual days will remain in their hearts and may help to continue the good relationship between Malawi and Japan in the future.

Sometimes I miss Japan very much, but I am sure I will miss the days in Malawi very much when I return to Japan. I will do my best to enjoy the remining time I have with Malawians, the scenery, the food, and the things I can only do now, so that I can say that I have done my best during the rest of my term in Malawi. I would also like to spend the rest of my time in Malawi carefully with the awareness that I am a part of building the relationship between Malawi and Japan that will continue in the future.

After working time with neighbour children

After working time with neighbour children

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