June 25, 2019
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) celebrate the 40th anniversary of the dispatching of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) to the Solomon Islands this year. As a part of celebration, some stories of past JOCVs will be shared with this paper. The first author is Ms. Sakae Inoue, a coordinator who currently works at JICA Solomon Islands Office and has worked twice as JOCV in Solomon Islands before.
Author Profile No.1
Bachelor of Physical Education. Working as a secondary school at public school and private school for total 4 years and working as an officer at JICA training center.
"Only Solomon Islanders know the answer"
I am Sakae Inoue, I used to be a JICA volunteer at SICHE from August 2008 to December 2009, and at Solomon Islands Baseball and Softball Federation from April 2010 to March 2011.
When I worked at SICHE, I taught Physical Education lesson to train PE teacher. PE is very helpful subject to keep healthy life and to learn leadership, sportsmanship and so on. Sportsmanship is to respect other people, to keep rules and to do ones best. It is very important for daily life, so I would like PE to become major subject and PE teachers understand what students can learn through PE class. I had passion and some knowledge about PE but I didn't know about Solomon Islands culture and people when I started working here.
I did some practical lesson like table tennis, gymnastics, handball, and softball. I have played softball since primary student so I chose softball as a first lesson to teach my SICHE students. However, I faced some difficulties! Not enough equipment and no one knows softball. Even so I tried my best to teach softball, then I would asked them to play games to use their skills on what they have learnt through lesson. When I organized the game, I faced another challenge, how to draw lines for softball field. Now I know using dirty oil but at that time I didn't have any idea and the budget. I asked my counterpart then he gave me good answer. He said "Usim white sanbis!" I was greatly shocked. I thought this answer was possible by only Solomon islanders.
At that time I felt I need discussion with Solomon Islanders to find Solomon Way. Thanks to counterpart suggestion, students enjoyed softball game with Japanese who stayed here.
My good memory as a softball coach was the players' tear. I would like to give youths and students the opportunity to make utmost efforts to their target. I thought the students did their best so they cried.
I organized the secondary school competition with softball players. A lot of softball players trained school students voluntarily. If they didn't assist me, I couldn't do anything.
Now I'm working at JICA Solomon Islands office as a coordinator and I got married to a Sikaiana man.
My volunteer experience directly continues to my current job. The meeting through volunteer activity makes my current life.
When I visit some schools for needs survey, I was very glad to meet my students and I could find they became good teachers. Moreover, I can share my experience to current volunteers.
I learned from Solomon Islands "How to enjoy the life", "Help each other" and "share".
Sometimes the people, who stay in advanced country, forget the precious possession for their life. Now Solomon Islands starts changing economic level and style. Many foreign countries come and assist development, but only Solomon Islanders know the most precious possession of Solomon Islands.
I don't want Solomon Islands to forget your fascinating culture and generosity spirit.
Thank you for accepting me, thank you for accepting all JICA volunteers.