January 8, 2013
Filled with anxiety and high expectations, 11 young Japanese volunteers arrived in the country on January 8, 2013 to commence their two-year assignments in Tanzania. The volunteers, who are here at the request of the government of Tanzania, will be posted in various regions of the country after the completion of their four-week Cultural/Kiswahili orientation program in Dar es salaam.
Seven of the volunteers are science and mathematics teachers and will be posted in secondary schools in Mtwara, Coast and Morogoro Regions. Two of the volunteers will be posted at Dar es salaam Region's Vocational Educational and Training Authority (VETA) where they will teach automobile maintenance and dress making. One of these volunteers is a physiotherapist and will be posted to Dodoma Referral Hospital, in Dodoma and another will be dispatched to Bagamoyo District Council, Coast Region in the department of environment education.
Talking about his impressions on Tanzania on landing at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es salaam, Mr. Ryohei Yumiba, one of the newly arrived volunteers, said he was amazed at the way he was received. The people were very cheerful, kind, friendly and some even waved their hands to welcome them during the entire route to the city centre and beyond. Mr. Yumida's posting station will be at Langasani Secondary school in Moshi where he will teach science and mathematics. Regarding his job he says he intends to share his teaching skills to Tanzanians and thus contribute to good education to the country. Moreover through his teaching he hopes to develop his students to grow not only academically but also make them develop their personalities and thus become good citizens. Talking about this posting he is delighted at the place adding: "Above all, I am looking forward to seeing the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro". Before his arrival in the country,Mr. Yumiba was a teacher at a high school in Japan and has 5 years of teaching experience.
On his part, Mr. Masataka Tatsumi, a physiotherapist who will work at Dodoma Referral Hospital , says he is determined to do all he can to help patients so that they can become self-reliant. Moreover he intends to teach the patients' family members on how to live with the sick by teaching them how they can provide conducive living environments to them. Before coming to Tanzania, Mr. Tatsumi was a physiotherapist at a hospital in Japan where he practiced the profession for four years after his graduation from the University.
Another arrival is Ms. Ai Nishino and will be posted at the Dar es salaam Regional Vocational and Educational Training Centre. Talking about her first impressions she says she was amazed at the kindness of the few Tanzanians she had opportunity to meet and interact with. Concerning her profession she says she had noticed very beautiful locally produced clothes such as ‘kanga' and ‘kitenge'. Excited by these clothes, she said she wished to work with students so that, together, they can make good, well designed high quality dresses. Before coming to Tanzania Ms. Nishino was working as cloth designer and as a shopkeeper in Japan and through this experience she recognized the importance of knowing the tastes of customers. In this regard she said she would utilize such experience and together with her students, design and produce "sellable products".
The arrival of the 11 volunteers brings to more than 1400 the total number of JOCV's who have so far been dispatched to Tanzania since the program started in 1967 following the Exchange of Notes between Japan and Tanzania in 1966. Presently there are 68 Japanese volunteers in the country and are assigned in various fields in accordance with Japan's priority areas of cooperation to the country which are: economic growth, infrastructure development and improvement of public service delivery.
Through the volunteer program JICA expects to contribute, in its small ways, to the development of Tanzania and also in strengthening the relationships between the two countries. Moreover the strengthening of such cooperation is crucially important considering the wind of globalization which has made the world one village. JICA is and will remain part of the globalization process. The JOCV program plays an important role to that effect.