March 24, 2015
A total of 19 volunteers (4 senior volunteers and 15 junior volunteers) arrived for the first time in Zambia ready for service on 24th March 2015. Batch 26- 4, with their unique diversity within the group represents some level of success in the Zambia office with regards to their dispatch. Their presence was a little overwhelming as they came to the office the following day, but still, a notable achievement for us because they are largest number of volunteers that we have received in one batch in the last 5years.
As JICA Zambia office, joins the rest of the world in commemorating half a century of the JOCV Programme this month, it corresponds with the in-country training and orientation of this new group of volunteers.
Fifty years of different individuals who put a human face to Japan's assistance working in several countries in Africa and the rest of the world. Think about it… Half a century is a very long time. It makes us reflect on how many of these chivalrous men and women, who have worked so ardently, have made a difference in the lives, implementation of different works the World over: babies have been born, medical disasters have occurred, governments policies have been revised, technology and infrastructure has greatly changed during this time. To this date, figures show that 45,645 Japanese volunteers have worked in different parts of the world in these fifty years, with Africa and Asia having had received the largest numbers respectively.
For Zambia in particular we also note the change in trends with regards to the nature of requests received. The new volunteers of course are mostly assigned to the usual Ministries in Health, Education and Agriculture, but also to "not so usual" fields of Business Administration and an instructor in Medical Instruments.
On a more personal note, I personally do hope that the rising number of requests for Japanese volunteers entails that as Zambians, as institutions we are giving more attention to filling in the Gaps in "human resource" that will help us move forward with new trends of the developing world.
JICA Zambia Office Programme Officer