JICA resumes Volunteer Dispatch Towards East after Decades
Four Japanese volunteers arrived in Sri Lanka recently, with the aim of providing their expertise to improve and add value to activities carried out by various public institutions in the country.
The four volunteers are in Sri Lanka as a part of JICA’s ongoing Volunteer Dispatch Programme. What is unique about this group of volunteers is that, unlike in the case of volunteers dispatched in the recent past, two of the volunteers are to be assigned to vocational and technical training institutions in the Eastern Province.
With the dawn of peace in the country, it has become possible for JICA to send volunteers to the Eastern Province after a lapse of 25 years. JICA is also making arrangements to dispatch volunteers to the Northern Province as well.
The four volunteers include two volunteers who would specialize in the field of environmental education, and would be assigned to local authorities through the Solid Waste Management Support Center of the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils. These two volunteers will be assigned to the Kuliyapitiya Urban Council and Bandarawela Municipal Council, where they will support activities aimed at creating cleaner environments.
The other two volunteers will be assigned to the Hardy College Technology - Ampara and the VTA District Vocational Training Center -Ninthavur, where they will conduct practical training in support of IT courses currently conducted by these institutions.
The contribution by JICA’s volunteers towards development activities at grass-root level is greatly valued by those organizations that have benefited from their services. The strengths of these volunteers are their practical approach to problem solving, and grasp of local languages, which enables them to interactively communicate with local people. These volunteers use extremely creative means of communication, which is essential in order to conduct activities effectively.
JICA’s volunteers are able to positively influence those whom they work with due to their attitudes, strong sense of discipline, and high emphasis on team work. They not only transfer technical skills, but also share knowledge on cultural aspects, and most importantly, build strong and long lasting friendships with local people that outlast their stay in Sri Lanka. There are altogether 38 volunteers who are currently working in various parts of the country. Since the inception of JICA’s Volunteer Dispatch Programme to Sri Lanka in 1981, a total of 862 volunteers have worked in the country.
- Asian Tribune –