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Japanese volunteers observe 15 years in Saint Lucia

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Contact: Kerwin Xavier


Friday 20 May 2011  The Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) last week  shared their achievements and experiences with the Saint Lucian Public at their annual presentation day.    


Mizutani Danny the JOVC's resident representative in Saint Lucia says 18 volunteers presently provide support to various organizations in four prioritized areas: support for the socially vulnerable,  fisheries development, environmental protection, and income generation. 


“With the understanding and assistance and support of the Government of Saint Lucia we have been doing this volunteer programme to promote technical cooperation between two countries and also to foster friendship to have better mutual understanding.”  


Saint Lucia has benefited immensely from that hand of friendship extended by the 120 Japanese Volunteers who have served since the programme began in 1995.   Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, John Calixte says the Japanese volunteers have provided invaluable  to Saint Lucians.


“The benefits of the Japanese cannot be quantified in monetary terms; what is critical is that they are also responsible  for capacity building for people assigned to them – that is very evident in the Ministry of Education with the mathematics test where ministry personnel have been taught to understand how the software works and how the analysis is done.

Capacity building is a critical component of the Japanese programme and we ensure that there is a local counterpart who works with the Japanese Volunteer so that the skills and information can be transferred to the individual.”     


The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs is responsible for the JOCV programme in Saint Lucia and facilitates the request and placement of the volunteers.

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