PRESS RELEASE – The Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) this week marked 50 years of support to nations in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The organisation, under the guidance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has been operating in Saint Lucia since 1995, during which time 140 volunteers have worked on the island.
On Thursday, July 9, the JOCV celebrated the occasion with a ceremony at Rex by Royal Saint Lucia. In attendance were JICA President, Mr. Akihiko Tanaka; Saint Lucia Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony; and Ambassador of Japan to Saint Lucia His Excellency Yoshimasa Tezuka.
In the course of his remarks, Dr. Anthony noted that his government “is extremely grateful” for the assistance provided by JOCV over the past two decades, pointing out that the volunteers’ work in education deserves special recognition and praise.
Said Dr. Anthony, “Your impact was originally concentrated on an area that I am very passionate about – that is, assisting us with the education of our children.
“You see, as a professionally trained teacher, I once taught myself – first at the primary level then at the high school level and later at our regional university as a lecturer in law.
“Two decades of JICA in Saint Lucia has meant thousands of hours of teaching, of dedication, commitment, and hard work. JICA has provided much needed support in the areas of Maths and Science Education.
“Two decades of JICA in Saint Lucia has also assisted Saint Lucia’s schools and the general Saint Lucian population in multiple ways.
“We say “thank you” for JICA’s work in Saint Lucia.”
The JOCV work in Saint Lucia has extended in recent years to include areas such as social welfare, poverty reduction, environmental awareness, community development, health care, environmental sustainability, disaster management, human security and governance.