PRESS RELEASE – JICA/JOCV Saint Lucia introduces two Senior Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers who are dispatched to Saint Lucia to work at the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School and the George Charles Secondary School for the next twenty four months.
Their arrival is made possible by the direction and guidance of the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Labour, that requested the volunteers.
Mr. Ryuuichi Kimura and Ms. Miyuki Tanaka are assigned to teach in the subjects of Cooking and Handicrafts respectively: one volunteer will teach Cooking at the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School and the other will teach Handicrafts at the George Charles Secondary School.
Food and Nutrition education is not a new subject, but school administrators have now begun to re-evaluate the subject, based on unwanted increases in food-related diseases in the population. Obesity, heart disease, cholesterol problems, diabetes, gout and other conditions have become commonplace and create problems for the humans who suffer them as well as for the governments that must deal with them.
The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) website states that the school is an ideal location for nutrition intervention and it recognizes school students as ‘priorities’ for this intervention. This is because of the schools’ advantage in imparting knowledge about nutrition when children are still forming their eating habits. With the right education, these children could become adults with good eating habits and better health.
The subject of Crafts (Arts and Crafts), is also somewhat undervalued, although if taught properly it does communicate very pertinent skills for the working world. The volunteer in Handicrafts aims to instruct the students in jewelry-making. Apart from the obvious link between crafts-making and the potential for income earning, the practice can also enable students to understand the wider relationship between economics, culture and aesthetics and trends, consumers and creators.
The student will of course learn to understand the traditional Saint Lucian crafts industry because they will be creating their crafts using local materials only. Additionally, it is expected that the struggle of the crafts persons and those of entrepreneurs in general will be more vivid, once the students start to experience making goods of their own.
The overall aim of both fields is to empower a generation of students who can improve their own socio-economic level through hard skills and useful knowledge and who are furthermore healthy and informed about what it takes to sustain their health.
Poverty, ill health and hunger are undoubtedly key in depressing the advancement of youth and of nations. Saint Lucia intends to decrease these as part of its own Sustainable Development Goals, by countering with education, proper nutrition and job skills.
We thank the volunteers for assisting us in advancing and empowering the youth and wish them the best of luck.