Five members of the third batch volunteers from JOCA - the Africa Union Commission Volunteer Collaboration Programme - arrive in Japan

the third batch volunteers

On 25 August, five volunteers, from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Tunisia, attended the first day of the volunteer programme. Japan Overseas Cooperative Association (JOCA) leads the programme in cooperation with the African Union Commission. When opening the programme, JOCA President Yozo Kaneko remarked to the volunteers, “I expect each of you to apply your experiences and skills to revitalise local communities in Japan and deepen the cross-cultural understandings between African countries.”

JOCA deploys staff to support displaced people in temporary housing in the Miyagi prefecture and at a local revitalisation project in the Iwate prefecture after The Great East Japan Earthquake. After taking three weeks of language training, the new volunteers will be assigned to these sites to work with JOCA staff, all of whom are former volunteers in developing countries, under the governmental programme Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers.

Earlier than the 5th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) was held in Yokohama-city, JOCA launched this programme to nurture young African leaders and deepen the exchange with Japan in March 2013. The programme invited former volunteers from the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC) who had worked at projects in African countries for one year.

Two groups, totalling 14 volunteers, were involved in the programme last year, and they left assets as a result of their activities. One volunteer from Ethiopia, Eden Yohannes Yosef, left a Japanese phrase book for foreign tourists. People in Iwanuma have made a picture book to explain the experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, in response to a suggestion by David Wainaina, from Kenya.

At the end of November, this third batch volunteers will present their report in Tokyo to conclude the programme.

Back to Top