Font size
  • S
  • M
  • L

JICA Volunteers (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, Senior Volunteers) Spring Recruitment, FY2013


Photo Credit: Keiki Ishii (a former JOCV participant) A scene in Burkina Faso

Photo Credit: Keiki Ishii (a former JOCV participant) A scene in Burkina Faso

Even people with little to do with international cooperation have probably heard the term, "Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers" (JOCV). JOCV is a program in which volunteers are dispatched to developing nations. It is administered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), an independent administrative institution. Since establishment in 1965, JOCV has dispatched approximately 37,000 volunteers to some 88 countries worldwide. Furthermore, in 1990 the "Senior Volunteers" (SV) program started. To date, it has dispatched approximately 5,000 volunteers to some 71 countries worldwide.

The basis of JICA volunteer activities is that, by becoming one with the regional communities to which they are dispatched, JICA volunteers contribute to the resolution of issues confronting their host nations such as poverty, healthcare, and education, etc. Volunteers cooperate while living among local populations, speaking their languages, and becoming accustomed to their cultures and customs. Using experiences gained in developing nations, and by developing broader world views, mental toughness, and communication skills, etc., upon returning home, many JICA volunteers have worked to resolve issues confronting regional communities here in Japan.

A scene in Burkina Faso
A scene in Burkina Faso

Photo Credit: Keiki Ishii

Let's introduce the experiences of Keiki Ishii, who took up a JOCV post in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. One day, Mr. Ishii, who was dispatched to teach environmental education at an elementary school, was confused when his pupils asked him to "divide animals into two major groups." On hearing the pupils' response that the two groups were "wild animals" and "livestock," Mr. Ishii felt rather embarrassed in that he had attempted a lesson on animals without knowing what was of most importance to the local population. For Mr. Ishii, his time in Burkina Faso was a series of such episodes. By living locally and eating as the locals do, there is a lot that you become aware of in the course of daily life. Because of what he experienced, Mr. Ishii now feels that the basis of being a globally-minded person is being able understand different cultures and acquire something of them.

A scene in Burkina Faso
A scene in Burkina Faso

Photo Credit: Keiki Ishii

In much the same way, what is demanded of JICA volunteers is that after they have grasped needs from the perspective of regional communities in host nations, they are then able to leverage their individual abilities and skills in order to contribute at the grassroots level to the economic and social development of host nations. The age range for JOCV applications is 20-39 years old, and for SV applications 40-69 years old. Eligible applicants shall possess Japanese nationality. Both the JOCV and SV programs recruit twice annually (in spring and autumn/fall). There are a wide range of activity categories including technical, medical, education, agriculture, and sports, etc. For people who feel, "I'd like to use my skills, knowledge and experiences to help people in developing nations," what about coming along to a JICA volunteer briefing session? Combined "Recollections & Briefing Sessions" for spring recruitment, FY2013, will be held from the end of March until the middle of April. Bookings are not necessary to attend these events and participation is free. Please check the following URL for more details (information available in Japanese only).



JICA Volunteers (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, Senior Volunteers)
http://www.jica.go.jp/volunteer/