The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has brought 23 Japanese volunteers who have been dispatched to different institutions to assist and exchange new ideas and technologies with Batswana.
JICA programme officer, Mothusi Tiyedze, said that the volunteers’s visit was under a bilateral agreement between Botswana and Japan to exchange knowledge and skills. The current 23 volunteers will be in Botswana for two years.
“JICA volunteers have been dispatched to many different parts of Botswana to undertake various technical assignments. They come to Botswana with the motto ‘together with the local community’, live and work together with the communities in Botswana, speak the same language of the community and carry out activities with an emphasis on raising self reliant efforts while fostering mutual understanding,” he said.
Tiyedze explained that since the beginning of the volunteer programme in Botswana, JICA volunteers had contributed enormously in enhancing development assistance in technical fields such as health, education, human resources, sports and physical education, agriculture and livestock, food security and others.
In order to dispatch these volunteers, a prospective organisation identifies areas of need and forwards an official request form for volunteers through designated diplomatic channels. JICA then assesses the request and responds to the requesting organization accordingly,” he said.
One of the volunteers, Yosuke Omukai told Mmegi that he intends to inspire young Batswana to be creative and work hard in their chosen vocations. Omukai, who is doing his internship at Marobela Brigade, said he was positively overwhelmed by the warm welcome he received from Batswana.
“I however did not enjoy taking local transport to Marobela village as the trip was long and tiring. Although the buses drive long distances, they do not have toilets and that makes the situation unbearable for travellers. Perhaps the government should introduce speed trains like we have in developed countries,” he said.
Another volunteer, 26-year-old Chitose Hirase said that she plans to help Batswana with ideas on recycling and re-using litter. Hirase specialises in environmental care and has been seconded to Somarelang Tikologo. Hirase added that she was fascinated by the cleanliness of the country and attracted by its wildlife.