The Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) dispatched by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to nearly 150 countries for development work joined this year’s roster of awardees in the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka and former Japanese volunteer in the Philippines Kenichi Kubota (in photo) received the award from Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo and Ramon Magsaysay Award Chair Ramon Del Rosario.
Robredo lauded the greatness of spirit and examples set by this year’s awardees and cited the Japanese volunteers’ contribution in promoting ‘acceptance and tolerance to build a world of solidarity.’
The Japanese volunteers played a key role in helping restore the world’s trust and friendship with Japan in the post-war years. To date, about 50,000 young JOCVs have been dispatched all over the world supporting over a hundred development fields or areas which include agriculture, science education, manufacturing, to cite a few.
In the Philippines, over 1,600 JOCVs were dispatched to more than 300 government agencies, local government units (LGUs), institutions, and communities since 1966. To date, Japanese volunteers have also been supporting disaster risk reduction (DRR), education, persons with disabilities (PWDs) and various community development activities nationwide.
JICA is Japan’s comprehensive development institution, which handles technical cooperation, ODA loans and investment, and grant aid, as well as cooperation volunteers and disaster relief programs. JICA is one of the world’s largest bilateral aid agencies with its volume of cooperation amounting to about USD 12.3 billion for JFY 2014 and a worldwide network of almost 100 overseas offices.
For more information on JICA and JICA Philippines’ activities, please log on to http://www.jica.go.jp/english and http://www.jica.go.jp/philippine/english/index.html.