JICA volunteers – Vietnam’s dedicated friends

Over the last two decades, the scene of Japanese volunteers working across the country has become familiar to Vietnamese people. They are contributing to deepening friendship between the two nations.

Every day, Japanese volunteer Izuo Risa starts her daily work at 9 am at the Vietnam Women’s Academy in Hanoi.

During her 2-year term, she teaches music to the lecturers and students of the academy.

Izuo Risa was sent to Vietnam under the Japan Volunteer Programme launched by the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA in 2015.  

Izuo Risa is one of nearly 50 Japanese volunteers who are working in Vietnam.

Since 1965, over 50,000 Japanese volunteers were sent to live and work with local people in more than 80 countries.

In Vietnam, the programme began in 1995. So far, about 600 Japanese volunteers have come and made a strong impression on the Vietnamese people and organisations throughout the country.

Iwama Nozomi, Vice Chief Representative of JICA Vietnam said if other ODA projects focus on governmental or provincial co-operation, the Volunteer Programme addresses grassroots issues, directly related to serving people or training human resources.

Japanese volunteers speak Vietnamese, live and work together with local people. They always try to conduct as many activities as possible to boost cooperation and solve problems.

Like Izuo Risa, Inamoto Hiroko volunteered for Vietnam to help Vietnam Television produce the programme Japan Link.

After a year working in Vietnam, the volunteer has edited and produced dozens of Japanese bulletin, contributing to bringing the culture and country of Vietnam closer to Japanese people.

Within the framework of the volunteer programme, Kobayashi Noriaki is working at the Assistant Centre for SMEs – North Vietnam as a senior expert, helping Vietnamese businesses improve their production and business capacity.

Kobayashi Noriaki said he was very happy to find that his advices have helped the local businesses make improvements.

Japan Volunteer Program not only helps transfer technology, contributes to socio-economic development in Vietnam but also deepens the friendship between the two peoples. Japanese friends, with their sincerity, enthusiasm and sense of responsibility, are the bridge to the mutual understanding of the two peoples.-VNA