The Japanese International Cooperation Agency today celebrated the 50 years since the establishment of volunteer program in Samoa.
The Resident Representative of JICA, Akihito Hoshino said Samoa is the 15th Country in the World and first Country in the Oceania region to receive JICA volunteers in 1972.
Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa in her message to JICA on this milestone said since the inception of the program in 1972 close to 700 volunteers have served in Samoa in all start of the society helping where there is a dearth skills and capabilities to meet the development needs.
She said prior to the onset of the COVID-19, the volunteers would have been found in the classrooms, sports, gymnasium, recycling plants, health facilities assisting with research and industry development.
They master the language quickly and assimilate well into Samoa’s cultural practices.
She said the increasing numbers of volunteers over the years corresponds to a growing demand and interest in the program.
Fiame said as Samoa faces challenges aggravated by the impacts of the pandemic and the work of volunteers will ever be more critical in the future uncertainty.