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Two JICA Volunteers Return to Samoa

JICA Press Release

APIA, SAMOA – 10 FEBRUARY 2023: JICA Samoa Resident Representative, Ms. Yumiko Asakuma welcomed the first two returning volunteers to Samoa since the global evacuation of volunteers in March, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The volunteers had waited for re-deployment, keeping their enthusiasm to contribute to the development of Samoa. Finally, they came back to Samoa after almost three years – two years and eleven months to be exact.

Ms. Nao Hara, is placed with Fagalii Primary School as a volunteer for primary school education whilst Dr. Ryohei Sato will resume his work in veterinary medicine with the Animal Production & Health Division of Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

“I never thought I would be back here in Samoa. I’m delighted.” They said as they arrived at the airport.

Japan Embassy Ambassador Keisuke Senta welcomes returning volunteers and stated: “Welcome back to Samoa!  Samoan people have been waiting the arrival of JICA volunteers and I am delighted to see you, Ms. Hara and Mr. Sato are back again in Samoa.  You two look very energetic and ready to resume your responsibilities in Samoa.  I hope you renew friendships with your colleagues, friends and students.  I also look forward to seeing many more volunteers to come”.

JICA Volunteers 50 years

JICA Volunteers 50 years

In 1972 the JICA volunteer program started in Samoa and the first country in the Oceania region to receive JICA volunteers. Over the past five decades, the number of Japanese volunteers in Samoa has reached almost 700.

Ms. Yumiko Asakuma thanked the Government and people of Samoa for their trust and partnership with JICA over the last 50 years.

This year 2023, Japan and Samoa will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic ties between the two countries.  JICA reiterates its objective is to strengthen this partnership and looks forward to continue enhancing mutual relations to convey further benefits to the people of both countries.