On October 10, 3 JICA Volunteers arrived in Palau after a year and half suspension of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) Program due to the worldwide pandemic. 3 JOCVs, Mr. Ippei Mukobara, Mr. Yohei Sonoo and Mr. Akira Owada, will work for promotion of tourism at Palau Visitors Authority (PVA), math and PE education at Ngardmau Elementary School and special education at Special Education Program of Ministry of Education, respectively. They will begin their stint at their assigned offices from October 25.
In late March 2020, 14 JICA volunteers, who worked in various sectors such as education, environment, health, etc., returned to Japan due to COVID-19. After a year and half, Palau was recognized as one of the safest countries with high vaccination rate, firm protection measures, and regular flights, therefore, becoming the first Pacific country where the JOCV Program resumed after the outbreak.
Currently, JICA Palau office is promoting communication with schools and various government offices to identify their needs for JOCVs. The JOCV Program will gradually increase the number of JOCVs in Palau from 3 to nearly 30, which is almost double of the number of its before COVID-19, in sectors such as education, health, industry & infrastructure. The JOCV Program in Palau began in 1997. Since then, 272 Japanese volunteers (JOCVs) have been dispatched to Palau. JOCVs have been highly recognized among Palauan people for their contribution to the development of the society and human resource in Palau through their grassroots activities. There are many Japanese nationals who aspire to contribute to development of the world where there is a great need for JOCVs.