Kota Higa, left, and Yuki Oka are the two new JICA volunteers.

Two new Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) have arrived in the Caribbean and will be deployed to St. Vincent and the Grenadines soon.

The volunteers, Yuki Oka and Kota Higa, are trained and qualified professionals in varying technical and corporate disciplines.

They are expected to spend a month in St. Lucia, after which they will be assigned to the country of St. Vincent, where they are expected to complete a two-year tour-of-duty.

Oka, who specialises in marketing, will be assigned to the National Society of and for the Blind.

Higa, who specialises in automobile maintenance, will be stationed at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.

JOCV was inaugurated in 1965, and is a principal programme of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Commenting on the importance of the JICA/JOCV Programme to the region, the officer responsible for Corporate Communication, Glen Lake stated: “All of our volunteers work at the local level within the countries that they are assigned to, this way, they are best able to meet the needs of that particular country.”

Lake added: “When I speak about the programme, I tend to often use the phrase ‘together with the local community’ the JICA volunteers live and work together with the communities in the country to which they are sent, they speak the same language of the community and carry out activities with an emphasis on raising self-reliant efforts while fostering mutual understanding.”