Matthew Walsh's EFL ESL website

(Click here for 'About JICA' in English)

(Listen to Mr. Walsh read this text.)

  'JICA' means 'Japan International Cooperation Agency'. 'JICA' is part of the Japanese government. It was founded in 1974, but its roots go back to 1954, when Japan joined other countries in Asia doing 'international cooperation'. 'International cooperation' means when countries try to help each other with things like technology or social problems. 

  One of JICA's main goals is to share knowledge. This means teaching and learning. JICA has many 'training centers' in Japan. At these centers, trainees from many countries learn technical skills that will be useful to their country. JICA also sends volunteers from Japan to other countries. There are JICA people in many countries around the world working hard to make the world a better place. People who become a JICA volunteer live in a country and learn about the country while they try to help it solve its problems. All volunteers live in the country for at least two years, but some stay for three.  Any Japanese national over 20 can take the test to become a JICA volunteer, but having experience in a technical field helps your chances of being sent to a country. Someday, why don't you try!

  JICA is Japan's ODA program. ODA means 'official development assistance', so  'offical' means  'by the government'.  This is different from an NGO which means 'non-government'. Japan is number 2 in the world  for total ODA money given around the world, but in relation to GNP it is much lower. As a percentage of GNP, Norway, Denmark, and Luxembourg are number 1,2, and 3. Much of the ODA money goes to countries in Africa.  ODA money is partly grants and partly loans. Even if it is a loan, the interest is very low.

  Of course JICA aims to do good things and they do. However, sometimes there are mistakes. A typical example of an ODA mistake would be to make a dam in a place that didn't need it. Another example is the 'green revolution'. Developed countries helped poor countries learn better ways of farming. However, the new ways were too expensive for the farmers to use.

  JICA and ODA is one of the ways we try to make the world a better place. Even if you don't join JICA, knowing about it is important.

Click here to see the photos from the 2007 trip!!!!