Grabbed the last chance and realized my dream of international cooperation
In January 2017, it took over 30 hours to arrive in Bolivia. The man on the right end is me.
I've been interested in the world from young age and I've always wanted to exchange with people around the world through my favorite soccer and sports to experience different cultures. The reason why I decided to apply for JICA volunteer was that I had got the opportunity to listen to JICA volunteer experiences from my university senior. I became eager to change myself and wanted to show my transformation as one of the good role models to my sons who is 7 and 5 years old at that time. I applied for a position of JICA volunteer in the fall of 39 years old which is the age limit for application and got accepted luckily. I was be able to grab literally the last chance.
My daily life and mission in Sucre city
Tasteful townscape of Sucre
The place of my assignment is Bolivia, its formal name is Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia located in South America. Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is famous among Japanese as sightseeing spot. I live in Sucre, Chuquisaca Department, located south of Bolivia. Sucre is constitutional capital of Bolivia and has the Supreme Court, but almost all other government institutions are in La Paz, which is the de facto national capital of Bolivia. Sucre city was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1991 because of its historical building named Colonial Style built in the 16th century and the beauty of the cityscape.
People in Bolivia are so nice and friendly both adult and children. They teach me Spanish in an understandable way and greet me in Japanese they memorized recently. Many children are interested in Japan and Japanese. I'm supposed to hold a presentation of Japanese culture introduction soon, which also makes me busy for preparation.
It is unusual to be able to practice in a soccer court.
My mission is sports instruction for young people at the NGO South Bolivia Sports Center. Especially in soccer and futsal, I am working on guidance of training, guidance and supervision of games, improvement of long-term training plans in cooperation with the local coaches.
Team of 7 or under.Took 3rd place in the city league game.
As Sucre doesn't have sufficient environment for soccer compared with the big city such as La Paz, we can't reserve soccer court sometimes. We have training by using various measures, for example running around outside of the stadium, playing soccer in a vacant lot.
The basis of international cooperation that I wanted to tell at the interim report meeting
When I returned home temporarily at the end of 2017 when about a year passed by joining JICA Volunteer, I held an interim report meeting and told the players and their parents belonging to the two soccer teams about the activities that I'm engaged. One of the soccer teams was "Kashiwa Mighty FC" to which I belonged and the other wss "Tresaca FC" in the neighborhood. I utilized this video "Teaching materials for school about 'Refugees', 'Islam', 'Official Development Assistant' and 'School Education'" on that, because I wanted to convey not only the situation of Bolivia I was assigned to, but also about other diverse countries. I thought that knowing people living in various situations in the world is the first step in the education of international cooperation.
The video material dealing with four themes
This video is devided into several themes of the current situations and tasks in developing countries in a short time. I thought that this video was ideal for making a opportunity to be interested in international cooperation for junior high school students who have individual differences in knowledge and concern.Watching this video made students realize there are various problems that refugees and Muslim people are facing on and tasks of education system in developing countries. Some of students told me their impressions of watching the video such as " I got to know a little about the situation of the world." " I decided to take good care of my things." " I want to do something what I can." "I want to go abroad." etc. They seemed to have learned the following like that: it is necessary to be grateful for circumstances and people instead of taking them for granted, and it is important that they should work on their best for what they can do right now.
To be a professional soccer coach by making use of my experience in Bolivia
It's been 15 years since I started working for Kashiwa Mighty FC. Although it's a small company which employs 6 soccer coaches and one clerical staff, it has good understanding of international cooperation and allowed me to participate in JICA volunteer with paid leave status by utilizing "In-service participation system". I also could call my sons to Bolivia in December 2017 thanks to "Family calling system".
Winter in 2004, the team of 15 or under and I. It was the first graduating class of Kashiwa Mighty FC.
Since I've gained a lot of experiences inspired me from my two-year activity in Bolivia, I'd like to contribute something to citizens of Kashiwa city as well as my company from my experiences. Especially in terms of planning, operation and leader training, it seems that the experience what I did through trial and error in Bolivia can be used as it is for the current work in the company. Kashiwa Mighty has several young coaches who have just become leaders, so there are many things that can be told to them.
Regarding the player development of my core role, approaching from both aspects of on-the-pitch (part related to soccer) and off- the-pitch (part related to the whole such as human growth), I'd like to aim to be a professional of player development and human education.
Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers A soccer member
Incumbent participation from Kashiwa Mighty FC (Kashiwa Football Association affiliation)
*The Material(s) mainly applied
"Teaching materials for school about 'Refugees', 'Islam', 'Official Development Assistant' and 'School Education'"
The material of short movies in four themes as 'Refugees', 'Islam', 'Official Development Assistant' and 'School Education', is re-edited from the news and interviews recorded by JICA's project, NHK and press of the world. It is expected to be supplement teaching aid for development education program in schools.