I am Yurika from Japan. I am a JICA volunteer with CVTL Youth Department.

My story
Hello, I am Yurika from Japan. I am a JICA volunteer with CVTL Youth Department. I joined CVTL at the beginning of September and will be here in Timor-Leste for two years. And I am so excited to work at CVTL!!

Today, I would like to tell you a little about myself, my overseas experiences, work I have been doing, and what I want to do in Timor-Leste. 😊 I hope you enjoy!

My Birth Place
I was born and grew up in Kanagawa Prefecture, which is close to Tokyo, the Capital of Japan. My city has a lot of nature (sea, mountains and flowers), many historical temples, but at the same time, it is also urbanized. You can see the famous Mt. Fuji from my city, which is often seen as the symbol of Japan. Seeing Mt. Fuji from sea is so beautiful; I hope you can see it one day.

View of Mt. Fuji from my city
The scene from my high school
The buddha statue in Kamakura – near my high school
Temple in Kamakura – near my city
Yokohama City- near my city
Enoshima Island which is  close to my home

My experience as a student
Since a child, I was always interested in international cooperation. My mother gave me an opportunity to visit Vietnam as a study program when I was in a high school. I visited the Tu-du hospital where there were still patients who were affected by the defoliant (Agent Orange) which was used during the American war in Vietnam. This experience profoundly impacted on me and made me to decide to work as a person to help solve problems in the world.

When I was a university student, I majored International Relations and had an opportunity to study in the University of Leeds, in the UK which is famous for International Relations.  The experience in Leeds was brilliant.

University of Leeds
With my flat mates in our dormitory

My work in Japan
After graduating from university, I started working in a venture company which uses bio-technology, with a focus on a microalgae “Euglena”.
Microalgae Euglena (Copyright: Euglena Co.)

In the company, I worked in sales for beauty products which are sold in hairdresser salons. I was selling different products, including for hair care (shampoo and treatment) and skincare (skin treatment essence, serum, cream etc.). To promote these products, I visited a number of salons throughout Tokyo and other cities, explaining hairdressers about products. I am so interested in beauty, so the work for me was awesome.

Then, I changed to Communication, working in Public Relations (PR). I learnt to write press releases, publishing corporate magazines and working through the Media (TV, newspaper, magazine, web magazine etc.) with a focus on our President, CEO and other senior staff in the company. I loved both roles that I had and it gave me confidence and skills which I know I can use to contribute to CVTL.

My lifelong mission
The other thing I really love doing is arranging and creating different hairstyles. My lifelong goal is to really use my skills in hair arrangement. I truly believe that people who feel good about themselves, though things like hairstyling, can give people, especially young women, to have greater confidence in themselves; it can be a trigger to find that “trying a new thing is wonderful”, and this trigger will expand their possibilities of life. I really hope I can do some of these activities around hair arrangement while I am in Timor-Leste.
Both are me!
Volunteering in CVTL
In CVTL, I am working with the Youth Department as part of the “Healthy Youth” Programme. I am excited that I will have a lot of opportunities to visit Municipalities in Timor-Leste and meet a lot of young people. It has been nearly two months since I arrived at Timor-Leste, and I feel so good because people in Timor-Leste are so nice. Everyone smiles to me, cares about me and helps me a lot.

I was especially impressed that people in CVTL keeps in their mind “We are one team”. I am so happy to be in “one team” in CVTL. I am so excited to work in CVTL for two years!! Looking for to seeing you one day!

Thank you.

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