Snapshot from the ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has won one of three awards of excellence at the contest of international cooperation photos organized by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the context of the online international cooperation campaign "Earth Camp - Let's sit around and talk about the future of the planet."
Mr Shinichi Takasaki, Director, ILO Office for Japan, received certificate of award from Mr Atsushi Ueno, Director-General of International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the ceremony held on 31 January 2021. At the ceremony, Mr Takasaki explained the background of the Water and Sanitation Project emphasizing not only its direct effect of improving water access but also of various benefits that employment-intensive projects would bring to the local population. Mr Ueno, who had been worked in the Philippines until four years ago, expressed his desire that the ILO and the government of Japan can keep working together to promote peace and prosperity in Mindanao.
Winning photo of the water system built under the project, which aims to provide jobs and promote peace through improved water supply and sanitation services was taken by Mr Remar Pablo, photographer engaged by the project. ILO and the Government of Japan handed over a water system to the local government and community in South Upi on 9 November 2020. More than a hundred households and 1,600 schoolchildren now have better access to safe water in Maguindanao. The photo shows children joyfully washing hands with running water from newly built water system.
The ILO-Japan Water and Sanitation Project generates short-term employment to local residents. More than 700 workers were/are engaged in the completed site and the four ongoing sites. Six more subprojects will be implemented this year and more employment will be generated.
"This recognition inspires us to do more and be better as we continue to promote decent work and provide access to safe water to more vulnerable people. We look forward to a stronger relationship with Japan to implement sustainable solutions, build a better future of work and contribute to peace and development through decent work," said Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines, in his message to the government of Japan published on 1 February 2021.
Two photos submitted by the ILO's project implemented with contribution from the government of Japan in response to cyclone devastation in Mozambique have also been shortlisted among 42 entries. All three ILO photos are exhibited online in the website of the Ministry. Winning photos will also be published in the annual White Paper on International Cooperation.
Earth Camp is an online campaign co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the International Cooperation NGO Center (JANIC) as an alternate to the annual international cooperation event "2020 Global Festa JAPAN," which has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The online event, which opened on 6 October 2020, Day of International Cooperation, will close on 31 March 2021.