Remarkable experiences shared about Japan’s Ship for World Youth


TEN Solomon Islands youth who recently participated in the Ship for World Youth (SWY) programme in Japan have expressed joy and shared their remarkable experiences on how the programme has impacted their lives to return and make a difference in the country.

The delegation returned last month after spending a month-long life-changing experience joining other youths from 14 countries across the globe where they participated in various activities that involve multi-cultural and multi-national exchange opportunities to cultivate international awareness and leadership.

The event was organised by the Government of Japan that invites eligible Solomon Islanders from ages 18 to 30 to represent the country.

It aims to broaden the global view of youth and promote mutual understanding and friendship between participating countries.

It also aims to cultivate international cooperation and competence, to practice this cooperation at the international level, and to foster youths with the capability to show leadership in various areas of society.

David Junior Oeta is one of the lucky Solomon Islands delegates. He is currently pursuing his university law degree (Bachelor of Arts) at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Solomon Islands Campus.

“The SWY program was truly an exceptional experience for me, I feel very fortunate to part of this global SWY family.

“I now have amazing connections and friendships with the SWY network all over the world, and gained new memories and skills that will be priceless for me in my future endeavor, career, and life.

“The network and family we built on the program is something I am sure will continue influencing and enriching me for the rest of my life.” Oeta said.

“We are already getting started with our program activity planning. I’m looking forward to staying involved with SWY for many years to come.” Oeta told attendees of a lunch reception hosted by Japanese Embassy to welcome the participants at Mendana Hotel yesterday attended by Japanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands His Excellency Miwa Yoshiaki Miwa, Embassy officials and media.

He then thanked the Japanese Embassy and the Ambassador for the unique opportunity.

In his remarks Ambassador Miwa emphasized the important role the program has played in the reconstruction of the Japanese economy and society after the World War II drawing from the 1950s when the program was first initiated.

Director of Youth Division of the Ministry of Women, Youth and Family Affairs Andrea Tikopi said the ministry is very supportive of the Japanese tailored program on youth empowerment.

“We always stand ready to give our support in areas that nurtured our young people. I want to express my gratitude and welcome the delegates to embrace the exchange program.

“I know it’s a learning experience for most of you. I can see already how the future falls for these young leaders benefiting from this SWY program.” Tikopi said.

For Solomon Islands this is the 8th time that a delegation of young people was sent. The time was way back in 1994 where 12 youth participated at the SWY program.

“All together 90 Solomon Islands participated in the SWY.” Said Hudson Kalaeda one of the past recipients of the SWY program who now works at Japanese Embassy.

He also revealed that former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark was part of the SWY program in the past.

He adds that former member of Parliament for East Are’are Andrew Manepora’a is also one of the participants in the past.

“Many Solomon Islanders in the past who participated have gone to become leaders in the government, private sector and community.” Mr. Kalaeda said.

The SWY program is implemented with the aims to cultivate the global leaders of the next generation who can contribute to society where participating youth from all around the world gather and improve abilities to deal with different cultures and leadership skills through having discussions and cultural exchange.

In addition, it aims to establish global human network beyond national borders.

Solomon Island youths had participated in the previous Ship for World Youth Programs in Japan in 1994, 1998, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2018 and the recent one is 2023.

Meanwhile, the participants -David Oeta Junior, Patricia Joyce Suri, Frelin Houkeni, Harrison Soni, Haylinta Katovai, Ghandie Mavaemua, Edelah Leoa Animamu, Philip Feni, Lyndema Kotisaia Leovania, Elizabeth Gore were selected after being shortlisted and interviewed, based on their active engagements in various fields including communities, churches, sports, academic and voluntarism and professional work.

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