Fifteen Japanese students and three chaperones from Fukuoka arrived in Honolulu to stay with host families as part of the Asian Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) Mission Project program from March 25 – 30, 2011. Each summer, the APCC generously sponsors Hawaii’s Junior Ambassadors (JAs) for a global youth camp and home stay with host families in Fukuoka. This is the third time JASH has hosted a return Mission Project of Fukuoka students to Hawaii. In addition to Hawaii, other Mission Project program delegates were sent to Singapore, Indonesia, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, New Caledonia and Maldives.
Established in 1994, the goal of the Mission Project is to enhance the Japanese children’s understanding of their Asian-Pacific neighbors by learning about their lifestyles, culture and customs through first-hand experiences. The students ages 10-17 stayed with host families selected by JASH and were able to experience local culture, food, excursions to the beach and sightseeing, and many other enjoyable activities. One of the highlights of the visit for many of the Japanese students was the opportunity for them to attend school with their American host brother or sister. JASH would like to extend a warm Mahalo to all of the principals of hosting schools for opening their doors and classrooms and welcoming the Japanese students.
When the delegates arrived on March 25, JASH sponsored a Welcome Ceremony at the Honolulu International Airport Conference Center, which was joined by Japanese Consul General Yoshihiko Kamo who gave welcoming remarks. JASH also hosted an Appreciation Luncheon for the host families and students at the Newtown Recreation Center on March 27. In addition to the host families, about 40 members of Bridge Club Hawaii (APCC Alumni Association) and the 2011 JAs were in attendance.
The visiting students from Fukuoka received once in a lifetime experiences because of the generosity and warm Aloha of the host families. The program would not have been possible without them, and both JASH and the visiting students owe them a debt of gratitude. JASH would also like to extend its appreciation to the following schools for allowing the Mission Project students to attend school for one or two days: Aina Haina School, HanaHau’oli School, Hanalani Schools, Holomua Elementary School, Hongwanji Mission School, Iolani School, Kaiser High School, Moanalua Elementary, Moanalua Middle School, Momilani Elementary School, Punahou School, Sacred Hearts Academy, Saint Theresa Catholic School, and Waldorf School. JASH staff says “Aloha” to the APCC delegates before they depart for Fukuoka, Japan.