Twelve delegates from Hawaii traveled to Fukuoka, Japan this July to take part in the 25th Anniversary of the Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC). Six “Junior Ambassadors” (Brett Castro, Cole Ichikawa, Wesley Yamada, Kate Helbush, Kiana Kawahara and Megan Oshiro) along with “Peace Ambassador” David Nakanishi, Chaperone Daniel Hwang, Bridge Club Head Officer Jacob Saiki, Bridge Club Hawaii Founder Colby Takeda, Bridge Club President Korie Lum and JASH Intern Tomoko Hamamatsu all attended and took part in the 25th APCC which was held from July 12 – 22, 2013. All attendees were sponsored by APCC Fukuoka.
The non-profit organization APCC Fukuoka promotes relationships between children of various countries so that they will become adults with a strong social responsibility for the world. The Hawaii Junior Ambassadors spent the first three nights at a youth camp with other Junior Ambassadors from Japan and 42 other countries and cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Following camp, the Junior Ambassadors met their host families in Miyama city and moved to the home stay portion of the program. During this time, the other Hawaii delegates took part in meetings and workshops with other Bridge Club members from around the world to discuss the future of the APCC. All twelve of the delegates met up again at the “We Are the Bridge” cultural exchange festival at Tenjin Central Park in Fukuoka City on July 20. There, the Hawaii Junior Ambassadors performed two oli (chants) and danced the hula to the song E Ku’u Tutu, which they had learned from Makua Dori Kim, a Hawaiian studies teacher at Aina Haina Elementary. This was the first time that the APCC streamed the performances “live” via U-Stream so that the families here in Hawaii could watch the show.
After an activity packed ten days, everyone returned to Honolulu on July 22. The delegates met again with Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui to share their experiences.
The delegates with their parents met for one last workshop where they discussed their experiences being a part of the APCC program this year. JASH would like to thank all the families, friends, and supporters who helped prepare the delegates and supported them throughout the program.