JASH selected six 11-year old students (three boys and three girls) to represent Hawaii as Junior Ambassadors (JAs) at the 26th Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC), which will be held in Fukuoka, Japan, from July 10- 24, 2014. Hosted by the Fukuoka based NPO by the same name and supported by the Fukuoka government, APCC promotes relationships between children from different countries with the goal of creating adults with a strong social responsibility for the world. A total of 230 children from 45 countries and cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region have been invited to participate this year. Hawaii is one of two cities in the U.S. that will send a delegation. The students will travel to Japan with a JASH volunteer chaperone. The students will also participate in home stays with host Japanese families.
This year, JASH received a total of 31 applications from Oahu and Hawaii. After a day of interviews and group workshops, the final six JAs were selected: Chelley Endo (Aina Haina School), Kalaokahikina “Kala” Handa (Kainalu Elementary), Diesel Kawelo (Island Pacific Academy), Malia “Sunny” Monaco (Aina Haina School), Misa Muranaka (Iolani School), and Andrew-Lee Smith (Aina Haina School).
The students will spend one Saturday each month preparing for their trip to Fukuoka. The required workshops are designed to develop teamwork skills and build students’ knowledge about Japan, Hawaii-Japan ties, cultural etiquette, and other countries sending delegates to the Convention. Each delegation is required to give a cultural performance unique to that country or region. The Hawaii delegation will be performing a hula to the song Waikiki Hula, taught by their chaperone, Makua Dori Kim. All travel and workshop costs for this program are borne by APCC and JASH.