The Ship for World Youth Leadership, 2018 program conducted by the Cabinet Office of Government of japan in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India held the Port of Call activities in Kochi port in Kerala (India) from 11-13 February, 2018. There were 125participating youth from Japan and 118participating youth from Australia, South Africa, Mozambique, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Sri Lanka, Oman and India were part of this program. From India 10 participating youth took part in SWY30 program.
Amid repaid globalization, cooperation, coordination and negotiation in various fields beyond national boarders has been of fundamental importance. Leaders of next generation are sought after both in international society and local community to cope with globalization and to efficiently guide others. This program helped the participating youth to develop the ability to deal with different cultures and communication skills and to improve leadership and management skills through discussion and cultural exchange with those from various countries and from various backgrounds. The program also encourages listening to seminars by experts, planning activities and holding workshops themselves to deepen mutual understanding. However, the program also helps in broadening their global view as well as strengthening their spirit of international cooperation, and as a result cultivates youth who are capable of contributing to society byexercising their leadership skills in various fields in the globalizing and diversifying society. A strong human network beyond national borders got established as a result of this program.
The purpose of the program is to broaden the global view of Youth to promote mutual understanding and friendship between Japanese and foreign youth, as well as to cultivate the spirit of international cooperation among participants. For achieving this purpose, 243 youth from eleven countries assembled in Tokyo on 17 January, 2018 for preparatory and onshore training till 27 January. .
From 28 Januaryto 2 March, 2018 they sailed on the cruise ship NipponMaru from Yokohama port for the SWY30 program. There were thirty two administrative staff with Mr. Kenichi Komagata as the administrator and Mr. Shun Obu as the Deputy Administrator from the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan who were directly responsible for this Ship for World Youth Leadership program. Administrator of SWY30, Mr. Kenichi Komagata said that the primary aim of the project, an initiative of Japanese government, is to help aspiring youths from across the world ‘exchange opinions and explore other ways of thinking’.
The Port of Call activity of SWY30 was held in India from Sunday, 11 February to Tuesday, 13February 2018 at Kochi Port in Kerala. Upon their arrival in India on 11 Februarythe delegates disembarked and were welcomed in traditional Kerala way through the Chenda(traditional drum) performance with garlands and Tikkaorganized by the Government of India in which 30 Alumni members of SWYAA-India also joined. An orientation was given by the members of SWYAA-India to welcome the participating youth to India and give information about Kochi and culture and customs of Kerala.
Later, the National Leaders extended a Courtesy Call on Dr. Amarendra Kumar Dubey, Secretary (YA), Government of India and other dignitaries from the Ministries of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India and Kerala State Government.
Traditional dance performanceswere presented by artists from Kerala at the hotel Malabar in the port area before the traditional Kerala lunch hosted by the Kerala State Government. Later, the participating youth visited Marine Drive area for shopping in the local market places which they enjoyed very much ably assisted by the members of SWYAA-India.
In the evening the Ship Administration and the Consulate General of Japan in Chennai hosted the welcome dinner in the Dolphin Hall of the ship which was attended by all the participating youth , special invitees, dignitaries from the Central and State government and members of SWYAA-India. The gathering was addressed by Dr. Amarendra Kumar Dubey, Secretary (YA), Government of India, Mr. Seiji Baba, ConsulGeneral of Japan Mr. Kenichi Komagata, Ship Administrator. On behalf of the participating youth, Ms. Lynn Adams, National Leader of the Republic of South Africa made a scintillating speech. Ms. IkuyoShimakura from the Embassy of Japan in New Delhi also participated in the program of welcome dinner.
After the welcome dinner party, members of SWYAA-India presented a Bollywood singing and dancing night in which all the participating youth took part and enjoyed singing and dancing together on Indian rhythms and sound.
On February 12 (Tuesday) all the delegates went to Cochin University (CUSAT) to take part in course discussion in the campus and to interact with the Indian students during the morning session. The subjects ranged from discussions on various topics related to youth development and leadership including Child Rights and Environment and so on. The morning session was inaugurated by Dr. J. Letha, Vice Chancellor of Cochin University and gifts were exchanged between her and the National Leaders from various countries. In the afternoon session all the eleven countries gave the mini national presentations by the delegations of the respective participating countries in front of a packed audience of students and faculty in the university convention hall, which was very much appreciatedand were overjoyed to see the customs, traditions, lifestyle and culture of various countries.
Later in the evening the participating youth and all others attended the welcome reception hosted by Dr. Amarendra Kumar Dubey, Secretary, (Youth Affairs), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India at the Hotel Crown Plaza Hotel. The other officials who were present from the Ministry includedMs.KiranSoni Gupta, Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor, ShriAsit Singh, Joint Secretary (YA), ShriThanglemlian, Director, ShriInduBhusanLenka, Under Secretary, Shri. Naveen Rawat, Section Officer and others. From State Government of Kerala Shri T.O. Sooraj, Secretary(YAS) was present. Dr. Amarendra Kumar Dubey, Secretary, (Youth Affairs) applauded this unique and important youth leadership program and the support of the government of Japan. Mr. Kenichi Komagata, the Ship Administrator thanked Government of India for their cooperation. Ms. SritejaKamarsu, the National Leader from India gave the vote of thanks on behalf of all the Indian participating youth. Following this a Jazz program was organized by the students of the Cochin University which was enjoyed by the participating youth. ShriPradipSomasundaran, renowned singer and ex-participant from India also presented melodious songs which were very much appreciated.
On 13 February (Tuesday), the participating youth visited eight institutions in Kochi to understand the work being carried out by each of the institutions in the area of social, educational and cultural fields to gain understanding of various initiatives. The institutions visited were:
No. 1 SGH Kudumbashree
No. 2 Snehanilayam Special School
No. 3 Don BoscoSnehaBhavan
No. 4 ENS Kalari Centre
No. 5 Adarsh Charitable Trust
No. 6 Kerala Kathakali Centre
No. 7 Amrita School of Business
No. 8 Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS)
After the institutional visit, the participants assembled in the Cochin University for the informal lunch ceremony hosted by the Government of India. As the participants returned to the ship, the Ship administration organized a thanks giving ceremony for the help of the ex-participants from SWYAA-India. The ship departed after the farewell ceremony from Kochi Port for Sri Lanka for the next Port of Call after the objectives of POC was successfully completed.
During the Port of Call in Kochi in Kerala, 30 members of the Ship for Youth Alumni Association-India provided support and guidance to all the participating youth during their visit to Kochi in Kerala. This occasion provided all the Alumni members who had earlier participated in different batches of the SWY program an opportunity to meet, share thoughts and strengthen the international alumni network. It also provided all the ex–participants, an opportunity to learn about different cultures, meet youth from different countries and to share information about the post- program activities of SWYAA-India.
The general observations of the Port of Call were that everyone always observed punctuality for smooth operation of the program as per the planned schedule. Everyone expressed gratitude to the receiving organization and overseas participating youth proactively interacted with local people and Indian youth.The broader outcomes of Port of Call were successfully met through deepening of understanding of activities in India during the institutional visits and participating in the interaction with Cochin University students and faculty on the relevance to theircourse discussion themes. Their understanding was enhanced about India’s culture, history and social situation during their stay in Kochi and the local youth had an opportunity to develop international awareness and friendship through the exchange with the overseas participating youth.