The latest group of young people have been chosen for a prestigious leadership program funded for the last 31 years by the Japanese government.
Eleven young Solomon Islanders aged from 21 to 29 years will leave for Japan in January to take part in the Ship for World Youth (SWY) program.
Winnie Asley, one SINU student recipients, said she was very happy, excited and proud to have been selected out of so many other applicants to represent Solomon Islands.
“This is my chance to meet other inspirational young youth leaders from the 10 participating countries. I see this as an opportunity to learn about their countries and their cultures and make as many connections I can.
“With the connections that I aim to establish during this trip, I will be able to understand and engage with people from diverse backgrounds which is an important factor to me as tourism student,” she said.
The two-month program, which is held on board a ship, aims to build young leaders and prepare them to work and thrive in a globalised world.
Their national team leader, Jeffery Tafolehe, challenged the 2018 SWY recipients to make good use of the opportunity, which is open to just 10 countries.
He spoke during a meeting organised by SWY aluminae and the Ministry of Women Youth, Children and Family Affairs in Honiara to welcome the new SWY member’s end of last month.
“I want you to go there and make good use of this opportunity. To bring back with you the knowledge gained and implement them in your communities,” he said.
“Coming from different backgrounds with different talents and experiences, you also represent different provinces in Solomon Islands and we hope that when we go there [Japan] and participate in the program you will be good ambassadors for Solomon Islands,” Mr Tafolehe said.
The participating recipients have heard from the SWY aluminae about what to expect from the program.
“I hope this session helps in conditioning all of you on what is expected of you when you come back. Make the most of it when you go there, take away as much as you can and leave what is not good behind,” Mr Tafolehe said.
Elwin Talo, a former national leader for SWY, advised the latest participating youths to go with an open mind to learn.
“From 123 young applicants, you are the lucky ones to be selected. Take ownership and pride of this opportunity. It is a lifetime privilege.”
In the past, people had gone with high aspirations but returned and gave almost zero contribution to their communities or the country as whole. That is always the challenge, Mr Talo said.
“You go there, you must work as a team, support each other in whatever programs the group participate in, so that when you come back, come back with a meaningful return to help contribute and bring impacts not only for yourselves but for your communities, society and the nation as whole.”
This year’s recipients are: Mr Arvin Adrian Tutuo, Mr Titus Boedy, Ms Annie Pige Apusae, Ms Ruth Marie Amos, Ms Joy Suri, Mr Derol Konofilia Sanga, Ms Mary May Estrella Keqa, Mr Arau Mana, Ms Winnie Norah Au Ashley, and Mr Heinz Samuel Koromako.