KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Mar 14 (PIA) -- Two student leaders from state schools in Soccsksargen Region/Region 12 will be visiting Japan as ambassadors on disaster management and recovery program in May.
Lily Jean Cacatian, a BS Development Communication senior at the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in Kabacan Cotabato and Angel Marie Ysik BS Education junior at the Sultan Kudarat State University (SKSU) in Tacurong City are among 400 Filipino youths selected as “Tohoku-shinzen-taishi” or “Philippine-Tohoku Goodwill Ambassadors” who will be visiting Japan this year.
The travel is part of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) Programme funded by the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) in cooperation with the National Youth Commission (NYC).
Cacatian, in an interview with Philippine Information Agency -12 today said she and Ysik will be among the third and fourth batches of student ambassadors who will visit Japan for 10 days to learn Japan’s disaster management and recovery efforts after the March 13 , 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters
“We will learn and understand Japan's experience and the lessons they learned from past natural disasters. We will also witness Japan's on-going recovery efforts and see how it was possible for Japan to make a fast turn-around from the recent earthquake and tsunami that struck its Tohoku region,” she said.
The first two batches of goodwill ambassadors will focus on the host country’s “Go Green” program.
An NYC statement on the JENESYS program in October last year said the program “will be a chance for student ambassadors to learn everything about Philippine-Japan relations; Japanese culture; and issues on technology, environment, tourism, and health. They will interact with experts and will have a chance to live with a Japanese family.”
Cacatian said, “the feeling was overwhelming when I learned I was chosen as one of the student ambassadors. ”
She joined the program by sending in a policy paper concerning the issue of illegal logging in some areas of North Cotabato along with the filled out application form.
“I expect to learn a lot from the short-term visit, especially the concept of “Kizuna” which is about brotherhood and friendship that played a major role in their recovery from the disaster. I hope to be able apply this concept in our country’s situation,” she said.
Cacatian was recently awarded as this year Outstanding Student Leader of USM. She is expected to graduate with honors as magna cum laude in April.
Cacatian and Ysik are also delegates of the prestigious Ayala Young Leaders Congress in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Ysik is a scholar of the Department of National Defense.
Both are expected to travel to Metro Manila on May 6 for a pre-departure orientation before their May 7 or 8 flight to Japan. (DEDoguiles/PIA 12 with report from Rhoderick Beñez/Radyo ng Bayan-DXVL)