Four days, 32 different nationalities and endless opportunities. The Tokyo Conference 2016 is the largest in the history of the SWY-program and brings together representatives from all the member countries of the Ship for World Youth Alumni Association International (SWYAA International) for the first time. Here is a short recap of the first two days.
The Tokyo Conference for Ex-Participating Youth of ”Ship for World Youth Leaders” Program and Related Programs started officially in the 20th of March 2016. The aim of the four-day-conference is for all alumni members to report, spread and collaborate on Post Program Social Contribution Activities arranged worldwide by the different alumni associations of each country. In addition, this year the delegates also have a goal to concieve a Commemorative Joint Statement in order to convey the immence value and impact that this program creates in Japan, the participating countries and beyond.
Day 1: Return to NYC and Post Program Activities Presentations
The first conference day we had the pleasure of returning to the venue of our pre-departure program – the NAtional Olympics Memorial Youth Center (NYC). We started off with orientation and exhibition preparations before the door were opened to the event guests – former participating youth, former admins and representatives of the Cabinet Office of Japan and International Youth Organization of Japan (IYEO).
Following an official presentation of all the delegates and a lunch party with mingle, sixteen countries, among them Sweden, held a short presentation of the alumni activities conducted during the last year. The other half of the associations had decorated and displayed information and broschures in a table exhibition in the main hall.
After this guests and presenters were divided into discussion-groups by themes such as ”Youth development”, ”Environment and sustainability” or ”Disaster relief activites”. The day was much appreciated by the guests and government representatives. There were many personal reunions as many of the program participants had not seen each other for many years. After the closing ceremony several batches went off to have dinner together and get updated on each others lives, adventures and future plans.
Day 2: Conference work day – Discussions at the Centerye office
The second day was spent ith discussions in the meeting room at the Centerye/IYEO office venue on walking distance from our hotel in Nihonbashi. The assembly of delegates worked through a number of motions that had been debated in the last digital Voting Session for International Representatives (VSIR) in 2015. This was a great opportunity to air and resolve topics and issues that were a bit more complex than suited for a digital vote. With all members of the international alumni association represented we were able to work through a number of points and also voted on the motions on the agenda.
After a nice and sunny bento lunch under the soon-to-blossom-sakura trees (they have just started to bloom today), we returned to the meeting room. The afternoon session adressed the formulation of the Joint Statement and preparation for the formal meetings at the Cabinet Office that will take place tomorrow.
During break time we managed to squeeze in some cultural exchange as all delegates served snacks and sweets from their home country. There was more than enough to go around.
Finally we also handed in gifts and objects for a charity donation we are planning for thursday. All the funds raised in the auction will go directly to support and disaster relief in Fiji, who was hit by the category 5 tropical cyclone Winston a couple of weeks ago. More on that in a few days…
Until then: #keepswying #swyaatokyo
representative for SWYAA Sweden