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“2020 Leaders” from UAE visit Japan

Middle East International Youth Exchange

Within the framework of the third edition of the "2020 Leaders" program launched by the United Arab Emirates (hereinafter referred to as the UAE) Ministry of Education and Watani Al Emarat Foundation under the umbrella of “Our Ambassadors Program” 2018, sponsored by Al Ameen Service, organized by OPIC Consulting and Training (an Emirati owned company based in Dubai, UAE) in cooperation with JICE, 41 students from the UAE schools and 9 chaperones from the Ministry, the Foundation and OPIC visited Japan from July 15th to July 24th, 2018. The third batch of the "2020 Leaders" program aims to prepare and train a generation capable of leadership in the future, especially as the UAE is ready to host Expo 2020 Dubai. The delegation visited Japan to learn about its experience in the field of human renaissance and nation building, develop their leadership skills in volunteerism and contribute to a number of voluntary initiatives and programs in Japan. To fulfill the aim, JICE spent a few months designing the program in collaboration with OPIC.

The program consists of promoting the students’ understanding of volunteerism and volunteering, hands-on experience in volunteering, practical experience and learning about Japanese culture. In Tokyo, the participants learned the definition of volunteerism and considered required capabilities of volunteering through the lectures, listened to the experiences of one of the volunteers in the field of sports competitions, observed the activities of tour guide volunteers and experienced Japanese cultures such as designing self-created characters.

Heard two specialized lectures on volunteering in the management of national and international sporting events given by Tokyo Marathon Foundation Volunteer Center, Bureau of Olympic & Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Observed the activities of tour guide volunteers in Asakusa.

The delegation moved from Tokyo to Hakuba, Nagano Prefecture around the middle of the program period. They participated in a leadership development workshop and experienced a couple of volunteer activities. They visited Hakuba High School to develop friendships with young Japanese of the same generation and experienced cleaning with the local students at the school. They acquired volunteer spirits and leadership skills through observing how the morals and values of the Japanese people are cultivated in daily life by staying with a Japanese family.

Practical training to acquire leadership skills at a height of 10 meters above ground level.
Experience of alpine botanical garden volunteers.
School exchange program at Hakuba High School through presentation on UAE and Japan for mutual understanding, cleaning, etc.
Practical training to learn about the importance of leadership as well as the difference between individual work and team work while recognizing the challenge of achieving goals as a group.

The main part of the program is to engage in the preparation work for Hakuba Snow Harp Cross Country Race (with more than 2000 contestants). They helped with site management and preparation of the prize for participation for two days. Despite the unusual heat, they enjoyed the volunteer work. At Hakuba village’s discretion, they were given an opportunity to be introduced as volunteers to the race participants by The Mayor of Hakuba.

2 days before the event, the female students mainly engaged in packing the prize for participation. They were expeditious to finish the task earlier than expected and continued working to do another task.
Male students engaged in site management such as setting up the tents.
The delegation with Hakuba Mayor at the Hakuba Snow Harp Cross Country Race Opening Ceremony

Through the 10 days program, the students listened attentively and gave serious consideration on volunteering. They were always punctual which showed their respect for Japanese philosophy such as principles and discipline. They took the initiative in performing tasks.

The Reporting Session was held on the last day of the program. Distinguished guests such as the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Japan His Excellency Mr. Khaled Alameri, some officials from Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (MEXT) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), with a view to Expo 2020 Dubai, attended and brought additional excitement to the session. The UAE students reported on their achievements through short videos shot and edited by themselves. After the Reporting Session, Mr. Yoshihiko Kamo, Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the UAE gave a special lecture titled “The Great Possibility of Power of Youth in the UAE and Japan”.

The delegation with distinguished guests after the Reporting Session
The UAE students reported on their achievements through short videos shot and edited by themselves.
OPIC showed the highlight of the program through a documentary film and made a summary comment.
From left to right: Ms. Tamima Alnaisar/Director of Watani Al Emarat Foundation, Ms. Sachiko Yamano/President, Mr. Hamad Abdulrazaq/Vice President and Executive Director of OPIC, His Excellency Mr. Khaled Alameri/Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Japan, Ms. Nouf Alzaabi/Ministry of Education, UAE
Mr. Yoshihiko Kamo, Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the UAE gave a special lecture for the delegation.

Have your eyes on Expo 2020 Dubai where 30,000 youth volunteers will be active. The students who participated in this training program are expected to take on an active role as “volunteer leaders” at Expo 2020 that will be held from 20 October, 2020 to 10 April, 2021 in Dubai, UAE.

JICE looks forward to continuing cooperation with OPIC Consulting and Training to put more effort into youth human resources development in Middle Eastern countries.

Youth Exchange Division, International Exchange Department