Indonesian and Thai CFP Goodwill Ambassadors visit Japan

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May 22, 2024

A group of school children, accompanied by senior coordinators, from Indonesia and Thailand visited Japan for the 2024 Children’s Forest Program (CFP) Goodwill Ambassadors Program from May 15 through May 22.

   This program first started in 2012 and was held every year except for a few years during the Corona virus infection disaster. The purpose of this program is to provide opportunities for participating children to observe and learn about environment conservation on site and bring back the results and apply them after going back home. It is also aimed to express appreciation and to report to Japanese companies and organizations supporting the CFP as well as to Japanese school children participating in CFP, on the current situation of their activities at home. 

   The participants of this year’s program comprised two children, 5th graders from elementary schools in Java Island, Indonesia, and two children, from elementary schools in Surin Province, Thailand. From each country, a CFP coordinator accompanied the children.

   Immediately following their arrival in Japan, the Children’s Ambassadors group flew to Hokkaido where they carried out a variety of activities. They visited two elementary schools located in suburban Sapporo and had interactive presentations about their environmental conservation activities. They watched Japanese children perform traditional dances, while in return, they presented the dances of their countries. 

   They went to Eco-rin village where they experienced forest conservation activities such as making wooden nameplates. During their stay in Hokkaido, they enjoyed homestay at a Japanese family. They were very excited to taste Japanese food and to take a bath at a public bathhouse (hot spring) for the first time in their life.  

   After spending 4 days’ of exciting activities in Hokkaido, the group moved by air to Osaka. 

Their first activity in Osaka was a talk event held on-site and online at Umeda. They presented on the actual situation of their CFP activities to the Japanese audience, mostly OISCA members and ordinary people as well.

   Then, they visited Kansai-based companies supporting CFP to share the current status of their CFP activities with the employees of each company.

   In addition, the group also paid a visit to Kunisaki Clean Center which is the world’s top class garbage treatment plant and Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution in Kobe which was established to commemorate the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995.   Despite the language barrier, the children somehow managed to communicate with their Japanese counterparts. All the participants affirmed that they would definitely tell their school friends about what they saw, heard and experienced in Japan after returning home.