Sixteen student ambassadors and three chaperones successfully completed their 10-day homestay in Takeo in July 2023. Since their original trip scheduled for March 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic, the delegation waited for 3.5 years to reunite with their sister city friends and meet their families.
The student ambassadors, now ages 17 and 18, were able to have life-changing experiences, thanks to Takeo World Friends. Every aspect of the stay was so thoughtfully planned for us – from host family coordination to the rich curriculum packed with meaningful, well-balanced, and fun activities.
Activities included visits to the city hall to meet the mayor and the city officials, Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and Nagasaki Peace Park, local middle schools and preschool, Takeo area disaster relief support agency, Takeo Library, and Kiyomizu waterfall. Also, there were some hands-on and participatory activities such as sushi-making class, calligraphy workshop, fabric dyeing with green tea, and “sports chanbara” (kendo-like athletic activity). The student ambassadors also enjoyed spending time with their host family on the weekend.
Reflecting on the trip, one of the Sebastopol student ambassadors said, “Now it appears clear to me how as much as a simple kindness or acceptance can have the most profound of effects.” It sums up the power of citizen diplomacy – people to people peacebuilding effort, which SWF is deeply committed to.
We would like to express our gratitude to:
- Sebastopol students and their families for being extraordinary ambassadors embodying our mission “World Peace, One Friend at a Time”
- Takeo World Friends, host families, and the community of Takeo for their world-class hospitality, kindness, generosity, and love!
- The Sebastopol City Council and the community of Sebastopol for their unwavering support of our program
Learn more about the trip! Please stay tuned for Student Ambassadors’ Travel Blog, slideshow, and more.