A Golden Opportunity for Students to Celebrate Unity Amidst Diversity!
Article by Corporate Communication Unit, PPKS
The recent 6-day Global Citizenship Programme was an eye-opener for a group of students from Toyo University, Japan and the International College of Advanced Technology Sarawak (i-CATS). Indeed, it was a golden opportunity for the students from Japan and Malaysia to celebrate unity amidst diversity in Kuching, the City of Unity!
A total of thirty-two students comprising twenty (20) students from Toyo University and twelve (12) i-CATS students participated in the programme from 15 to 20 February 2020. The programme was co-organized by Toyo University and Global Incubation x Fostering Talents (GiFT), Japan, and supported by The Midin Events Company and i-CATS. GiFT, a non-profit organization based in Tokyo, Japan, offers various Global Citizenship Education programmes involving youths in various countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. GiFT’s programmes support the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During the course of the programme, the students visited various places of interest and tourist attractions in and around Kuching and Bau. In addition to various activities at i-CATS, the students also spent time with their host families. This enabled the Japanese students to experience first-hand, Sarawak’s renowned hospitality. For the students from Toyo University, it was their first visit to Sarawak; a voyage to experience Sarawak as a treasure trove of culture, adventure, nature, food, and festivals (CANFF)!
On 20 February 2020, a ‘GiFT Day cum Closing Ceremony’ was held at the i-CATS West Campus, Jalan Stampin Timur, Kuching. The students were divided into teams, with each team comprising Toyo University and i-CATS students. True to the theme of Unity Amidst Diversity, each team created their version of a Global Citizenship Dish. The students also presented their culinary delights to a panel of commentators. As part of their presentation, both Japanese and Malaysian students had to share their experience on working together to produce their gastronomic delights. For the participants, the various activities brought home the importance of drawing on the strengths of a diverse group, comprising individuals of different nationalities and backgrounds, to advance the noble cause of making the world a better place for all.
During the closing ceremony, Mr. Tan Kai, Political Secretary to the Chief Minister of Sarawak (who represented the guest of honour Yang Berhormat Dato Sri Professor Dr. Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Local Government and Housing) commended the various parties for organizing the Global Citizenship Programme. He also shared on the strong bond of unity among Sarawak’s many different races/ethnic groups. Indeed, the bond of unity in Sarawak resembles the beautiful, intricately woven patterns of the garments worn by the many ethnic groups! Mr. Tan Kai also commended the organizers for using ‘Personal Story-based Learning’ to facilitate the participants’ learning experience. Much to the delight of the audience, Mr. Tan Kai shared his own personal story!
In his speech, Mr Mohamad Isham Bin Fauzi, Deputy Executive Director (Business Development) of Sarawak Skills and Chief Executive Officer of the International College of Advanced Technology Sarawak (i-CATS), expressed his thanks to Yang Berhormat Dato Sri Professor Dr. Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Local Government and Housing and Mr. Tan Kai, Political Secretary to the Chief Minister of Sarawak for their tremendous support. He also shared, “This Global Citizenship Programme is in line with our character-building programme. Through the character-building programme, in addition to technical skills, our students hone other important essential skills that give human beings the edge, e.g. Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, Problem-solving and Decision-making. By participating in the Global Citizenship Programme, I hope that the students have been able to improve their Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Social Quotient (SQ). This will be an asset for you to become good citizens and future leaders.”
Among those present at the closing ceremony were Mr. Yasutomi Yuki, GiFT Coordinator/Facilitator, Ms Hanamaru Yukari, GiFT Coordinator/Facilitator, Mr. Chew Kim Soon, Chief Executive Officer, The Midin Events Company, Ms Rosmawati Binti Priman, Chief Operating Officer, i-CATS, Dr. Leo Sing Lim, Academic Director, i-CATS and Mr. Stanley Gona Chee Khiong, Head of Research and Corporate Affairs, Sarawak Skills Development Centre.