A group photo during the closing ceremony of the programme.

KUCHING: The recent six-day Global Citizenship Programme was a golden opportunity for students from Toyo University, Japan and the International College of Advanced Technology Sarawak (i-CATS) to celebrate unity amidst diversity in Kuching, the City of Unity.

A total of 32 students – 20 from Toyo University and 12 from i-CATS – participated in the programme from February 15 to 20.

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 allowed the Japanese students to experience Sarawak’s renowned hospitality first-hand, with this also being the Toyo University students’ first visit to Sarawak.

The programme was co-organised by Toyo University and Global Incubation x Fostering Talents (GiFT), Japan, a non-profit organisation based in Tokyo which offers various Global Citizenship Education programmes involving youth in various countries.

A group photo during the closing ceremony of the programme.

On February 20, a GiFT Day cum closing ceremony was held at the i-CATS West Campus at Stampin Timur Road here.

The students were divided into teams, each creating their version of a Global Citizenship Dish – true to the theme of ‘Unity Amidst Diversity’.

The students also presented their dishes to a panel of commentators. As part of their presentation, the Japanese and Malaysian students worked together to produce their gastronomic delights.

During the closing ceremony, political secretary to the chief minister Tan Kai, who represented Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, commended the various parties for organising the Global Citizenship Programme and for using personal story-based learning.

He also highlighted the strong bond of unity among Sarawak’s many different ethnic groups.

Meanwhile, in his speech, i-CATS chief executive officer Mohamad Isham Fauzi said, “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 essential skills that give people the edge – such as 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,” he added.

Also present at the closing ceremony were GiFT coordinators Yasutomi Yuki and Hanamaru Yukari, i-CATS chief operating officer Rosmawati Priman, i-CATS academic director Dr Leo Sing Lim, and Sarawak Skills Development Centre (PPKS) head of research and corporate affairs Stanley Gona Chee Khiong.