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World Travelers

ふれあい子ども講座 「世界へはばたけ吉田っ子~国際交流をはかろう」 Yoshida's World-Traveling Kids

Something different that we're doing right now on the Kids2Kids program is offering two different programs at the same time! It's quite a feat to pull off.😅

Together with our exchange program with New Zealand at Jeugia Culture Center (, we have organized a mini-course with a group of elementary and junior high kids at Yoshida Community Center. This group is doing an exchange with three groups in the Philippines that we got to know earlier this year.

This is the first time we've done the program in this format, which also brings junior high school students into the picture. Although the program focuses on the younger kids, the junior high school students are there to help out and learn some leadership skills as they guide the younger kids. It's been amazing to watch them all blossom.

**************** The program is made up of four sessions and adds a community service segment: river cleanup and a firefly conservation program.

One of the focuses of this program is on the SDGs and clean water. The kids in Japan had front-row seats to a mangrove project that is being carried out in the Philippines and learned about different water conservation projects that Kitakyushu has been involved in over the years from the junior high school students who worked hard in researching information about projects in Phnom Penh and other cities.

To bring home just how important it is to be able to turn on the taps and pour yourself a drink of water, we also talked about how some people, including kids, travel long distances just to get water for drinking or bathing. We touched upon how this affects the ability to go to school and how not being able to get an education has an effect on your future.

To illustrate the difficulties of removing contaminants from water, the kids carried out a simple water filter experiment using coffee filters and water with dirt and food coloring mixed in. They found out that while it was relatively easy to remove dirt, pebbles and sticks from the water just by filtering it through a coffee filter from the 100 yen store, the water stayed the same color when food coloring was added, which was an indication that "chemicals" remained in the water even after it was filtered so it wouldn't be safe to drink.

At our next classes, the kids will take a look at school and daily life in the Philippines and Japan and catch a glimpse of their future selves by not simply asking themselves what they want to be in the future, but zeroing in on what problems around their communities and the world they want to be able to find solutions for.

A "kindness rock garden" will remain at the center which will include messages from the kids in Japan and the Philippines to inspire everyone who sees it.

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