The Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of the South Pacific [USP], Professor Pal Ahluwalia, officially launched the Japan East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths [JENESYS] 2021 project on 14 February.
The Government of Japan fully funds the JENESYS project, and it provides the opportunity for Pacific Islands Youths to experience Japan and promote cultural exchange by engaging with local communities, experience homestay with local families, interacting with high school and university students as well as visiting cultural, heritage and tourist sites.
In the welcome remarks by Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Dr Giulio Paunga thanked the Japan Embassy and implementing agency Japan Overseas Cooperative Association for their strong support and active participation that has made the JENESYS Project a reality.
JENESYS was borne out of the successful implementation of the Kizuna Project, and to date, USP has successfully implemented seven projects.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan, His Excellency Kawakami Fumihiro, highlighted the growing partnerships between Japan and Pacific Islands Countries.
Moreover, his Excellency stated that the initiative is the outcome of the summit level 9th PALM leaders meeting that was held in Japan in July of 2021, highlighting that people-to-people exchange programme will continue between Japan and Pacific Island Countries to build close cooperative relationships, cultural exchange and forge the bond of friendship.
Professor Ahluwalia outlined USP’s dynamic role in the Pacific region underpinned by its unique cultural identity, deeply rooted, and inherited cultural preservations that form an integral component of our work, creating a firm bond between Pacific Island Countries with Japan will prevail.
The JENESYS Programme is an annual project coordinated physically by the USP International Office, giving opportunities to Pacific Island Youths to travel, explore and enjoy tours under various educational themes and experience homestays. Due to the Global COVID 19 pandemic, the programme has transitioned to a virtual platform, and the University rose to the challenge, successfully hosting its first-ever JENESYS virtual tour.
The virtual programme is implemented in collaboration with the implementing agency Japan Overseas Cooperative Association in Japan. The JENESYS 2021 programme has been scheduled for two weeks under the themes of Tradition and Culture and Peacebuilding for Pacific Islands Countries. Upon successful completion, participants of each tour will receive a certificate of participation and merchandise package for their contributions, and they automatically join the Japan Pacific Alumni Association (JPAA), which carries out community services, volunteer works, and promoting the JENESYS Project.