Food Diversity Voyage Programme an Eye-opening Experience for Students from Toyo University and i-CATS

Article by Corporate Communication Unit, PPKS

The recent Food Diversity Voyage Programme was an eye-opening experience for a group of students from Toyo University, Japan and the International College of Advanced Technology Sarawak (i-CATS). For the participants, it 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.

A total of thirty-two students comprising twenty (20) students from Toyo University and twelve (12) i-CATS students participated in the programme in Kuching from 25 August to 30 August 2018. The programme was co-organized by Toyo University and Global Incubation x Fostering Talents (GiFT), Japan in collaboration with the Midin Events Company, and supported locally by i-CATS and Politeknik Kuching Sarawak. 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, Singapore and Thailand. In a nutshell, GiFT’s programmes support the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Indeed, for many students, participating in GiFT’s Global Citizenship Education programmes is a significant milestone along life’s journey; it often sets the stage for lifelong friendships and development of core values such as mutual trust and respect for fellow human beings around the globe.

During the course of the Food Diversity Voyage programme in Kuching, the students visited various places of interest and tourist attractions in and around Kuching and Bau. In addition to team building 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.

On 30 August 2018, a ‘GiFT Day cum Closing Ceremony’ was held at the i-CATS West Campus, Jalan Stampin Timur, Kuching. The students were divided into six (6) teams, with each team comprising Toyo University and i-CATS students. In their quest to showcase the best of both worlds, each team prepared Japanese and Malaysian dishes. The students had to present 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 the various dishes.

During the closing ceremony, Mr. Mohd Shukeri Drahman, Head of Kuching Division, Sarawak Youth and Sports Department (who represented the Guest of Honour, Mr. Mohd Nizam bin Ismail, Director of the Sarawak Youth and Sports Department) commended the various parties for organising the Food Diversity Voyage Programme. He highlighted that the programme enabled the students to learn from each other as they participated in various activities. He also encouraged the parties to consider organising a similar programme for Malaysian students to visit Japan. During his speech, Mr. Mohd Shukeri also shared on Sarawak’s rich cultural heritage.

In his speech, Mr. Stanley Gona, Senior Manager of Corporate Services, Pusat Pembangunan Kemahiran Sarawak (PPKS) took the opportunity to thank Mr. Mohd Shukeri Drahman for his support and presence to officiate at the event. He also thanked GiFT, Toyo University and the Midin Events Company for organizing the Food Diversity Voyage Programme. He highlighted that it was an honour for i-CATS, a subsidiary company of PPKS, to support the programme and contribute to the development of global citizens.

Among those present at the closing ceremony were Ms Chie Aikawa (GiFT Facilitator), Mr. Kentaro Kubo (GiFT Coordinator), Mr. Chew Kim Soon (CEO, Midin Events Company), Mr. Lim Che Chien (Coordinator, Politeknik Kuching Sarawak) and Dr. Leo Sing Lim, Academic Director, i-CATS.

Front Row:
Second from left: Mr. Kentaro Kubo, GiFT Coordinator
Third from left: Mr. Chew Kim Soon, CEO, Midin Events Company
Fourth from left: Mr. Lim Che Chien, Coordinator, Politeknik Kuching Sarawak
Fifth from left: Mr. Stanley Gona, Senior Manager of Corporate Services, Pusat Pembangunan Kemahiran Sarawak (PPKS)
Sixth from left: Mr. Mohd Shukeri Drahman, Head of Kuching Division, Sarawak Youth and Sports Department
Fourth from right: Dr. Leo Sing Lim, Academic Director, i-CATS
Second from right: Ms Chie Aikawa, GiFT Facilitator

One of the teams: Presentation of culinary delights.