SINGAPORE: Some 300 youths from 11 countries are in Singapore as part of the 37th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP).
The youths from various ASEAN countries as well as Japan were at Temasek Polytechnic to build a replica of their ship and as well as to set a unique Singapore record.
The challenge for them is to use 1500 cans to build a replica of the Fuji Maru which is taking the participants around the region for 53 days.
Jenny Koh, Singapore's Reception Committee Chairman of the 37th SSEAYP, said the replica was built not only to foster ties and create friendship, but also to mark the programme's commitment to environmental conservation – one of the many current issues discussed on board the ship.
And they collaborated with Temasek Polytechnic students, MINDS and the Spastic Childrens' Association of Singapore to do so.
62-year-old Akira Takahashi, who is a renowned recycling artist, said students were told in advance to collect cans from their own countries.
“We can give the impact that we are recycling not only in Singapore but also our neighbours, we are asking them to recycle together,” said Takahashi who is born in Singapore.
The participants wasted nothing. The bottom of the cans were used to create the 'ocean', and the drink tabs were strung together to set a new Singaporean record for the longest wave of drink can tabs – 428 metres long to be exact.
The activity was part of the SSEAYP's Youth Engagement Programme and in line with the this year's SSEAYP theme of “Solidarity, Peace, Care and Share'.
The SSEAYP is an annual programme sponsored by the Japanese government. The programme, which was started in 1974, is supported by the ASEAN member countries.
It aims to foster friendship and a mutual understanding among youths from the various participating countries.
30-year old Zatan Tan, who is a Youth Leader on the Fuji Maru, said he has gained from the experience.
“We are split up into different groups, where we learn to interact, and really work with each other, have meals with each other, and even in our cabins, we are living with youth's from different countries,” said the Singaporean who has been on the ship for almost 40 days.
The participants aged between 18 and 30, will head to Vietnam next.
They will be going to Vietnam next, after which the ship will head back to Japan where participants will spend about 10 days before going back to their respective countries.
Channel News Asia