Primary school students exchange program
22 July 2010
Four primary school children from Tonga, together with their chaperon, are currently in Japan to attend a meeting of children from forty eight different countries in the world, for friendly interaction and exchanges.
The children are Siosifa Pone, GPS Fua'amotu, Viliami Tauki'uvea, GPS Haveluliku, Xanthippe Tausisi from Kai'avale GPS, and Katalina Likio from Ha'asini GPS.
Over 225 children from more than 40 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region are invited to participate this year. The first day is a global exchange camp where they interact with each other and then ten days are spent in a home stay with host Japanese families.
The children and their mothers met the Hon. Si'atukimoana Vaea, Deputy Director for Schools, before departing to Japan on July 15th. The Hon. Si'atu thanked the parents for their support of the program, and especially the mothers who spent a lot of effort in getting costumes and other cultural artifacts for the journey.
The group is accompanied by education officer, Ikatonga Vaka'uta, who said that they will travel through New Zealand and Singapore before they arrive in Japan.
A teary Vaioema Likio from Lavengatonga, mother of Katalina Likio said that on behalf of the parents that they thank the Almighty and the people of Japan that their children are able to take part in this program. "We believe and pray that God will prepare the way for them that they have a good journey as well as their chaperon, so that they arrive safely and complete their duties and the programs that have been arranged for them, and that they will arrive safely back here in Tonga."
"We feel of course the impending parting with the children," Lilio continued, "but I wish to express our immense gratitude to the Hon. Minister and the Director for giving this opportunity to our children, for entrusting our children with this duty and this program, for which we are indeed most grateful."
In saying farewell to the group, Hon. Si'atukimoana Vaea said that "Always remember you go as representatives of our country. Your behavior when you meet people, teachers, school children, always remember you are representing our country."
Issued by the: Ministry of Education, Women Affairs and Culture, Nuku'alofa, 2010.