Every year, returning JET Programme participants in Hyogo are invited to participate in the Hyogo Special Goodwill Envoy Project. After receiving an official certificate from Governor Ido at Hyogo House, Goodwill Envoys go on to promote Hyogo in their post-JET life - whether that's back in their home country or elsewhere.
|Governor Ido addresses the new Goodwill Envoys|
On a very hot June afternoon, a total of 20 new Goodwill Envoys gathered at Hyogo House for the official designation ceremony. First off, US CIR Liz Snell Okada did a great job of summing up the best of what everyone's favourite prefecture has to offer, including her own personal favourite spots. Next up, Fifth year ALT J.J Cappa gave a very memorable presentation on his time in Asago.
Finally, Ms. Yumi Yoneda, the Prefectural Government's PR specialist gave a very detailed presentation on Hyogo, finishing with the saying, "Ichigo, Ichie" which translates roughly as "treasure every encounter, for it will never again occur".
I'm sure every one of this year's Goodwill Envoys have met with some once-in-a-lifetime encounters during their time in Hyogo, so it was definitely a poignant line to finish on.
Next up, the Goodwill Envoys received their official certificates from Governor Ido. With the gubernatorial elections coming up, Mr. Ido's schedule is hectic to say the least, so it was all the more meaningful that he took the time to attend the ceremony.
Suitably nervous, I gave my address as representative of the new Goodwill Envoys. As I said on the day, each and every one of the Goodwill Envoys should be immensely proud of what they have achieved here over the past one to five years.
Last of all, everyone gathered in the tearoom of Hyogo House for a brief tea party. Unfortunately, Governor Ido's schedule didn't allow him to attend for long, but it was a great opportunity for the Goodwill Envoys to talk with each other and the officials from the prefectural government. Ms. Yoneda also oversaw the filming of a brief interview with many of the new Envoys, which will go on to be shown at future orientations for new JETs.
All the best,