Okinawa, the southernmost island prefecture in Japan, hosts a 3-week summer camp program for 60 high school students from 15 Asian countries each year. “The Asian Youth Development Program in Okinawa (AYDPO)” was established in 2008 by Japanese Government and passed on to Okinawa Prefectural Government since 2011 empowering over 500 high school students and 100 university students.
The two objectives of the program are: (1) to foster and empower the youths to become innovative leaders, and (2) to build a human network centering on Okinawa. The core idea of designing this participatory program was based on theories related facilitation as well as workshop activities such as icebreakers, team building games, and group discussions were conducted with facilitation methods. Moreover, facilitation played key role to deepen participants’ learning and friendship.
Since the program’s goals are youth development and human networking, the organizational benefits should be evaluated in terms of “alternation of consciousness” and “behavior modification” perspectives. A follow-up survey was conducted in 2015 and 96% of the alumni said that the experience in AYEPO/ AYDPO influenced the alumni in terms of behaviors and actions.
Key Results Achieved
Key results achieved include:
Effectiveness of facilitation in achieving the goals has been proved empirically. Utilization of theories/methods related to facilitation such as Theory U, Back Casting, Experiential Learning Model, team-building games, mutual feedbacks, reflection, etc. functioned repeatedly in the multiple-year program.
High school student participants and university student tutors also recognized the effectiveness of facilitation by their experience in the program and some of them became tutors afterwards willing to support learning of new participants.
Participants developed (1) self-efficacy to achieve the goal and to work with people who have different ideas and abilities, and (2) ownership toward global or local problems.
This leads to increase in motivation to behavior modification. Examples of the behavior modifications are: to study abroad, major in environmental science, participate in the activities to solve the global and local issues, etc.
According to a follow-up survey conducted in 2015, most of the participants answered that the program influenced their way of thinking, values and behaviors significantly.
Sponsor: Executive Office of the Governor – Okinawa Prefectrual Government, Public Relations and International Exchange Division
Okinawa Prefectural Government
Facilitator: Ms. Rika Hiraki HIGA, Mr. Tadashi HIRAI (CPF), Mr. Norikazu TAKARA, Ms. Mirian MOROMIZATO, Mr. Hideyuki MATSUMOTO, and Ms. Mami FUJISHIMA