Supporter of youth development Melco Resorts & Entertainment recently co-organized a Japan-Macau cultural heritage preservation and youth leadership program titled ‘Leader 101’ with local Macau association Junior Chamber International (JCI) Hou Kong and JCI Himeji. The program’s key feature was a five-day cultural exchange trip held in Himeji, Japan in mid-August. A group of almost 70 young leaders from Macau and Japan aged 12-15 took part in legacy preservation endeavors related to Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Hyōgo Prefecture, establishing friendships with fellow program participants along the way.
Back in Macau, a closing ceremony celebrating the efforts of the participants and the tremendous success of the program was held at the Macao Youth Entrepreneurs Incubation Centre on August 31. During the event, the 21 participants from Macau shared their experiences as the first graduates of the ‘Leader 101’ program, presenting how the project contributed positive changes to their personal development.
“My favorite part of the program was learning about the history and traditions behind the Japanese tea ceremony which are so different from my understanding of the Chinese tea ceremony. The experience showed me how culture can influence how something like tea is enjoyed and appreciated around the world,” said one student, Amy Chiang. “It also helped me gain a better understanding of the importance to preserve such beautiful traditions for future generations.”
The project’s theme of “Preserving Legacy, Creating the Future” resonates with the JCI mission statement: to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. Over the years, to extend its impact within the community, JCI Hou Kong has worked with corporate partners with whom it shares common values. Melco is one such example, as a company which integrates corporate social responsibility within its business strategy to positively impact communities.
Ms. Akiko Takahashi, Melco’s Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff to Chairman and CEO, commented: “We are very pleased to support JCI Hou Kong and JCI Himeji to provide leadership opportunities for young people in Macau, enabling them to strengthen their knowledge in cultural preservation and further promote the cause. We hope that the training initiatives in Japan and the opportunities to visit Melco’s world-class entertainment and leisure facilities help broaden participants’ horizons, to inspire innovative thinking and personal leadership skills.”
Senior Analyst and Melco volunteer Stanley Cheong, who supported the youths’ visit to Himeji, shared Takahashi’s view. Witnessing the positive outcome of ‘Leader 101’, he expressed, “While students appeared shy at the start of the program, they gradually opened up and became much more confident in expressing their views, actively interacting and engaging with other local Macau and Japanese participants.”
This article is sponsored by Melco Resorts & Entertainment.