Part 1 A memoir written in honour of  SSEAYP homestay host families

Part 1

A memoir written in honour of  SSEAYP homestay host families

Recently the book, “The ship that spreads friendship”, was published by the SSEAYP International Singapore, and given away free to all Singapore homestay host families of the participating youths (PYs) of the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Programme (SSEAYP).  All PYs from ASEAN and Japan too received a free copy each on board the ship, Nippon Maru, on the day they left Singapore.

The famous Nippon Maru: The ship that spreads friendship.

The Japanese-mooted programme, SSEAYP, began its friendship mission in 1974 by ferrying its participating youths (PYs) from ASEAN and Japan for self-development activities as well as homestays for about 52 days during each annual SSEAYP trip.

This year, a total of some 330 PYs of SSEAYP were in Singapore for five days from 16 November.

Welcome Ceremony

At the Resort World Sentosa on Saturday 16 November 2019, during the 46th SSEAYP 2019 Welcome Ceremony for this year’s PYs. all the contingents of the 10 member ASEAN countries and Japan were warmly welcomed by the Guest-of-Honour, Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Transport.

After addressing the huge attendance, “The ship that spreads friendship” was launched by Mr Baey who unveiled a big poster of the book. A copy of the book was then presented to him by the author who is a SSEAYP homestay host for 30 years now, since 1989.

The following are some photos of the memorable occasion.

Awaiting the moment for the book to be unveiled.

The book is unveiled by the Guest-of-Honour, Mr Baey Yam Keng.

“The ship that spreads friendship” is launched and a copy is presented to Mr Baey.

The title of the book places emphasis on friendship. 

Some photos of the homestay families who wanted their copies to be autographed by the author.

Some of the homestay host families and the PYs from ASEAN and Japan having a nice time at the 46th SSEAYP Welcome Ceremony at the Resort World Sentosa.

Author’s homestay PYs

Since 1989, the author and his wife, Khairon, have been taking two PYs each year.  However, for the first time this year, due to general requests from the organisers, they took an additional two.  The four are, one PY from Brunei Darussalam, one from Laos and two from Vietnam.

After the launching of “The ship that spreads friendship” and the Welcome Ceremony in Sentosa, the four excited PYs headed to the home of the author for the 3-day homestay stint.

They are (from left) Bui Thuy Tien (Fairy) from Vietnam; Nur Hamizah Ziadi (Mizah) from Brunei Darussalam; Songvilay Phetsamone (Tonee) from Laos, and Nguyen Viet Anh (Anh) from Vietnam. The boys were wearing “I love Singapore” tee-shirts given to them by the author’s wife, Khairon, in yellow attire. In the other photo, Fairy is wearing a blue Indian attire lent to her by Khairon.

Deepavali Celebration

The Deepavali Celebration, organised by the SSEAYP International Singapore (SIS), was held at the Jurong Town Hall on Sunday 17 November for invited guests, not for the international PYs as they were enjoying their homestay stint on this day. However, the author, his wife and his four homestay PYs were invited. The Guest-of-Honour of the function was Singapore’s President, Madam Halimah Yacob.

The following are some memorable photos taken at the celebration.

Happy moments with friends at the Deepavali Ceremony.

Many Chinese and Malays attend the function wearing Indian attire in the spirit of “Truly Singapore” togetherness.

At the ceremony, Japanese officials as well some other officials each received a signed copy of “The ship that spreads friendship”.

Happy to receive a copy of “The ship that spreads friendship”.

When the Guest-of-Honour, the President of Singapore, Mdm Halimah Yacob, arrived, she was introduced to the author and given a copy of the book.

My PYs had a nice and enjoyable Singapore homestay experience. Other PYs would have experienced the same pleasure too with their respective host families.

One of my PYs, Nur Hamizah Mohd Ziadi (Mizah) from Brunei Darussalam, said she would come back to Singapore next year.

Mizah said: “I love my homestay family and because of that I was waiting eagerly to receive the book, and when I received it on the ship, I began reading it whenever I had the time.”

Mizah: “I was waiting eagerly to receive the book, and when I received it on the ship, I began reading it whenever I had the time.”

She continued: “The book truly captures the essence of SSYEAP as it shows the different experiences of the people involved – the ex-PYs, host families, the alumni association officials and many more. It made me even gladder and proud to be part of SSYEAP.

I’m sure the book would also be enjoyed by those who are not familiar with SSEAYP as it gives a wonderful insight for those interested to take the leap and be part of the ever-growing SSYEAP family.

I like this informative book and shall cherish and treasure it. However, I shall lend it to my friends for them to know more about SSEAYP and its activities in bonding friendships.”

Shaik Kadir
30 November 2019

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