Co-operation Ireland’s Young Leaders build connections in Hawaii 

Co-operation Ireland’s Young Leaders build connections in Hawaii 

Tue 03 Oct 2023 by Co-operation Ireland

A delegation of young people from Co-operation Ireland have visited Hawaii to forge links and develop education and peace building strategies.

The trip saw participants in the Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders Programme travel to the island of Oahu to link up with charity HawaiiKidsCan – an organisation that helps to improve educational outcomes.

The Future Leaders spent a week visiting NGOs and working in social enterprises. They were also received by the First Lady of the State, Jaime Kanani Green at the official residence of the Governor, Jamie Green.

There, they took part in a discussion with local public and private school students before a visit to Princess Ruth Ke’elikolani Middle School where they participated in an interactive session with the After-School All-Stars Hawaii initiative. 

In another event organised with Hawaiian students, the Future Leaders explored the vision of young people for their role in communities across both Ireland and Hawaii. 

This was facilitated through “Rediscovering Hawai‘i’s Soul” with the Hawai’i Executive Collaborative – a group founded 50 years ago to get CEOs and top decision makers personally involved in collaborative efforts that would build resilience for Hawaii’s people. 

The Future Leaders then took up an opportunity to contribute to a social action initiative — the restoration of the He‘eia Fishpond. This project not only connected Native Hawaiian and Irish cultural elements but also shed light on the parallel challenges both islands face in the wake of climate change.

The final leg of the journey was spent at the Davis Democracy Initiative at Punahou School. Here, the young leaders shadowed students, engaging in discussions on topics such as climate change. 

They also took on the task of teaching a senior European History class about the peace process on the Island of Ireland and between Britain and Ireland. 

This collaborative effort between Co-operation Ireland and the Davis Democracy Initiative showcased the potential for growth in their partnership, opening avenues for continued collaboration.

The journey to Hawaii was not just a geographical exploration but also an immersion into diverse cultures, histories, and community initiatives. Co-operation Ireland’s Future Leaders emerged from this experience not only with a broader perspective on peace but also with the seeds of enduring connections planted across the Pacific.

CI Future Leader Arón Hughes said, “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and will hopefully be the beginning of a new connection that young people from Hawaii and Ireland will soon have access to. Surprisingly, our islands have so much in common despite being so far apart.

“I want to thank to Co-operation Ireland for having me on board to assist in designing and building this programme and express my gratitude to David Sun-Miyashiro from HawaiiKidsCAN for hosting us through our trip and for all his support in creating this programme.

“I also want to thank Brett Carey and Kekoa McClellan for their support throughout. This is a very exciting programme which is just getting started.”

Click to access the login or register cheese