Five Camden students made a trip of a lifetime to Japan as part of Camden’s friendship agreement with Kagoshima prefecture.
The sixth-formers were all selected to join the week-long trip in October as guests of the Mayor of Camden after writing an essay on Japanese culture.
They stayed with Japanese families, met the Governor of Kagoshima and visited the museum which tells the story of Kagoshima’s 150-year-old link with Camden and the 19 Japanese students who were smuggled out of their country in the 19th century to study at University College London.
The Camden young people were thrilled to experience Japanese food, culture and customs, as well as visit a school in Kagoshima to meet the current generation of local students. The Japanese and British flags were flown side-by-side in honour of their visit.
Dea Badivuku, aged 17, of LaSWAP Sixth Form, said: “The trip was life-changing and experiencing a culture parallel to my own will forever shape me. The trip itself held monumental moments, for both the hosts and us, and undergoing a week of Japanese life has transformed the way I look at both traditional aspects of British and Japanese culture. “
It is hoped that other Camden students will have the opportunity to visit Japan through the official friendship link which now exists between our borough and Kagoshima.
The other four students who travelled to Japan with The Mayor, Councillor Maryam Eslamdoust (pictured, centre), were Njomza Bashkurti, 17, of Haverstock School, Sabhiya Begum, 17, of Haverstock School, Zulfa Armeth, 17, of Hampstead School, and Ewan Graham Diatta, 17, of Haverstock School.
They were accompanied by Haverstock School history teacher Samuel Marcus (pictured, second from right) and Martin Pratt, Camden Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director, Supporting People (pictured, centre).
Costs of official Camden guests were covered by the Japanese and the students’ families paid a contribution towards the cost of their flights.