For five decades, Pembina Trails students have experienced a unique friendship with students living 9,000 kilometers away.
The Winnipeg-Setagaya Goodwill Exchange originally started with General Byng School 50 years ago, even before Winnipeg became sister cities with the Japanese community. The exchange is recognized as one of the oldest of its kind in Western Canada.
The first delegation was small, only four students. Fast forward to today, and there are 21 young people involved from schools across the division including General Byng School, École Viscount Alexander, École Charleswood School and Institut Collégial Vincent Massey Collegiate. The Japanese delegation, students and chaperones, arrived in September. The group’s itinerary is packed with activities and adventures aimed at giving a glimpse into Canadian life. Students will have the chance to explore a prairie farm, go curling and even shake hands with Winnipeg’s Mayor, Brian Bowman.
This friendship gives students, from both countries, the opportunity to build bridges across national boundaries. The aim is to encourage participants to become global citizens and begin to think even more about issues and events that matter beyond their backyards.
In January 2020, students from Pembina Trails will have the opportunity to visit their Japanese exchange partners in Setagaya.