Young HSRC leader joins prestigious Ship for World Youth programme

The HSRC’s Dr Firdous Khan has been selected to be part of the Ship for World Youth programme, a mostly ship-based international youth exchange programme sponsored by the Cabinet Office of the Japanese Government.

Khan is one of 12 talented young South African leaders who will join more than 200 participants from 11 countries, first in Tokyo and then on board the Japanese Nippon Maru ship between 16 January and 4 March 2018.

“We will attend seminars in Tokyo and then board the ship in Yokohama. For four weeks, the ship will be our venue for meetings and seminars. The youth will be involved in running workshops and discussions on topics such as economic development, disease, inclusion and sustainability. The participants will be challenged to deepen their mutual understanding, broaden global perspectives, and strengthen their spirit of international cooperation,” says Khan, a post-doctoral fellow and research specialist in the HSRC’s Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators.

She says the programme aims to develop the ability to deal with different cultures and to improve leadership and management skills through discussions and cultural exchange. “It will broaden our global views and strengthen our spirit of international cooperation and, as a result, cultivate youth who are capable of contributing to society by exercising their leadership skills in various fields in our globalising and diversifying societies. We hope to establish a strong human network beyond national borders.”

The ship will dock at ports in India and Sri Lanka where participants will meet government officials and attend meetings.

Khan says the 12 South African delegates were selected from around the country based on the contributions they have made in their respective fields. Khan holds a PhD in Biotechnology and an MSc in Bioinformatics from the University of the Western Cape. “I was selected by South Africa’s National Youth Development Agency and Japanese consulate for this programme after being named as one of the 2017 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans in the Health Category. During the programme, I will be one of the main contributors in the health and social innovation seminars. I will also be the presentation coordinator for the South African delegation and the PR and communications representative.”

According to Khan, the South African delegates are working hard to prepare for the trip and they welcome any contributions to finalise their team uniform, cultural attire, souvenirs, South African branded items, and for the hosting of a South African delegation party. Please contact Dr Firdous Khan on for more information.

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