4-H international programming: Japanese Kado Labo Party

Michigan 4-H is celebrating the 15th year anniversary of the 4-H Japanese Kado Labo Party as one of the partnering organizations of States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs.

Members of the Japanese Kado Labo Party. Photo credit: Jan Brinn | MSU Extension
Members of the Japanese Kado Labo Party. Photo credit: Jan Brinn | MSU Extension

Labo is a family-based Japanese youth organization. The Labo Party clubs are led and organized by Labo tutors. Similar to 4-H in the United States were membership is youth 5-8 years old (clover buds) and 9-19 years old, the Labo youth in Japan are between the ages of 3 and 18. 4-H and Labo share the same goal of positive youth development.

The 4-H Japanese Kado Labo Party is celebrating its 15th year anniversary in March 2015. Michigan 4-H is celebrating with the Kado Labo Party as one of the partnering organizations with States’ 4-H International Exchange Programs (S4-H). Michigan 4-H provides many 4-H global and cultural education programs, including international exchange programs that include valuable opportunities for Michigan families to host international exchange students and Michigan youth to travel oversees to participate in cultural immersion programs.

Fuyuko Kado, a Labo Party tutor, has been to Michigan participating as a chaperone in the 4-H International S4-H exchange program and has hosted Michigan 4-H staff in Japan many times. Kado stated, “Some Michigan staff are like sisters to me and we have stayed connected for these 15 years.” It is this global connection that has made the Kado Labo Party part of the Michigan 4-H family and is a reason for Michigan 4-H to celebrate this 15th anniversary with them.

Japanese youth who participate in Labo will be traveling to Michigan to become part of families this summer. The Michigan 4-H International Exchange - Japan Summer Inbound Program is open to all families who have a child close in age to the Japanese youth. Most of the Japanese youth are ages 12-16, so we’re primarily looking for Michigan families that have children between the ages of 10 and 18. Families do not need to be currently involved with 4-H in order to host. One Japanese visitor will be matched to a family based on the host sibling’s gender, age and interests. The homestays are only for a month during the summer, but the experience will last a lifetime. Applications to be a host family with the 2015 Japan Summer Inbound Program are being accepted through May 1.

Please contact the 2015 Japan Inbound Exchange Coordinator Brian Wibby at wibby@anr.msu.edu if your family is interested in participating. Also, connect with the Michigan 4-H International Exchange on Facebook for updates. Maybe you will be hosting a Kado Labo Party delegate!

Other global educational opportunities can also be found on the Michigan State University Extension Global & Cultural Education website. For more information about 4-H learning opportunities and other 4-H programs, contact your local MSU Extension county office.

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