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Heart of America

Kurashiki Youth Goodwill Delegation Program


We are looking for HOST FAMILIES for the visiting 2024 Japanese high school students!

 1st Homestay:  July 26 - July 31st

July 31 - Host Family Exchange Dinner - Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse

2nd Homestay:  July 31 - August 6

August 6 - Farewell Dinner - Sylvester Powell Community Center

If you are interested, please fill out a Host Family interest form:

Host Family Interest Form

For more information, contact Jun H. Shrout at or (816)590- 3747.

More Information About 2024 Program (exact dates still to be determined): 

Kurashiki is Kansas City's Sister City in Japan.  Each year the Heart of America Japan-America Society sends three or four students from the KC area to Kurashiki.  In late July, Kurashiki sends seven students (ages 15-16) and an adult chaperone to visit the Kansas City area.  In 2024, the students will arrive in KC around July 23th .  The first three nights, they stay together in a hotel.  During that time, HAJAS will take them to a high school, a farm, Worlds of Fun, and to meet the Mayor of KC as well as other activities.  We like to keep them together to get acclimated to the US and practice their English skills.  They do speak English, but at first are shy--afraid their pronunciation is incorrect.

Students will stay with each of their two host families for approximately six days. Week One Host families will pick up the students after 3 days (July 26th), at the hotel.  There is an Exchange Dinner on July 31st that both host families are invited to attend.  Kurashiki students usually provide a short entertainment about their culture.   After the Exchange Dinner, the student will go home with the Week Two family until the students departure (August 7th).  On August 6th, there will be a Farewell Dinner for both host families and students at the Sylvester Powell Community Center.  The students will spend their last night near the airport and leave for Japan the next morning. 

We ask that host families not leave the student at home alone.  We welcome families with school-aged children.    The students are here to learn about American families and living in the US. They love to shop, go to sports game, church and any other activities and outings the family does.  

We will have a host family meeting before the students arrive to give you more information.  If you are interested or have questions, contact HAJAS at .

This is a fun opportunity for you and your family to meet someone from Japan and share the US with them.

Kansas City, Missouri -- Kurashiki, Okayama

Established: May 1972 

Annual student exchanges -- to and from Kurashiki;
Adult exchanges on each 5th year anniversary -- to and from Kurashiki;

For the 25th anniversary in 1997 of the Sister Cities relationship -- Kurashiki donated 25 Yaezakura double flowering cherry trees that were planted in a midtown park (Loose Park) in Kansas City -- Kansas City donated 25 Flowering Dogwood trees (the State tree of Missouri) that were planted in the heart of the city of Kurashiki in Friendship Square;

For the 30th anniversary in 2002, the Kurashiki government and citizens donated monies for a Japanese Tearoom and Garden that was placed in Loose Park -- the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department and Greater Kansas City citizens donated monies to fully fund the project (the Tearoom and Garden were dedicated in 2006 with Kurashiki Mayor Furuichi and a delegation from Kurashiki and local Kansas City governmental officials and citizens); 

For the 35th anniversary in 2007, Mayor Kenzo Furuichi brought 480 Kurashiki governmental officials and citizens to Kansas City for a week's stay on a JAL jumbo jet to celebrate this special anniversary -- many activities were planned for the delegation during their stay -- this was probably one of the largest Sister City delegations to come to its Sister City in US history!;

2019 Delegation

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