Hazelman becomes first Samoan living with disability to complete leadership programme in Japan

Ari Tommy Hazelman is the first Samoan living with disability to complete the year-long Duskin Leadership Training Programme in Japan.

Hazelman is a representative of Nuanua o le Alofa, the national disability rights advocacy organisation in Samoa.

The Duskin Leadership Training Programme is designed for young persons with disability living in Asia and the Pacific, who have the willingness and the potential to become leaders in their communities.

Hazelman was a recipient of the training programme in 2019 and completed the course in July 2020.

He returned to Samoa on the repatriation flight of 2nd October 2020.

Hazelman paid a courtesy call to the Embassy of Japan in Samoa and presented Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission Kishi Isao with his Certificate of Completion last week.

In the meeting,  Hazelman read out Braille on the Certificate in perfect Japanese and shared his experiences of being in Japan for the past 12 months.

He said he has learnt so much from the programme, and now speaks the Japanese language, as well as Japanese Braille.

Hazelman said he overwhelmed with the kindness shown to him during his stay in Japan.

He conveyed his sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the people of Japan for such a life changing opportunity.

“I can never forget Japan and will always continue to promote Japanese ideas and the Japanese language and culture wherever possible”, he said.