Park Bum-soo Junior Reporter Dalpeng_i@hotmail.com
In the year 2002 life seems to be moving faster than ever before. It seems like it was spring yesterday but now it’s already winter. Moreover, winter came with no warning, and there are many people who are nott ready for the chilly season.
Winter is the time when we need to look around us again and cherish the love we have for others, and to remember people who are less fortunate than ourselves. For instance, there are people still suffering from the heavy rains and floods this summer, and orphans who have been abandoned by their family.
So keeping with the spirit of this season, this edition of Click Here introduces some websites about volunteer service, working both within Korea and overseas.
Korean Association of Volunteer Centers This association were established to more efficiently support and to develop social volunteer services, so that they can more effectively contribute to the advancement of the common good.
The site’s menu includes ‘Noticeboard’ and ‘Program Intro’ that let every organization and association to upload their volunteer needs. So, through these menus, it is possible for any of us to have a chance to volunteer. With the ‘Data’ menu we can also participate in seminars and exhibitions. The strong point of this website is that its contents are not limited to a certain location.
The site is linked to volunteer centers nationwide, which makes it possible for us to volunteer all around the country. Plus, as you can see from its ‘Organization Composition’ menu, this association is larger than any other volunteer organization. In other words, it is more structured and provides a greater variety of volunteering opportunities.
This site and its association were developed specifically for people with disabilities who have had a hard time getting around. This association started as a professional volunteer service for disabled people using wheel chairs.
This center helps the disabled people in many ways from publishing information books about helping the disabled to holding photography contests for wheelchair users. It contains membership forms, full instructions on how to become a member of the group and registration forms for donations.
The sites also provide a variety of categorized tips on how to help people with disabilities. The services in this community are providing the disabled with lifts, translation and interpretation in languages, such as English and Japanese, cooking for the disabled, specially trained helpers who do home visits, travel with the disabled and so on. There are many opportunities to help people even if you don’t have special skills.
Korean Pioneers in Overseas NGOs Korean Pioneers in Overseas NGOs(KOPION) is run by Korean but is in both English and Korean. The goal of this association is twofold. First it encourages voluntary service in other nations and secondly, it provides a variety of programs, such as study programs and seminars relating to international NGOs. Its major operations include ‘sending Korean volunteers overseas’, ‘bringing foreign volunteers to Korea’ and ‘experiencing NGOs abroad’.
The site contains a huge amount of information about volunteering overseas. It has information on how to become a member, such as terms of service, period of placement, and essays and journals by people about their voluntary experience abroad and data from the seminars of international NGOs. It isn’t run as a membership only site, so it is possible for anybody to go in and check out the requirements for becoming a volunteer.
Last but not least, KOPION looks for new members twice every year, and December marks its 8th intake of volunteers. The application period starts on December 9th, 2002 and runs until the 19th of the same month. Certainly it is the right time and the right place for you to experience a new culture and to help people.
Korea International Volunteer Association Again, this site is about international volunteer service and is operated in both Korean and English. Unlike the other sites above mentioned, it is run as a membership site, and yet many of its contents are open to everybody including nonmembers. Its goal is to encourage international volunteer service and international work camps.
In the case of volunteer service, it is possible for you to choose what category of relief work you want to volunteer for and you can even choose the place you want to work at, although not all of the categories are available all the time. And in the case of international work camps, you can have a chance to go to work camps in seventeen different countries around the world and you can even pick the periods of time you want to stay.
The site provides various information about voluntary service to anyone who provides their e-mail address including non-members, and it also provides special programs, such as internship programs and international language training programs.
*International Work Camps: These are camps set up all around the world, especially during the summer and winter season, with various themes like preserving the world environment and sharing new cultures, and usually the themes change every time. However, the major idea of the camps is to understand and share new cultures.
Cold this season may be, but not our hearts. During this long and tedious winter period, let’s try to find fulfillment through the glory and joy of helping others. It is not going to be easy but it could even change your life.