"When we play a game of dividing children into two groups, they just want to be winners all the time. They don`t accept failure, so when they lose and the play ends with crying." said the president of Grindume. When Jisil clubbers entered the Sang Rok Nursery School, a lot of children seeking love were holding them, the student teachers. All of them shouted, "teacher, teacher" and wanted to be near them. They just needed love, to love and to be loved.
Watching them, can you ask why we have to do voluntary activities? There is somebody that needs you and you have enough capability despite indifference. Half of the UOS students do not know about the voluntary clubs or the UOS Social Welfare Center. However, these volunteer clubs and centers are in difficult situation, especially with the lack of volunteering students.
If you have a mind to do some voluntary work, there are many opportunities waiting for you. There are even some `voluntary bank systems" which you can deposit your voluntary activity time. Or for the `2002 World Cup` you can prepare and serve in any activities you want to join. If you are good at speaking English or Japanese, you can help foreigners during the games. Do you want other interesting things? How about going abroad and working with foreigners?
Any kind of volunteering, if you decide to join, will make you realize the benefits in helping others. You can show what you have learned, meet other people, inform others and enjoy your hobbies, talents and concerns. Through that, you can grow not only your abilities, but inside and out, too. With the progress of the internet it is possible for anyone to join the voluntary work force at anytime, anywhere. If you search the internet for the word, `volunteer` in a short time you will see thousands of sites appearing in front of you. By browsing them you can apply freely through the net. Those who need help can find assistance easily too. To live together is the motto of 21st century; university students and advanced technology can be at the forefront here.
The Clubs or Organizations in the UOS
1) Grindume (www.uos.ac.kr/~dume) It has started with the name of "The Study of the Poor in the City." In Korean `Grindume` means that `drawing` and `deep forest` which people could only guess about what they do. They gathered for teaching in the restricted areas which were to be removed because of illegally built shacks. But these kinds of towns have shown a tendency to disappear, and they changed their activities to help poor elementary school students at the UOS Social Welfare Center.
From Monday to Friday they go there from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to teach students Korean, English and mathematics. It is not an easy thing to go there everyday, so they divide the volunteer works by each day of the week. Even on Saturdays, they go to the center for two hours, for open air studying like going to the Palace, watching movies, acting in plays.
2) Jisil (www.uos.ac.kr/~jisil) This club is for teaching middle school students who live in the Sang Rok Nursery School. The Seoul National University of Education, Sookmyung Women University and the UOS students belong to it and act together in this club. Students from these three universities gather in a room on Saturdays at the UOS. They study and educate new faces and plan the next week`s activities. Every Tuesday, they go to the nursery school in the evening for two hours, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Each of them is charged with one child; teaching, playing, talking and etc.
They regularly work for five semesters until becoming a senior. When a freshman goes there, they work as an assistant teacher for the first two months and after completing the regular course with some training he or she could become a regular member. They cannot be charged with one student until their course is finished.
3) Hueksarang (www.uos.ac.kr/~love) Hueksarang is for helping farmer`s work. They go to country three times a year, in the spring, summer and fall. At first their voluntary activities were the same as those performed by the GSC, like going to Changsu-gun in Jeolla-do. However they changed places to Umsong-gun in Chungchong-do where farmers are involved in `ecological farming.` Ecological farming is pro-natural farming; it does not use agricultural chemicals, so the students` assistance is mainly focused on weeding.
The recognition of farming in the present society affects the university students?participating nowadays. It has made for low freshmen participation and they have a lot of difficulties in acting as farmers.
4) The UOS Social Welfare Center (www.chungnang.seoul.kr/mainframe.htm) In 1997, it started off with this name, and is managed by the UOS. This center is located in Shinnae-dong, Chunglang-gu and it is for neighbors who live at the permanent rental apartment. Children at this center have handicapped parents, one parent, or no parents at all and are living by themselves. More university students are needed for teaching and caring for them than other of the aforementioned groups of needy people. For example, the children have not learned about computers even though this center has a PC room and computers. The lack of teachers makes it impossible to offer other classes like language or art classes.
The Other Opportunities
1) Voluntary Bank This organization has been operated in Dongjak-gu(www.d-ongjak.seoul.kr/newdongjak/life/ servicebank.html), Yangchon-gu(www.yangchon.seoul.kr/) and Kwangjin-gu(www.kwa-ngjin.seoul.kr/openplace/in-dex2.html) for 2 years. This is some kind of mileage thing, if you once encountered this center and the points will grow as much as you serve. You can then use the deposited time whenever you need help. This shows that besides helping other people, you can receive help if you request it.
2) New Seoul Volunteers Recently the volunteers in this system came together with `Media City Seoul 2000` Without that, whenever the Seoul Metropolitan Government projects a plan they can help. Anybody can join by going there personally, or by telephone or through the internet to fill out an application. For the 2002 World Cup, government officers are seeking volunteers in the several areas: traffic, public orderliness, environment, publicity, providing lodging at private houses, cultural sightseeing, and cultural events. Till the year of 2002, they are going to invite volunteers and give a training course for that. After completing this course, the volunteers can be pleased with watching and participating in soccer games by helping to publicize Korea to foreigners.
3) KIVA This system is for international voluntary activities. Contrary to the national groups, there are somethings that you should notice and use caution, if you participate in them. First of all, you need entrance fee, and all the preparation needed for departure, including passports, has to be done by yourself. For the open minded and international sights, there is no better opportunity than this. Learn a language, understanding other cultures, and meeting different people. Almost any-body who is older than 18 years old and who is able to speak English can participate. KIVA sends people to Europe, Africa, Oceania, America, etc. Including Koreans, volunteers from all other countries are getting together, working to help the poor, educating children, and participating in environment movements and other organiza-tions that help humanity.
4) Work Camp The origin of this was for rebuilding the destroyed Europe after the WW II, but nowadays it focuses on cultural exchange. The activity term is around two or three weeks and is held every month through the year. There are different kinds of camps waiting for you with more than 2,000 programs in 75 countries. So the volunteers can participate in several camps which have different terms. There are ten to thirty volunteers in a group and then act in these areas: environmental protection, cultural properties protection, archeology searches, repairing and constructing, etc.