Thursday, June 7, 2012

Abundance Works: Volunteering

If you worry about the image of foreigners in Korea, one way to make sure there is a positive scene is to volunteer your time. Certainly there must be some organizations in Korea where you can work at a soup kitchen or help out animals in need. I've often heard stories from friends who volunteer and give their time back to the Korean community. Here for you are some resources found, and some blog posts about what it's like.

1. Korea4Expats: Just a good list of sites to go volunteer at including, helping with craft projects to cleaning up pollution. Take a look.

2. Ms. Lee to Be: An amazing and thorough post on what it is like to volunteer for an animal shelter. It can't help but warm your heart and give you an idea of where to take your time.

3. Seeking Seoul: A post about volunteering for the group PLUR where the person helped out at a soup kitchen. Volunteering, it seems, also comes with some protocol...
I was told to say a phrase, in Korean, that basically means “enjoy your meal, sir.”  It was in the formal and respectful form of speech.  I was also instructed to use both hands when giving the food – a respectful mannerism here in Korea.  Next, I was told to speak quietly when entering the areas these guys call home.  We were told to be watchful, if they needed medical attention let the guide know and they would call an ambulance.  Don’t photograph them or their homes.  Be respectful. 
4. Bathhouse Ballads: Sometimes volunteering your time doesn't mean you have to go out and do something in public. Perhaps volunteering your creative skills is also a way to give the foreigner community a voice. Here we see a group in Daegu that puts together a small 'zine called Daegu Pockets.  Otherwise making any creative contributions, I feel is a way of giving back to Korean society in a positive manner.

5. Seoul Stitch N Bitch: Another good list of links to volunteer at, including some to help out women in need.

6. Ulsan Online: Here you can see how to help North Korean defectors adjust to South Korean life. Certainly that would be very interesting!

As you can see the possibilities are definitely out there, and you don't really have to live in Seoul. I would suggest giving up some time to go out and give back, and give a positive image to your local area or wherever. Have you volunteered before? What did you do?

1 comment:

  1. When I volunteered in Seoul I worked with a group called PLUR - Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. It was a great group and I loved my time working with them! I I wish there was something like it in Thailand! They have a facebook page where you can find out what events they are having... check them out!