The paradigm of voluntary service in our society is changing as voluntary service that is done by donating talent and not just giving labor and caring for the neglected class of people is increasing. Following this trend of donating talent for voluntary service, Dongguk University conducted the ‘Major-Associated Volunteering Work’ for the first time.
What is Major-Associated Volunteering Work? Students, who have talent, in connection with their major do voluntary service in many different fields like education, music, and art. In this program, it is noticeable that there are seven team participants - Dept. of Police Administration, Dept. of Physical Education, Life Science, Social Welfare, College of Buddhist Studies, Donggam, public ambassador in Dongguk University, and Haram, a volunteering club in Dongguk University. They have all individually designed and given their service to the volunteering programs. Also, these seven teams are selected by taking volunteers, planning their voluntary service and applying for the department of university, Dongguk Cham Saram Service. Then, the department evaluates their plan and selects the teams.
Major-Associated Volunteering Work will be a good opportunity for students to donate their own talents and knowledge that they have learned in their classes to society. Also, this program will be providing beneficial experience to participants who are concerned with getting jobs.
All students in Dongguk University have the chance to participate in this voluntary service program if they have an idea of a service and mind to donate their talents. In the university, there are many talented human resources. Therefore, they can do voluntary service by donating their talent.
The Dept. of Police Administration has organized a group named ‘Campus Police’ and patrol around vulnerable areas in the campus. Every day from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., ten students divided into three teams guard not only the area where student facilities are concentrated but also outside of the campus such as Namsan trail.
Students from the College of Buddhist Studies provide an opportunity to experience Korean Buddhism and traditions for foreign students in campus who have less chance to learn of those. Furthermore, students help foreign students understand Korean culture and encourage their campus life. Between November 26th and 27th, ten students went to Temple Stay with thirty foreign students to Woljeongsa in Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do and the Korean Folk Village. Buddhist monks who came to Korea to study from abroad also participated as volunteers.
From December 21st, twelve students majoring in Life Science will offer some science classes for elementary school students from low income families for three days. Not only as teachers but as mentors, they desire to support them emotionally as a means of science.
Students from the Dept. of Physical Education went to child care center in Gwanju on November 19th to provide a physical education camp with Kim Seong-Han, a Dongguk alumni baseball manager. Throughout this camp, they helped kids to develop their creativity and social skills.
Students majoring in Social Welfare carried out an afterschool mentoring program to 5th and 6th graders in Seoul Junggu Youth Center from October 28th to November 23rd. The purpose of this volunteering work is to teach children how to solve the problems they face in their lives by reading activities.
Donggam visited a child care facility to give children lessons about speech, etiquette and manners. Between November 6th to December 4th, students supported children by performing lessons once a week so that kids could raise their self-esteem and have harmonious friendships.
Haram offers free Korean classes for people from other countries. There are four classes and each class is grouped by different levels. Students gather for a meeting an hour before the class starts to plan the class and they also have an event day, outdoor class, once a month.
The Post interviewed two students, Cho Jae-hyeon and Jeon Seong-yong who study in the department of Police Administration that is the most active department. They said, “We, students of the Dept. of Police Administration, dream of becoming police officers or working in the National Intelligence Service (NIS). We wanted to gain practical experience in advance and we knew that the university is planning to conduct Major-Associated Volunteering Work. Thus, we applied for voluntary service and were selected.” Participants in the Dept. of Police Administration patrol not only Dongguk University but also around ‘Chung-mu’ primary school and ‘Namsan’ trail from 9 p.m. to 12a.m. They are divided into three teams (A, B, and C). Two teams patrol in and around the university while the other team stands by in a waiting room.
They said, “We want to prevent crime by patrolling in and around the university. However, we are still students and we do not have the rights to arrest criminals. We endeavor to prevent crime by giving stability to our students and residents and by giving a warning to criminals. Also, if we witness crimes occurring, we can contact real professional police officers and inform them right away about what is occurring.”
This Major-Associated Volunteering Work gives students a feeling of satisfaction. One of them said, “When I did voluntary service in a child care center, at first I felt little in my heart. However, this service gave me satisfaction and was a beneficial experience. Also, we think that there are many differences between theory and practical experiences. Through this program, we can not only experience our job but also do voluntary service.”
Interviewees said that this voluntary service influences improves their pride for their department. They said, “The campus police which is spearheaded by students is the first in the university. Therefore, we can take pride in Dongguk, and our department.” They also want the circumstances of voluntary service to be improved. “We want our situation room to be moved to the center of the University for dealing with affairs quickly.”
Major-Associated volunteering work is a good way for self-improvement by sharing knowledge and technology that we have. It is also a great opportunity to increase the quality of the former volunteering work that has been done by university students. From now on, volunteering work by university students can contribute greatly to social development. The seven departments and colleges who take part in Major-Associated volunteering work will be a good model for other students to reconsider the true meaning of volunteering work. Other students should follow their example and try to put it into action.
Jeon You-na, Sim Su-ji email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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