First of all, did you know that even though private education is really evolving in Korea, there are still more than 250,000 students who are suffering because they cannot afford the amount of money for their textbooks or notebooks? The students in need are still willing to study ,and look forward to get private tutoring if they could afford the money. To help these students, one of Dongguk’s alumni, Kim Yong-chan, started the project, ‘One hour of miracle.’ The basis of this project is that the people, who are willing to help the students, may donate the average hourly wage of 5000 won, and the money will be used for the students to buy the books they need.
To find out the motivation behind this project, the Post interviewed the students who started the ‘One hour of miracle.’ They said that while they were involved as the working scholarship students in different organizations at Dongguk, they had the opportunity to go overseas for volunteer work set up by the ‘Chamsaram voluntary corps,’ and five of them wanted to do more voluntary work after they came back to Korea. They decided that it would much better if they could get the involvement of others to expand their little project.
There are two reasons why they decided to support the students with the books. The first reason is that what the students, who are getting help, need the most is books they can really use, and buying books is the most efficient way, and also has the greatest ripple effect. Also, the students can buy any kinds of books they need, for instance, one student can buy an English textbook, and on the other hand, another student can buy books about guitars. The other reason is to make up for the shortage of useful books in the community welfare center. Even though there are a lot of books in the community center, these are hardly ever helpful for students, because the books are donated by the publishing companies regardless of the real needs of students. To solve this problem, they decided to help students get the books they really want and need.
Up to now, 101 people have donated a total of 828 hours, which is more than 4 million won, and the donating is still going on. Some people might want to know how the money they donated is being used and managed. To solve the problem, the one hour of miracle project team is working with the ‘Chamsaram voluntary corps’ of Dongguk University and ‘The beautiful company.’ Also they post all the new information every week on their blog, Twitter, and Facebook page.
The money collected will be used for the students who have made a request for assistance to the Oksu social welfare center. There are 3 mentors and mentees, and each of the group will get 100,000 won to buy the books they need for the mentoring- which is in the form of private tutoring- and three other students only got the money to buy the books due to the difficulties of their location, since most of the tutors are in Seoul. To know more detailed information of the tutoring system, the post also interviewed Kang Jun-won, a student of Dongguk, who is involved in the tutoring. He said that the reason why he started mentoring was that he got the full scholarship until his graduation, and to give back to society what he has been given, he decided to do some volunteer work. He is doing the mentoring in the form of tutoring on the subjects that the mentee needs help. They went to the bookstore together and chose the books they will use for the mentoring. Not only teaching the student, they are also communicating in a very friendly way just like brothers. When the tutee has a problem, the tutor helps him and gives him some advices for the situation. However, tutee is not the only one who gets benefits from their relationship. The tutor also feels rewarded for his good deed, because the voluntary work he is doing is not just for the voluntary certification, but he is doing it on his free will to help other people in need.
In conclusion, through the ‘One hour of miracle’ project, the students who are from lower-income families can reduce their burden buying some of the books they need for their studies. Also by making donations starting from their university years, the students who took part in this project will more easily take part in other donating programs as time goes by. In addition, with this project, making donations will become a culture in our society to help other people who are in need. It is meaningful when the rich make donations, however, smaller donations from average people might be more meaningful. Helping the people who we see in our daily lives, isn’t this the real meaning of donation?
Lim Su-mi email@example.com
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