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'Golden Volunteer' in Golden Holiday ? Going to Nepal2017-05-29Hit:1254

May. 1. 2017

“I just wanted to go to the Himalayas simply because I like mountains, so I bought the plane ticket. I honestly did not think it would become this big event.”

On October 28, ten students including Choi, Min Sung (37, Daelim Industrial) of the KAIST College of Business went on a flight to Kathmandu, Nepal. Most of them are in their 30s and are office workers. Their baggage was generally backpacks and stationery for the local children. A donation of 12 million won collected from a fundraising event was also in their hands.

They will volunteer at the Mahedevsey Village in Oji Village, 40km away from Kathmandu for eight nights and nine days, and build the library and donate 3,000 books in the name of KCB. Before their departure, Mr. Choi and Professor Yoon, YeoSun, an honorary professor of the volunteer expedition, were interviewed at KCB in Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul.

Choi said, “At first, it was just a Himalayan trekking trip. It was one of the items on my life bucket list. I bought a ticket a year ago and asked my close friends to come with me. Ten people gathered after hearing the news.”

However, the original trekking schedule became a backdrop when someone said, “Shouldn’t we also see the lowest place in the world as we are going to the highest point?” They decided to visit the most difficult places in Nepal that they can find and donate books and do volunteer activities. They adjusted the trekking schedule and removed all the generally tours.

The members contacted missionaries and the people in Nepal to find the places that really needed help, but were unable to get any help, and chose the town called Mahadevbesi. In 2015 April, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, and it almost wiped out the whole village. However, because the town is located in a remote place, it barely received any help. Choi said, “I heard that the children here pick up stones that have rolled out of the valley and sell them for building materials, earning a living cost of 1,000 won a day. I wanted to build a library because I wanted the kids to hold books, not stones.”

The volunteer corps put posters in various places on the campus for about ten days from last month and collected donations. The group so passionately collected donations that one of the members even dressed in a uniform worn by Nepal students for the poster photo. Professor Yoon encouraged the students, saying, "You do not have to come to my classes when you prepare for volunteer activities."

Prof. Yoon said, “I thought it was more important to learn in the field the way the world could grow together than learn business administration in the classroom.”

The volunteer corp received warm support both inside and outside the school. Some of the students with children also donated in the name of their children. KCB donated backpacks for Nepal students. Upon hearing the news, Daelim Industry, where Mr. Choi is working, donated 1100 school supply items through the Daelim Art Museum. Samsung C&T, a company where another student is working, also donated sets of sanitary equipment including soap.

Choi thanked the students and the companies who helped and donated, saying, “I would happily pay extra for the weight of the luggage.” Prof. Yoon said, “I was impressed by the students’ drive to execute the plans and proposals that they could have simply ignored. I hope that younger generation following Mr. Choi will take over this event and continue to serve and donate.”

Contact : Lee, Sohyun ( sohyun.c.lee@kaist.ac.kr )