Monday, April 9, 2012

Helping Hands

As most of you know, I've become very involved in a large volunteer group here in Korea called Mannam. There are two branches to this organization: an international branch and a Korean branch. The Korean branch targets Koreans and gives them lots of opportunities to get involved with the local community. The international branch aims at joining people from different nationalities together and provides 17 different clubs that people can get involved in.  I have become actively involved in the running club (MIRC - Mannam International Running Club), the volunteer planning committee, and starting up a Spanish conversation club (MannAmigos). I even dabbled with the Judo club for a while.

One of the main goals of this organization is to volunteer and help the local Korean population around the Seoul area. Two weekends ago, we headed up to Cheongpyeong, an area NE of Seoul, to participate in a river clean-up. About 75 people showed up to help with this effort. All in all, it was a very productive and amazing day. Everyone split up into about 5 different groups and targeted a different area of the river bed and mountain side. We originally had brought 40 bags with us, but had to request an extra 40 from the parks service in the area due to the large amount of trash that we picked up. This was all within the course of about an hour and a half.

Following our clean-up effort, we headed over to a park nearby for a well deserved and delicious BBQ put on by the head Mannam people. The chairman and chairwoman of the organization even showed up and gave a few words to those in attendance. About 10 groups showed off what they do in their clubs with short, entertaining performances. Included in these was a short skit promoting our upcoming Earth Day event in a couple of weeks. Watch the below video to get an idea of what we will be doing.

Overall, it was a great day and a great event. Outside of the Earth Day project, I am also going to be participating in a 10KM Walk in Their Shoes that raises awareness for countries that have recently experienced natural disasters, running a 10K with MIRC at the Yeoido Cherry Blossom Marathon, and wrapping between 500-600 trees on Bukhan Mountain in northern Seoul. It's going to be a busy month, but being able to give back to the Seoul community and meet people from all over the world has been an awesome experience and has made me think about possibly pursuing non-profit management in the future!

Bukhan Mountain Promo Video

Bukhan Mountain Promo Video (Sentimental)

Our efforts ready to get picked up!!

Fellow MIRC members at the clean-up!

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