DKH conducted a survey amongst Dankookians asking 'What is the reason for not participating in the volunteer services?' and the results were quite interesting. Most answered 'lack of motivation.' In other words, the problem was in understanding the students. According to officials within the school, the numbers of people who visit the homepage to read posts are really low. Moreover, most of students want to volunteer going abroad to build up international experience and improve their English skills more than volunteer work in campus.
The second largest number of replies was 'shortage of publicity.' But we can find that 'Muhan Nanum' notified students by posting stickers on every toilet in the school, presenting '1,000 won donation day' campaign every Monday, and making announcements on Cyworld clubs and on their own homepages. Cheonan campus also makes these notifications on the school homepage, Woongsung-woongsung, and bulletin boards in each college. Starting this year, they are planning to increase the frequency of exposure by publicizing through DKBS, The Dandae Shinmun, and The Dankook Herald.
After some research, we could see that there were plenty of ways to make the volunteer services known. This meant that the fault of 'why we couldn't volunteer enough' was in our hands rather than school. A manager concerned in the voluntary service department said, "Even though we announce the announcements on the school boards and homepage, students who are willing to volunteer remain the same. I think this is a matter of the students' will to take part." The representative of the General Students' Association in Cheonan said, "Helping others makes us feel peaceful and abundant." and he wishes Dankookians to be one of those who help others.
As a result of our survey, 'lack of motivation' is the remarkable reason that Dankookians did not volunteer. To see the true meaning behind the word volunteer work, DKH interviewed three freshmen who have volunteered regularly.
▲Woo Chan-Jeong / Dept. of Electronic Engineering
▲Won Young-Joo / Dept. of Chinese
▲Jeong Min-Seo / Dept. of Management Information Systems
Q- Would you share your experience and thoughts gained through volunteer work?
Joo : At first, I was very nervous and embarrassed, because I haven't taught anyone before. I also felt a cold mood from children and me. However, after getting closer to each other, I felt something pure from them. Actually, the reason I decided to volunteer was that I wanted to help minors. After volunteering, I realized that I was loved by them more than I helped them.
Seo : Actually, it was difficult to be with children for a long time, but the reason I could volunteer after late classes was for my self satisfaction gained by helping them. You know, even if most of them have only a mother or a father, they always look energetic and bright. After classes I would always be tired, but once I saw them, I was filled by their love.
Q- How were your thoughts changed after volunteering for the community?
Jeong : Before I started to volunteer, I had many complaints about what I had. However after I started, I changed into a positive person. I also appreciate what I had more and I can share what I have with others via volunteering. In other words, I would like to say 'volunteer work is a chance to take time for self-reflection.'
Seo : I'm proud of myself. Do you know what I'm saying? If I have spare time, I usually spent the time to hang around with my friends, but now I spend the time helping children. At first, before I volunteered, I thought that volunteer work would take 100% of my time. Now, I know I receive of a 100% back.
A student who volunteered in community center for children stated, "After spending my time and energy on those children in the center than for myself, I thought I spent my time and energy for the right reasons." Students we interviewed all agreed that they gained more than what they gave. What we need is a state of mind to help others sincerely. We can be truly satisfied when we share what we can give. We can respect ourselves when we serve others because you can become a helper to someone. It is not difficult to have a nice little chat or show interest to others. If we open our eyes, there are so many places to help and share. Believe our little hands can take on those who need help.
Chan Lee, Eun-Hyun Hwang firstname.lastname@example.org