Gwangju Talks: January

Compiled and Edited by Namhee Cho

Think about the needs of the Gwangju community. If you could create a social program or charitable organization, what would it be? Who would you help? How?

Kim Gwang-jin, 33

I would create an organization for people in their twenties, where members organize events and cultural programs. Because unemployment has become a social issue in Korea, young Koreans have neglected their local community. The youth should lead Korean society in creating a more charitable environment. Gwangju City could fund projects like these and offer more chances for those involved in youth organizations to create social programs officially. Additionally, similar community-based organizations could collaborate with them.

Han Sae Byeol, 25

I would organize guides to help foreigners who want to travel around Gwangju. Many college students want to participate in the local culture and make foreign friends. If we made a college student organization that helps foreigners, it would help everyone involved.

Jin Yoo Soon, 49

I want to create a children’s social program to provide education about multi-cultural families. Even though Gwangju has many immigrant families, most citizens do not know how they live. We need to give them more attention. I know the GIC can help. Other than GIC, I would ask neighbors to support families who seek assistance. Small ideas make big changes. We should teach Korean language, culture and lifestyle—what school does not teach. In addition, the neighborhood could help them with basic needs. We all have the ability to help those in need.

Choo Jae Geun, 20

I want to make a student program for those who want to become politicians. Korean politicians are getting older. They do not know how the youth think. Furthermore, the Korean government oppresses the opinions of young people. I think if we made a political youth group, it could open a communication channel to express our opinions and prevent the government from oppressing us.

Racheal Bryson, 27

I would say a teenager-assistance program to address typical issues of academics, popularity, acceptance and peer-pressure. A hotline service where teens can anonymously get good advice without judgment.

Ashlyn Winter

I would like to initiate a group for ex-pat women who are married to Korean men, especially Filipinos. They often are forced into marriages for whatever reason and they have no choice but to move here to Korea and start their lives here with their new husband. They do not speak the language and they are work in terrible conditions for long hours with low pay. We could provide these women education and training to support themselves.

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