Q. Why did you decide to apply for the overseas volunteers program?
A. First of all, I really want to experience various things that overseas volunteer programs offer and learn about other cultures. After I heard that our department had a volunteer program in Uzbekistan last year, I decided that I would like to take part in the next one so I got some information about it and applied with my friend immediately.
Q. What were the requirements?
A. Anti-malaria vaccination is needed because Cambodia is a hot region. Also all team members had to pay 600,000 won. We were a team of about 50 members so we had to delegate duties accordingly. There were 5 members in each team. We determined our team’s name, Narea, and assigned tasks to different teams—the recreation team, the Korean language team, the arts team, the teacart team, the taekwondo team, the work team, and the management team. Narea also prepared the curricula for the program.
Q. What was your schedule like?
A. Our activities in Cambodia ran from January 30 to February 13. On the first day, we visited some historical sites in the capital city Phnom Penh. Then we constructed toilets and conducted a teaching program in Kdanh village in Tadeo province for ten days. The teaching teams taught children Korean songs, taekwondo, and games to introduce Korean culture. We didn’t have enough time so most of the children couldn’t enjoy as many activities as they wanted. During our spare time, we toured Siem Reap, Angkor Wat and other places.
Q. What are the differences between your expectations of Cambodia and the real situation?
A. Cambodia is in Southeast Asia so I thought it would lag in many sections like welfare and economy, but I was pleasantly surprised. The public order and the citizen’s life style in Phnom Penh were fine except for the economic gap. Also, electricity ran in Kdanh village and every family had a television. The village was comparable to Korean countryside.
Q. What was the most impressive part of your trip?
A. The people were very diligent and lived a well-regulated life. Narea members slept in home stay houses so the volunteers had a chance to interact well with the natives. They were even invited to join a wedding celebration.
Q. What were the difficulties you encountered?
A. We had trouble adapting to the daily temperature range. It was very hot at daytime, and washing ourselves wasn’t easy due to lack of water.
Q. How did you feel about this volunteer work?
A. I want to recommend this to anyone who is interested in the overseas volunteer program. It is a meaningful opportunity to learn many things because people’s life styles are different though we live in the same region. Personally, I had enough time to think while concentrating on volunteering for 2 weeks. I am proud of myself, and I believe that I can do everything in the future through this experience.
Jo Young-in -
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