The Gyeonsangnam-do Youth Center, ‘Youthonna’, is a center which offers youth support services, such as help with job-searching, starting a business, finding residence, cultural activities, as well as general life help. Youthonna supports young men’s activities and encourages them to have more confidence to participate as members of society. Typical activities and programs include cooking classes, a youth policy cooperation forum, art therapy, and one-day classes. Through these activities, youth can take the initiative to develop and realize their goals. There are open cafes, shared kitchens, and shared offices that can be used freely as long as people follow the COVID-19 prevention rules. Anyone can use these facilities, visitors can meet all sorts of people, including college students, job seekers, and employers.
In addition, the GN-Friends Center is open next to the Gyeonsangnam-do Youth Center to provide space for young people with a variety of experiences and creative activities. It runs monthly programs including psychological counseling, special lectures on employment, and vocational lectures. There are many services that provide practical help to young people. They provide detailed lectures on current employment trends or even detailed explanations on the job market for the young people. On November 24th, seminars will be held discussing employment strategies for finding different jobs, private versus public job markets and careers, and creating a miniature pot. GN-Friends Center is helped by ‘youni-friends’ who work with the center to spread information about programs and services being offered. For more information on the GN-Friends program, visit their Instagram (@with_gnfriends) or website (http://gnfriends.kr/). The Campus Journal interviewed two students who work as youni-friends volunteers and who have participated in some of their programs.
One Youni-Friends volunteer said:
“I am Baek Da-hye, majoring in the department of English Language and Literature at Changwon National University. I was a youni-friends volunteer for three months from November 2018 to February 2019. As one of the first volunteers, the number one priority was to promote the job center. Our meetings focused on promotional videos and brainstorming ways to get people to come to the center. Through the several conferences, our team uploaded promotional videos and social media posts. In addition, various projects were suggested and planned to develop programs suitable for young people. I participated in the GNfriends program by making a herbarium with mood lights. One of my most memorable experiences was when our team's promotional video got popular online and many people learned about the center. In the future, I hope that many young people will be able to access job support programs and hobby programs through the center. It was good to learn how to collaborate with various people in team activities. It's a difficult time to get a job, but I hope everyone can stay positive and work in the job they want. Fighting!”
Someone who participated in a GNfriends program said:
“I am Kim Seung-ri, majoring in the department of Industrial Design at Changwon National University. I participated in the social dining project. I have applied twice to participate in projects to support youth clubs. In the case of social dining, I participated at the recommendation of my friend. It was fun and interesting to be able to talk to people while eating food. The participating age group was higher than I thought at first. Thanks to this experience, I was able to realize that I’m still young and I can still challenge a lot of things. I now know that I have many possibilities and opportunities ahead of me. I would like to recommend it to many young people because it is an enjoyable experience. Visiting there without feeling I had to work or study, and taking the time to talk with other people about a variety of things while eating was a positive experience. Changwon is a city that provides more support than most people think. I hope many people will apply to participate in projects at Youthonna. All sorts of people will be able to have valuable experiences for free. Also, I hope many people will visit the private exhibition of Kim Ji-woo (Milk Tree), which opens on November 18.”
By Bae Yun-bin firstname.lastname@example.org
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