SEOUL, Jan.18 (Korea Bizwire) – With volunteer work increasingly arranged by citizens instead of government organizations, a change seems to be occurring in the concept of what ‘volunteering’ actually means.
The Seoul Volunteer Center announced that it will start its ‘Strength of Citizens’ campaign, in which citizens suggest volunteer projects and gather participants for volunteer activities.
Citizens who discover a problem in their community can plan volunteer activities and upload the plan to the Seoul Volunteer Center homepage (http://volunteer.seoul.go.kr).
For instance, citizens can suggest an activity such as ‘cleaning snow in — neighborhood’ or ‘picking up garbage at — mountain’, and those who are interested can participate.
Currently, volunteer work is a one-way street, suggested and announced by public organizations and welfare centers, with interested citizens participating.
Some of the participants only seem to participate to get credit points, since most of the time, credit points are given to participants based on how many hours they volunteer. The phenomenon is a byproduct of government organizations concentrating on the ‘results’ of volunteer work.
However, the Seoul Volunteer Center decide to resurrect the true meaning of volunteer work, so that participants can feel good after doing something for their community.
Adolescents who used to volunteer simply to get credit points can now experience ‘willful’ volunteer work.
In the meantime, citizens have started to create and execute various volunteer activities through SNS. ‘Adballoon’, a volunteer group, drew murals on the walls of Seodaemun Jail, and ‘Some Bus’ gathers people on a bus and notifies the participants of the type of volunteer work they will do when they reach the location.
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)