GP3 Korea: University students increase awareness of global poverty
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GP3 Korea: University students increase awareness of global poverty
  • Moon Bo-ra
  • 승인 2013.04.12 15:24
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Under the slogan, “more awareness, less poverty,” university students reach out to the public to inform them about global poverty and, ultimately solve the problem prevailing in the world.
GP3 Korea, which stands for The Global Poverty Public Awareness Project in Korea, is an NGO (non-governmental organization) consisting of university student volunteers. It was founded by graduate school students and Eun Chang Choi, currently an affiliated fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, in the winter of 2009 after they took Globalization, Poverty, Development and Law course at Korea University’s Graduate School of International Studies.
“We believe the solution to the global poverty issue needs not only the governments’ assistance or the super riches’ donations but also the civil society’s awareness,” said Kim Ah-hyun (Dongguk University, 4), the communications manager of GP3 Korea. “Thus, we focused on how the media does not talk about global poverty much, which leads to public’s indifference and passive attitude toward it. We try to eliminate this vicious cycle by creating an open access to information about global poverty.”
After its foundation, GP3 Korea recruited its first members in 2009 and officially started its projects. Members serve their term for six months, and this year, 132 students are partaking.
As GP3 Korea’s primary purpose is to create and make poverty-related information written in Korean available for the public, it mainly utilizes the Internet and (SNS) social networking services. On its homepage (http://www.povertyinfo.org/), GP3 Korea provides a variety of information on the poverty issue through boards such as Poverty Wiki, as well as up-to-date news regarding the world's poorest countries.
Poverty Wiki is a wiki-based open knowledge library with the name of Global Poverty Digital Library (http://www.povertywiki.org/). The open library contains articles, latest news releases, columns and book reviews all created by the members and volunteers. In addition, by using diverse social networking services, GP3 Korea sends out easily accessible articles and photos about the cause, reality and possible solutions of global poverty.
In order to do so, the members process the heavy and difficult information being circulated into accessible and easy-to-read materials. For example, GP3 Korea summarizes the United Nation’s official data or news released by foreign press in English and translates them into Korean. The members of GP3 Korea explain such is significant in that it can alleviate the asymmetry of information.
“We think open access to public knowledge is the most important factor in increasing awareness of the issue,” Kim said. “By providing articles and telling stories about poverty through mobile applications and SNS, we are enabling the public to easily pick up information and realize the severity of the issue.”
Within the group, GP3 Korea is divided into 11 different teams including Design, Event, Translation and Funding, all collaborating to accomplish the same goal. Thus, GP3 Korea employs other means of promoting global poverty rather than simply working with written materials.
Recently, it created and distributed a video informing the public about countries suffering from poverty through SNS and YouTube. In addition, GP3 Korea makes continuous efforts to publicize the issue offline. Last year, it organized campaigns and flash mobs near Hongik University subway station and received much public attention.
“The flash mob we performed last May is probably the most remembered event,” Yoon Won-joo (Sungkyunkwan University, 3) said. “In the process of organizing, preparing and practicing for the event, which was quite time consuming, there had been many difficulties. But I believe such opportunity let us understand better and care more for the global poverty issue.”
Sessions, called unions, are also held regularly, where all the members gather and discuss global poverty and other associated issues such as Fair Trade and official development assistance.
The first union of this month was held on April 6 at Sogang University, under the theme of “Seeking hope in Africa” along with a lecture by Yoon Sang-wook, the author of “There is No Africa in Africa” and Yook Sook-hee, an instructor of the Department of African Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. The lecturers not only provided knowledge about Africa and poverty issues but also advised the students about their future career on a global stage.
“GP3 Korea works so that the information and knowledge we distribute will reach the public,” Kim said. “Hopefully, the enthusiastic will take a step further to make a more specific and a real change. Because this is how ‘the better future’ is made.”
http://www.facebook.com/povertyinformation


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