Dankook University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) and University of Seoul (UOS) are the vanguards that have spread the movement supporting Nepali victims.
Sujan Shakya, a Nepali student who graduated from Dankook and is now appearing on several TV programs, appealed for the continuous support from Dankook students for Nepali compatriots.
“Korea has been my second home and Koreans’ continuous contributions to the relief programs have been a great help for the Nepali,” Shakya said. “Still, I hope more students could reach out to help the Nepali victims.”
Two hundred fifty Dankook University students, including Korea Movie Supporters, foreign students in the international student organization and the school ambassadors, responded to Shakya’s appeal by voluntarily setting up booths from April 30 to May 8 in front of the Student Union Building to receive donations. More than 330 students and faculties have collected over 6.6 million won and these students are planning to extend their campaigns to several movie theaters in Seoul.
Also, the International Student Organization (ISO) at HUFS, comprised of foreign undergraduate students, held a charity event from April 28 to May 1 in front of the Globee Dormitory. A myriad of students and faculties were able to raise 3.5 million won and all the money was sent to Good Neighbors, an international humanitarian and development NGO.
The ISO worked together with Adhikari Badri, a Nepali student studying at HUFS, by encouraging students’ voluntary support for relief efforts.
“A small action led to a big, miraculous movement, which resulted in the participation of hundreds of people,” said Seo Yu-jin, the head of public relations for ISO. “We started our campaign with a few placards, but by the end, we were able to draw many people’s attention and sympathy.”
From UOS, 25 students that had visited Nepal for an overseas volunteering program also gathered to help the victims of the earthquake.
In January, these students visited Kathmandu for two weeks to teach Korean and Taekwondo, a Korean martial art, in local schools. Students from UOS felt they needed to do something for these children; therefore, they set up a booth from May 4 to 8 in front of the Student Union Building and 350 people donated a total of 4.3 million won.
Now, these students from the UOS will continue their campaign online to encourage students and faculty to participate in the campaign. Also, they are planning to set up another booth during their school festival to raise charity funds by selling traditional Nepali food and clothing.
However, some students had mixed opinions about the campaigns.
“In the case of UOS, I was interested in the charity event because students who actually experienced Nepal first-hand were raising funds for the disaster, not the typical volunteering clubs,” said Jeong Rok-hwan, a junior from UOS. “I believe these campaigns held by university students are more meaningful in that they are organized voluntarily by students for the sole purpose of helping the victims.”
Some students thought that these campaigns left a lot to be desired.
“I first misunderstood that those students who organized the charity event tried to raise money for themselves to go to Nepal as volunteers,” said Ryu jee-su, a sophomore in UOS. “I believe they should have worked more on promotion. The fact that the event was solely held by students was not easily recognized by the students.”