The 52nd Central Steering Commission of Student Representatives raised a donation to help contain the rapidly spreading COVID-19, and support those who are infected. With over 8,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Korea, Ewha was one of many schools to make financial contributions.
The Central Steering Commission stated that they decided to join in the COVID-19 donation after receiving various inquiries about it from Ewha students. Many students reached out to them through communication channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Kakaotalk. The opinions were discussed at the 14th Central Steering Commission meeting, where the representatives agreed to proceed with the donation from March 11 to 14.
During the four-day donation period, 405 Ewha students raised a total of nearly six million won. This fund was sent to Korea Disaster Relief Association, a private relief organization founded in 1961 by broadcasters, newspapers and social organizations nationwide to help those who suffer from sudden disasters.
“While looking for possible organizations to donate to, we came across Korea Disaster Relief Association,” said Emotion, the 52nd General Student Council. “We decided they would be the most reliable option because it is the most official association, being the only legal aid organization authorized by the government. In addition, they had already been conducting an emergency donation, so we wanted to contribute.”
The association used the funds to prepare equipment for families who cannot afford masks and other hygiene products. In addition, they provided health assistance kits to medical staff and volunteers who are helping combat the coronavirus. Those who have been quarantined over two weeks in risk of infection were also supported with daily necessities.
A donation report created by the General Student Council was translated into six different languages and shared to the students on March 15.
"Although I had already donated to Daegu via Instagram, I decided to donate again with the school,” said Kim Kyeong-jin, a sophomore from the Division of International Studies. “I thought it was worth it since I knew it would be more reliable with the General Student Council in charge. Also, donating as a university has a huge advantage since all the students can pitch small amounts, and be a much bigger help as a group.”
Ewha’s donation followed a chain of university donations to help relieve the tense COVID-19 situation. It started with Kyung Hee University students voluntarily raising 46 million won to contribute to hospitals and relief organizations in the Daegu Gyeongbuk province. Soon after, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul National University and more, also assisted in providing financial aid.
There is a reason why so many universities are providing aid to contain this horrific pandemic.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) China office first received reports about the novel virus on Dec. 31, last year. The originally domestic epidemic quickly became a ubiquitous global pandemic, with over 370,000 confirmed cases and over 16,000 confirmed deaths all over the world.
Currently Daegu is of highest concern in Korea, and it all goes back to Daegu’s first confirmed coronavirus case on Feb. 18. She was part of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a secretive religious group which accounted for the sharp increase of confirmed cases in Korea. Nearly one third of infected citizens came from Daegu, as Shincheonji church members are required to attend services in large numbers.
Korea is on alert to contain the pandemic, with the government, non-governmental organizations, hospitals, schools, and more all working together to alleviate the situation.
“It is clear that there are countless people suffering due to the coronavirus,” Kim said. “Though it was a small donation, I’m glad I was able to contribute. I hope the money is used effectively to help those in need.”