To promote adoption, May 11 was designated as Adoption Day in 2006. Along with this effort, there are organizations that take care of orphan babies who are to be adopted. Many university students have volunteered their time and energy in such organizations.
Agabbobbo, a volunteer club at Ewha, takes on the role of becoming a mother to 11 orphan babies at the ReceptionCenter located in Hapjeong-dong, Seoul. Seven days a week, at least two members work at the center either from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., or from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. “We arrange our time table to the schedule here at Holt before we make our own school time tables,” said Shin Ji-hyun (Environmental Science & Engineering, 2), the president of the club.
The students feed and bathe babies or go to the hospital while holding the babies in their arms. At the same time students experience certain aspects of real motherhood. Park Sang-ah (Journalism, 2), a member of the club, recalled the moment when she had to say good-bye to a baby she had cared for a year before the baby was adopted by an American family. “My friends and I all cried. I was worried when I imagined the baby being raised by a foreign family with different looks,” said Park.
Even male students are playing a mothers’ role at another reception center. Juksun Volunteer Club at SejongUniversity, which includes male students, makes their regular visits to Seoul Babies Reception Hall, located in Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Ki-teak, the president of the club, recalled that volunteering itself was not the main purpose of joining the club. “At first, I joined the club simply to make lots of friends. However, when I saw the babies abandoned by their parents, I felt my heart break into pieces. The children have not received the parental love that we usually take for granted. Since then, I thought I should share my love to them,” said . added that volunteering does not depend on the skill of the volunteer.“What is important is to have a commitment to help those in need. University students should take responsibility to helping others as a member of a society.”