Most college students would easily say out of habit that human rights should be protected. However, only a few of them would actually roll up their sleeves and take part in improving the rights of humanity.
Some activities provide opportunities for college students to participate in saving the lives of children and newborns and to ensure their rights of happiness. However, for those who do participate, the programs offer fun and a double amount of joy.
Shoes of Hope
The main object of the Shoes of Hope Project is to deliver shoes to children in poor and war struck regions of the world. In countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia, children play and run on the streets, most of them barefooted. This causes various injuries that can result in further illness, and may even lead to insanity.
The shoes that are sent to these regions are not brand new ones. “We had to draw on the new shoes to intentionally destroy the value of them,” said Jang Yoon-hye (English, 2), who participated in the Youth Project team of last year’s Shoes of Hope Festival.
“If the shoes are sent nice and new, they cannot be safe from falling into the black market, and in that case, sending the shoes would be meaningless because the children won’t receive them,” said Jang
The Shoes of Hope Festival is an annual event included in the Shoes of Hope Project. Anyone can participate during the festival to draw pictures and messages of hope on the shoes. The shoes are provided for free at the site of the festival, which is held at various areas in Seoul.
“College student make up about 30% of the participants,” said Jun Sea-hyun, the program coordinator of the Shoes of Hope Project. “This year, universities, such as Sungkyunkwan University and Kyunghee University took part in drawing on the shoes by including a Shoes of Hope corner in their own school festivals.”
The Shoes of Hope Project was initiated in the year of 2007 as a small event which delivered 5,000 shoes to Uganda. This year, the scale of the project has grown to 12,000, shoes which will be sent to Cambodia.
The Shoes of Hope will be open to participants all year long starting early next year in various areas of Seoul, such as City Hall and Chungye Square. The shoes are free for all participants.
Knit a Cap Campaign, Season 3
Saving a life can be simple as knitting a cap. Every year, four million infants die within a month after birth in the world. Three out of four of these babies lose their life due to lack of antibiotics, infected medical instruments and lack of basic medical support to keep them warm and healthy.
“A cap is like an incubator for premature babies. It keeps the newborns warm which is critical to their health,” said Jin Mo-youn, the communications officer of the Save the Children Korea (SCK).
Students can participate in knitting caps for newborns in Mali countries located in the region of Africa where the temperatures of day and night differ greatly. A knitting kit designed by SCK, comprised of woolen yarn and needles, can be purchased at the GS SHOP (http://www.gsshop.com/prd/prd.gs?prdid=3935344) for 12,000 won. The kit includes all the materials needed to knit one cap as well as instructions for beginners.
The first Knit a Cap Campaign was held in the year 2006by the International Save the Children US as an effort to support babies born in insufficient environments.
In 2007, 25,000 woolen caps were collected throughout the campaign. By the next year, 80,460 caps were collected. This year’s campaign will continue until February, of 2010 and is expected to have a greater number of participants.
“Although College students are very busy, there is no ‘next time’ to sharing,” said Kim Nohbo the CEO of SCK in their press release.“An experience of contribution is connected to social life itself.”
Anyone who is interested in crafting can participate in making Awoo Dolls, dolls that depict a child from various cultural and racial backgrounds.
Awoo dolls are handmade from leftover cloth materials. A simple set of instructions for constructing a doll is given at the Internet homepage of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
An interesting aspect of Awoo dolls is that they have a date and place of birth just like human beings. When a doll is completed, the maker of the doll is required to connect a tag which states the imagined date and place the doll was born.
Afterwards, the doll is sent to the UNICEF. Here, the dolls are registered and displayed on the homepage of the UNICEF. The dolls then wait to be “adopted” by people.
The term awoo is a Korean word meaning a younger sibling. “In fact, to buy an Awoo doll is equal to adopting a sibling. This is why we use the term ‘adoption’ when we sell and buy the Awoo dolls,” said Choi Ji-min, the program coordinator of the Awoo Dolls Project.
The “adoption” fee of 20,000 won per doll is used to save and support the vaccination of children in poor countries suffering from various diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, tetanus and diphtheria.
“When the Project first took place in 2007, many students participated who had majors related to design or art. However, these days, students from diverse study backgrounds participate,” said Choi.
3,694 dolls in total have been handmade and collected up until now. A number of them have already been adopted.
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