On Saturday, June 18, 20 young people came to the Seoul Y Center with excited hearts.
Today is the day of orientation for Peace in Asia.
'Peace in Asia' is a volunteer education activity for the refugee women living near the borders between Thailand and Myanmar.
It's an activity that we visit a refugee community near the Thai-Myanmar borders, understand refugee issues of Asia with our body and heart, interact with the women through education and voluntary activities, and practice in the sprit of global sharing and solidarity.
Seoul Y is ready to go to the refugee camp in Maehongson, Thailand with the 9th volunteer team on Jul 6 for ten days and nine nights.
The first class was for human rights!
Board Director, Kim, Insook of International Child Rights Center gave us a chance to think about human rights in a deeper and more serious manner with the title "What does Human Rights mean to you?".
Despite lots of definitions for human rights, she agrees most with Jeremy Rifkin's saying that "human rights is 'Code of Conduct' to interlink between the marginalised and the excluded from the society and the included in and the connected to the society in order for all of them and us to coexist in a peaceful way," well stated in his book <European Dream> written in 2004.
The youth who took part in the orientation spent a meaningful time thinking further about their own thoughts on human rights and sharing ideas each other.
In the second class, we were able to rethink of 'refugees' who we would meet in Maehongson.
We looked deeply inside of ourselves to think if we have a prejudice against refugees through the media, which is that they are in need, different with me, and a threat to the international order.
We also got to know that those who are currently out of their home country due to persecution based on race, religion, nationality, a member to a particular social group, and political opinion would be regarded as a 'refugee.'
'To protect human rights is solidarity and endurance.'
Director, Kim, Sungin who gave the lecture kept emphasizing this.
He encouraged us a lot with saying that we would play an important role in improvement of human rights of refugees if we spend a valuable time forming sidarity and sincerity with the refugees even though a visible change would be hard to be achieved for the short ten days.
The youngsters who set their mind hard on the all-day-long orientation convinced us that all of us can have solidarity and endurance!