HFH GLA Youth United members help build hope, lives & communities in South Korea!

Blog entry by HFH GLA Youth United Chapter President, Jenny Sim
On June 11th-15th, 2012, nine Webb students, (Zoey Choi, Jeainny Kim, Thomas Kim, Taco Lee, Sam Nam, Chaewon Park, SangUk Park, Jenny Sim, and SuYeong Yang) participated in Habitat for Humanity's A Brush with Kindness project in Beobwon-eup, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea with the Paju-si Affiliate. For quick background info, Beobwon-eup is a city north of Seoul with a lot of Korean and U.S. military bases for protection. The Paju-si Affiliate covers most of the cities in Gyeonggi-do, and the city of Paju is located south of 38th Parallel and right next to the DMZ. Most Webb students had to commute nearly 2 hours each day on public transportation to get to the work site. This year we were planning on building series of houses but the primary land donor bailed out last minute. Again, the Seoul Affiliate (like last year) had more support and projects, but we thought it would be meaningless if we built a house in such a big city.

In addition to the nine Webb students, three international students and one post-graduate from Korea joined us. Our job was to renovate an entire house. Throughout the week, we dug 70 cm ditches, renovated the study/guestroom, rebuilt a port-a-potty like restroom (no toilet!!!), wallpapered the bedrooms and reinstalled the kitchen ceiling. We worked from 9 AM to 6 PM every day! Everyone got to use all the tools, from hammers and nails to using power tools like nail guns, electric saws and drills. Most people were new to Habitat, but they were AWESOME! Jeainny was the goddess of nail guns, Sam the god of wall papering and Sang was really really good at digging. :)

Throughout the week, Sam and Jamie (IIS) worked on the study/guestroom renovation while Sang, Zoey, SuYeon, Thomas, Eunice Lee (KIS), Joseph (IIS) and Chaewon dug the ditch and connected the water purifier. Taco, Yoonji (post-graduate), Jeainny and I tore down the restroom and rebuilt it from scratch. When the ditch and restroom teams finished (day 3), Sam, Jamie, Sang, Chaewon, Eunice and I worked on dry walling the study/guestroom and wallpaper while the rest of the group worked on the kitchen and bedrooms. On June 14th, Seoul University Law School Habitat club joined us and helped us wallpaper the bedrooms.

Overall, the projects were all relatively difficult, especially for students who were new to Habitat. However, we were able to finish all the work that was assigned to us. Since we have been extremely active with the Habitat Korea, the HFH Korea Headquarters gave all Webb students a gift basket with a Letter of Appreciation, volunteer authentication, Habitat blanket, mug and notebooks. As always, this project would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Webb and its support for Habitat for Humanity.

To see our adventure, click here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjAKphCj
South Korea Team

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