By HyunCheon Kim
Translated SeungYeon Woo
“After I left Africa, I arrived in Boston on Christmas eve. As soon as I arrived, I made a call not to my home but to Africa. I worried about the children in Africa and I missed them so much. However, what I heard from the phone call was bad news. They didn’t have anything to eat. We decided to return our Christmas gifts, saved about $1,000, and sent the money back to Africa.”
Jungmin Eun’s vision of Africa has developed further since then. She is currently talking with Brandon Zeigler about not just helping people in Africa by sending basic relief supplies, but helping them with more fundamental and sustainable support.
At St. Mark’s School, located 40 minutes away from Boston, the students have been participating in an aid movement for Africa since last year. Now the entire school is supporting the aid wholeheartedly. One of the leading people of the movement is a senior, Jungmin Eun (17).
“My dream is Africa. Ialready decided to live in Africa whenI was 12,” said Eun. Five years ago, she saw a video clip from ‘Invisible Children’ (www.invisiblechildren.com), which was about children in Africa being kidnapped and forced into military training in order tobe used for terrorist acts. The video motivated her to raise funds for children in Africa, and she has been sending about $10,000 every year.
Eun will be revisiting Sankofa in Ghana with three of her friends this upcoming June. When she visited last December, she brought $2,000 and some clothes; however, she is working on something special this year. She has decided to support children in Africa to work, and the targetamount of funds to be raised is $10,000.
The teacher, Zeigler, said, “We’re thinking about buying ‘Gauri,’ the African meal processing machinery, in the U.S. and bringing it to Africa.”On the other hand, Eun is also thinking about sending materials for a cottage industry, such as making bracelets, to Africa and help them to sell those home goods in the U.S.
Eun started to think about humanitarianassistance ever since she visited Ghana at the end of last year. After she raised fundsby herself by introducing the website of Invisible Children, she invited the youth group, Rodies, who belonged to Invisible Children, to her school last year. Through video clips and images, she introduced the tragic reality of Africa to students in her school, and the whole school was in an uproar. Moreover, the alumni of her school agreed to fully support her cause.
Then, Eun planned to visit Africa in order to maintain people’s passion for helping Africa. Including Eun, Zeigler recruited 8 students to join, and one teacher volunteered. Finally, they took off on a journey to Africa.
During the time the students and teachers stayed at an orphanage in SankofaMbofra for 10 days, they took care of African children by playing with them and teaching them English and math. The group wanted to give some help to African children; however, they actually learned and gained more from those children in need of help.
Eun said with her eyes filled with tears, “The most beautiful people in the world were all there. Despite the harsh situation, they did not lose their smile. They, who can never imagine living in a different situation, have the most precious smile on the Earth.
“In my 30s, I want to work for UNICEF. In my 20s, I want to learn and prepare everything I have to do for UNICEF in the future,” said Eun with a very strong will.
As Eun was born in Guam, she never had a chance to live in Korea. However, she visitsKorea every summer and she loves Korea so much that she learned Korean by herself through dramas and songs.
Eun, who has“always been proud of being Korean,”requested help fromthe Korean community around Boston, and she wishes that Koreans could feel value in loving and helping others.
Eun and her friends said together, “Just a little amount of money can save hundreds of lives. It is an opportunity to develop the latent powers of African children.”
If you are interested to give dreams for children in African, please contact JungminEun (JungminEu firstname.lastname@example.org).
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지