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SU Campaigns Support for and Solidarity with the Myanmar Democratization Movement
Social Contribution Partnership Since 2014
Sahmyook University is sending support and solidarity to the citizens of Myanmar who are leading the democratization movement against the military coup. The university is conducting an social media campaign to inform of the horrendous reality of Myanmar, as well as sponsoring the delivery of relief supplies such as medicines and clothing to the local communities. The university also plans to establish a support fund for the Myanmar citizens through fundraising movements in the future.
SU’s Volunteer Service Group, under Director Yoon Jae-young, is running the Myanmar Campaign Supporters launched in the beginning of April. Its members include 2 professors, 3 staff members, and 19 students. The 24 supporters are creating and distributing graphic news images on the democratization movement in Myanmar on their Instagram (@syu_volunteer).
The SU Volunteer Service Group’s Instagram page is being constantly updated with graphic news images and contents that tell about Myanmar’s democratization movement and appeal for solidarity among the international society. Contents covered include the background and current status of the democratization movement in Myanmar, comparing Myanmar’s democratization movement and Korea’s 5.18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising, facts about child victims of the coup, and the ‘three-finger salute,’ which is the symbol of resistance against the coup.
SU’s relationship with Myanmar traces back to 2014, when the university dispatched a Youth Mid-term Volunteer Group through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). In 2017, under the leadership of Music Professor Kim Cheol-ho, a group of music majors and theology majors conducted a 10-day music volunteer activity at a school in an anarchy zone near the border in Myanmar. Since then, the group has been continuing its support for Myanmar.
In 2019, SU held a large-scale intensive social contribution activity, dispatching a group of over 200 students two times to the national Disabled Care Centre in Yangon, Myanmar (related article: Launching Ceremony of “Change the World” Held in Myanmar). In November the same year, the university invited Myanmar government officials to Korea and provided a workshop and training on Korea’s welfare system and facilities, solidifying the partnership with the country
SU’s support activities for Myanmar are based on local connections which have been built through years of social contribution activities.
The university recently received some medicines such as antibiotics and digestives from Kwangdong Pharmaceutical and delivered them to one of its graduates who is serving as a missionary in Myanmar. The medicines were paired with some clothing donated by the Dorcas Volunteer Group from Sahmyook University Church.
Additionally, SU is planning on forming a support fund for Myanmar. The original plan was to deliver to-be-collected donations through the student body of the Department of Korean Language at Yangon University of Foreign Languages, until the student group was disintegrated by the oppressive military government. In turn, the university is communicating with multiple main agents in Myanmar, including the civil volunteer group from Yangon University of Medicine, to seek ways of cooperation.
“Sahmyook University has maintained a long-lasting relationship with Myanmar. Particularly, through the dispatch of our large-scale volunteer group in 2019, we have been closely cooperating with the civilian government of Myanmar,” SU Volunteer Service Group Director Yoon Jae-young said. He continued, “It’s just sad that the recent cooperation hasn’t been so active due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup in Myanmar. We ask everyone for their unsparing interest, support, and participation in extending helping hands to the citizens of Myanmar. In the end, we are all close neighbors in this glocal era.”
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