Tens and hundreds of high school students gathered in Korea University, to hear an assistant professor Yong Jin Kwon, MD., MPH, Office of Healthcare Policy, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, share his hard-earned experiences in March 26th, 2011. This lecture was the first to open the Chung-chul-au-ram(청출어람) project, conducted by Medipeace, a medical NGO to provide medical aids to foreign countries. The project is consisted of 6 speakers, all of them who are thought to contribute to the international society. Its purpose lies on educating students who wishes to be raised in aglobal scale. Six speakers are scheduled to give presentation for six months, one speaker per month.
Professor Kown's lecture started with a comment on Koreans as global citizens. “Koreans have very strong sense of nationality. However, many of us fail to see that we are Koreans among citizens of the Universe.” He continued his lecture with what kind of attitude a global minded doctor should have. He believes life is considered worthwhile when people find in need of themselves.
(Photo provided by Medipeace)
In order to fulfill his self-given obligation as a global doctor, he tried to share his technology in and out of his home country. When he first went overseas as medical volunteer personnel, he felt nothing but frustration. It was like pouring water to a bottomless pit. Temporary medical aid could not prevent the vicious circle. Ever since then, he has been continuously and frequently visiting abandoned regions to help them live a healthier life.
On the other hand, visiting less developed nations to provide medical support gave him courage as a doctor. For example, in Uzbekistan, medical systems and equipments were fragile. When he was going through a heart surgery, the air conditioner stopped and the heart temperature began to rise, which is highly dangerous. He ordered nurses to grind ice and lay them occasionally on the patient’s heart. The surgery ended sucessfully and the patient was able to save his life.
He told that such method was also practiced only two decades ago in Korea. He added, “If doctors from the U.S. or Japan came here to proceed the same surgery in the same condition, they would have refused to finish, because they believe it is unethical to handle the heart any other ways.” Korea is positioned in a more understanding situation in that of developing nations’. “True doctors are the ones throwing themselves away in the front line. Doctor themselves should be there to look after 10 million people. Doctors should always be near people who are suffering. ”
Lastly, he emphasized the meaning of volunteering. “Volunteering is only meaningful when the recipient of the benefit feels they have received help and are grateful.”
With his heart-warming lessons, students gave him a round of applause, because most Korean students were only busy trying to use their volunteer hours for college applications.
(Photo provided by Medipeace)
When the lecture was over, students were formed into different groups, and were given half an hour to debate about the two following questions: ‘How would the world look like after twenty years? What should the students do as a doctor, supposing I have already become one?’
Students anticipated that natural disasters will occur more frequently, population will duplicate in a fast rate, which will lead to other problems - social instability and overwhelming concentration. Hopefully nations will agree on a consensus of taking responsibility upon the damages done to the environment, but the possibility seemed feeble to the students.
Lee Yeh Sol(19), a participant from Haeseong Girl’s High School, told that her dream is to become a CEO. She believes when running a company, it is necessary to own flexible eyes towards the contemporary issues, which is one of the virtues of entrepreneurialism. After hearing the lecture, she said she became more aware of the issues that seemed not at all related to her before.
“I truly feel like I am not only a citizen of South Korea, but also a contributing member of the universe. I would like to encourage all students participate in this program. Students could indirectly experience the world not so familiar, and further broaden insights on the issues as students share their thoughts through discussions and debates."
Professor Kwon's inspiring lecture is only a start of Medipeace's project, Chung-chul-au-ram. There will be more chances for youth who are interested in broadening their thoughts over bettering the world. Five more lectures will be presented, and the scheduled lecture and lecturers will be the following:
4/30 "What is Global Leadership?" by Kim Jeong Tae, Communications Officer for the UN Governance Center
5/29 "The Life of Immigrants, and Documentary" by Mahbub Alam Pollob, Movie Director
6/25 "History of Korea for Youth" by Han Hong-gu, Sungkonghoe University
7/30 "Haiti Emergency Aid" by Lee Sung-gil, Future Forest
8/20 "Special Lecture on Environment, the Lake of Korea" by Nam Jun Ki, Reporter of the Naeil News
Chung-Chul-au-ram is a project held by Medipeace, which has is object to broaden the Korean youth's perspectives towards the world and nurture them as global leaders with humanistic knowledge through series of lectures.
Medipeace is Korea's first non-religional medical organization to provide medical aids to foreign countries. Medi peace became independent from Peace Asia in 2009. Ever since, it has fulfilled its role as Korea’s only medical NGO in the cases of emergencies and foreign medical aids. It lays its vision on contributing making a peaceful world thorough providing medical aids to those suffering and torn apart by disasters. It does not yet provide opportunities for students (highschool students or under) to devote themselves to medical aids, but is holding hearings from influential doctors or contributers to world peace and extermination of illnesses.