Under the hot scorching sun, there are hundreds and thousands of African kids who walk hours and hours to draw water for their daily use. However, those waters that they draw from river or wells are severely contaminated, and therefore caused the death of 525,000 children annually. The good water project by “Good Neighbors” is supporting the suffering African children by installing drinkable water, restrooms, and taps.
|[Picture of the “Step for water” poster; picture from http://
Last year, when I was ignorant to our city: Global Education City, I had no idea what “step for water”, or “good water project” was. I only heard some of my friends joined a campaign and it was campaign outside the school. However, this year, as I matured both mentally and physically, I was more cognizant about the things that were going around our city. I saw the poster (pictured above) promoting the project, which said they were recruiting the staff members who are willing to support the children in Africa, and the participants of the project. After I decided, I contacted the good neighbors and signed up as a staff member for the project.
As I was recruited and got more information about this project, such as the background of this event, I felt more attachment to this project. This year, the good water project presented “step for water” marathon: a walking marathon. The intention behind the marathon was trying to make people walk the distance that African children walk every day to draw water, in order to virtually having the experience and sympathize with them. Also, if participants paid 10,000 won, they got a step for water campaign T-shirt, and three hours of volunteer work hours for school requirements.
|[Picture of me in the staff booth: Taken by my mom]
The “step for water” walking marathon was held next to my school, so I could see lots of familiar faces when I got there. After I talked with the staff manager, I changed my cloth to campaign T-shirt. Unluckily, the staff T-shirt was out of stock, so I had to wear the participant T-shirt. The hardship that I had in this experience was that I had to work with unfamiliar people. I never saw a single staff member who I knew. For the first hour, I was blank and confused about what to do. I stood in the side blankly looking at the marathoners walking by.
I was disappointed at myself. I volunteered to help the children that I don’t even know and live 10,864 km away from me, but I couldn’t even help the staff members who were five meters away. I was disappointed at my shyness, and I felt like I was inadequate to this position as a staff. After an hour of killing time, overcoming my fear, I talked to some of the staff members by asking what I could do. All of the staff members were all amiable, and they told me what to do with some great details. My role was distributing presents to the participants who finished the race.
After I started to talk with them, the staff members often came to me asking how I was doing.
After three hours of working under the sun, I was frustrated and tired. When the event ended and when all the staff members were helping each other cleaning up the booths, I felt and learned something. This volunteer work wasn’t simply helping the suffering African children (of course that was one of the main points too, but). I learned that I can get nothing by being afraid to talk to unfamiliar people and nobody is going to talk to you or help you first. However, when you first talk to them, opening your heart, most of the time they welcome you, willing to help you.
|[Picture of me distributing presents to the participants: Picture taken by my mother]
Korea International School Jeju
Kim Dongki email@example.com
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