Exchange Program – GPY at Jakarta and Pramuka Island, Indonesia
Written by: Ferani Atmadja Heng
Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Indonesia Exchange Program 2016 was held from 11th to the 23rd of January. GPF Indonesia successfully collaborated with the Service for Peace Korea and the Silla University from South Korea, and brought in a total of 24 University students to Indonesia for various exciting and noble activities. This program is also supported by the Government of Jakarta.
The students from the Silla University completed a number of community works, on top of educational programs and various performances to the people of Panggang Island, Seribu Island District and Rusunawa Flamboyan, West Jakarta City. The students actively participated in refurbishment of schools and enthusiastically taught the Indonesian students various subjects such as arts and crafts, and the Korean language. These activities have created a one of a kind experience for both the Korean students and the participating local communities through communications and cultural exchanges from one another.
“The students have certainly stepped out of their comfort zone. They come from a much more comfortable living condition and this will certainly be a very precious experience for them,” said Sam, a coordinator from the Service for Peace Korea.
Namgyu, one of the student from the Silla University, claimed that he has never done any volunteering activity before and was very impressed by the extent of involvement required in this program. “I have always thought that volunteering means serving food for the needy and other simple activities. However, in this program, we are required to be involved both mentally and physically for each of the different activities. On top of helping the community, we were also able to showcase our talents through dancing and taekwondo. It was certainly a very special experience for me and my friends.”
The leader of this program, Ms. Sonya Christi from GPF Indonesia, has an additional objective in mind and that is to introduce the beauty of the Indonesian culture. The Korean students are provided with a free tour to one of Indonesia’s famous heritage site, the Jakarta old town. The cultural and language difference was also regarded as a challenge more than a barrier for both parties throughout the program.
“I have certainly gained some valued cultural experiences as me, along with the rest of the local communities, were able to indirectly learn about the culture, tradition and habits of the Korean students; an experience that will otherwise be impossible without the program,” said Ms. Sonya.
The program received highly positive reviews from both sides. The Korean students claimed that it has been an amazing experience for them to be able to perform noble act and were able to showcase their culture while learning another one in exchange in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The teachers from Panggang Island also expressed their gratitude for the Korean students for their willingness to help refurbish the schools and warm-heartedly educating the students.
GPF Indonesia would also like to express our appreciation for the spirits and passion of the participants; for their perseverance and eagerness despite the scorching sun and language barriers. Donghoon, another student from the Silla University, admitted that he gained a newly found strength despite the weather every time he saw the eagerness and enthusiasm from the locals.
“I was very touched by the warm welcome and tremendous amount of eagerness and excitement from the local,” praised Donghoon.
We hope that these young students will be great leaders and examples in the future in creating a world that is a good place for everyone to live in; a world where we all live as One Family under God.