Service in exchange for a better me and a better tomorrow

Eric Olsen
August 14, 2013

Korea college-age students engage in service exchanges. 부맛이(Poomashi) means the exchange of work in the Korean language. Global Poomashi is a youth service initiative of the Global Peace Youth Corps Korea (Check out the photo album!) and Philippines.

The program encourages Korean college age students to travel abroad and engage in service and cultural exchange.  Service and personal investment transform the lives of those serving and those being served.

The program is designed in three stages:

  1. Planning the project
  2. Carrying out the project
  3. Reflection to allow students to fully comprehend the impact they made and their experience.

Founder of GPF, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, believes that service has the power to “make a fundamental, [more sustainable] change in the world”.  It gives students the opportunity to “directly experience the joy of serving others.”  The hope is that when the professionals of tomorrow learn to think beyond themselves, the often disjointed world can be connected

Global Poomashi is proving to be a channel where an exchange of service for priceless memories and personal transformation, as well as an exchange of heart beyond language, religion and nationality can be made.

During the most recent exchange, Korean volunteers traveled to the Philippines. Together with local university counterparts, they build a multipurpose community hall, taught local school children proper oral hygiene and hand washing and simply connected with village families. Teaching children how to brush teeth, in Philippines.

A past volunteer described her experience.

“During my home stay, even though our skin color is different and we were from different countries, we laughed and told jokes. We really felt like ‘one family.’ I was really happy and will be really sad to go, but I will never forget this experience.”

At the most recent National Convention of Volunteering and Service, GPYC-USA President Mr. Kenshu Aoki, emphasized “Service as effective means of character education.”  He continued, “Overseas service, in particular, reveals universal values that bind humanity together.”

College is often a very busy and isolating time. It is easy to become consumed by the stress of school and personal success.

Global Poomashi is redefining the youth culture. Students are pulled out of their bubbles and placed in the fields to face some of the world’s toughest issues. In the process they build leadership, global consciousness and an extended family.

Global Poomashi is exchanging more than just work; it is exchanging a world filled with conflict and pain for a future filled with hope and peace, one volunteer at a time.

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