|Members of the Seoul Young Leaders Club pose with Senior Public Diplomacy Group President Choi Ha-kyung, front row third from left, in 2015, after discussing how to dedicate themselves to community services. |
/ Courtesy of SYLC
By Jon Dunbar
The Seoul Young Leaders Club (SYLC) will hold a general meeting Suday to discuss its community service initiatives for the new year.
The meeting is to take place over dinner and drinks at TGI Friday in Yongsan I'Park in Seoul at 5:30 p.m.
SYLC was formed on June 1 as a satellite organization of Seoul Rotary Club, which was formed in 1927. The SYLC, for those aged 19 to 35, was suggested by Seoul Rotary President David Saeho Chang.
"If it were not for his idea, young professionals with a passion for service would have an otherwise difficult experience in becoming part of the Rotary family since membership fees for senior clubs are much higher than our club membership fees," said SYLC President Raymond Chetti in an interview with The Korea Times. "Seoul Rotary Club members are considered an extended family of the SYLC and vice versa."
The club offers young professionals opportunities to network with likeminded community leaders, both foreign and Korean, and carries out community service projects.
"I've expanded my professional network, made new friends from cultures different from my own, and became part of a larger movement to make a positive impact in the world," said Chetti.
In the half year since the club was launched, they've grown to 30 members, participated in 10 fundraising and service projects and raised 6 million won.
Their first service project was volunteering at a Seoul homeless shelter in June 2015. They co-hosted a rock concert near Hongik University in Seoul in August that year, raising 1.2 million won to donate books to a school in Laos.
In October 2015, they helped build homes for low-income families in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province, in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity.
They even offered a charity screening of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," raising 900,000 won for Doctors Without Borders.
According to Chetti, they are now evaluating a project with Baeksa Village, a mountainous slum in Nowon, northern Seoul, with a large elderly population.
"There is a problem with growing old in South Korea where more and more seniors are aging alone and suffering by living in under-average standard of living conditions."
The project is set to be discussed at the upcoming general meeting. Non-members are welcome to join, but must apply for a reservation in advance. Find out more at seoulrotary.com or visit the Facebook page Seoul Rotary Club_Young Leaders Club.