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New faces at Human Asia
 Human Asia (humanasia@humanasia.org)     2011년 11월 01일    2,500  

Dear old interns left and new interns of Human Asia came. They are Kim Min-Ju and Jo Sang-Rae, and they’ve just worked for a month. Now let’s see how they became involved in Human Asia.

1. How did you become interested in human rights problems? Which field are you most interested in?

Kim Min-Ju: It was when I happened to see a photo of North Korean girl on the internet. She seemed to suffer from starvation, and go to the mountain to get some grass. She was at my age, but she looked as big as just a middle school student. I think the photo gave me an echo. Then I began to be interested in basic human rights, which naturally expanded to the issues of refugees and migrant workers. In fact, long before, I thought the term ‘human rights’ didn’t concern me, which was used only by the people who were involved.

Jo Sang-Rae: I don’t think that I had a specific momentum. I joined different activities through student union, and came to be interested in social problems related to minorities in society. Afterwards, I realized that there are social and political minorities in other countries joining the club activity of model United Nations. The problem that I have been interested for the longest time is the human rights of students in Korean education. When I entered education college and studied education, I was concerned about education in Korea. It led me to be concerned about students themselves and how they can study with their rights and dreams accepted by society.

2. Why did you apply to the internship of Human Asia?

Kim Min-Ju: I needed a chance to contemplate issues more deeply which I have recognized. I thought that the knowledge that is taught would be different from the experience in the field. At that time, I found Human Asia’s internship notice and I applied to it. It was the great chance to me.

Jo Sang-Rae: I wanted to learn the issues in the fields I was concerned about during studying in the university. I thought that I could learn more than what I learned through books and media when I did the internship. The reason I applied to Human Asia is that I am interested in Asian region itself from studying history and Chinese characters as well we in human rights. It was lucky for me to find the place which satisfies both interests. When I applied for the internship, I was afraid of not being accepted. I thought it would be hard to pass, but I applied for it, making an attempt. I did a lot of thinking to be accepted. I am lucky to be here and experience valuable works. Haha.

3. Are there any differences between what you had expected before the internship and what you really experienced as an intern? If so, please talk about them.

Kim Min-Ju: It’s not about the differences, but what made me surprised is that the office atmosphere is so democratic where the Secretary General Kim Jeonglim, the program managers Lee Jooyea and Kim Ahreum are working together with us. Some might think it is natural because it is a human rights organization, but we are inexperienced, easy to be ordered to do something. But they always ask our opinions and respect us. As for the work, I guessed that NGO had more active works, but not as much as I expected. However, I feel very pleased with getting more conscious about human rights problems.

Jo Sang-Rae: I have been learning  a lot as I expected since I started the work a month ago. While monitoring different issues on human rights in Asia, I am learning a lot about current problems on Asian human rights. I also learn a lot how to handle works from the Secretary General and two program managers. Before starting the internship, I imagined a bit dark images when I thought of the place where the human rights were dealt with. That’s because issues on human rights and foreign cases are dark, sad rather than bright, pleasant. But the office atmosphere is great. I am a new comer and go to the office everyday expecting what kind of work I can do rather than the work burden. Haha.

4. Please talk about your future dream.

Kim Min-Ju: I am also interested in marketing and planning of performance organizing. I want to build my career in the administrative field, which is my major, and then I hope to work supporting culture and art programs to neglected social groups

 Jo Sang-Rae: I want to make social safety policies for social minorities or ordinary people. I think they are needed so that people can be protected and claim their rights when they are treated unfairly by an authority or a group. I want to make them into administrative ones. After the graduation, I plan to go to the graduate college to study related fields.
5. Please talk about what you want to say as an intern of Human Asia.

Kim Min-Ju: The term ‘human rights’ still seems to be a written word rather than a spoken one. I wish it could be a familiar word to everyone if she/he is not involved in human rights. I want to help as much as possible so that everyone is conscious of and interested in human rights.

Jo Sang-Rae: It has been a month since I started the internship. It’s so much fun. I am looking forward to the works that I am going to do in Human Asia. When the semester starts, I will have to work and study at the same time, which makes me a bit nervous. But I want to do my best until the end of the work.

Traslated by_Hyun Kyung Yoo, Ehwa Graduate School of Translation & Interpretation