[Interview] A small step to nurture future human rights activists
Director, HUMAN ASIA (Jongno Academy CEO)
Hurasia met Director Chung Eun-mee, who is also the CEO of Jongno Academy. She put all her efforts in the opening ceremony of Jum Library, built for JPNK (Jumma Peoples Network-Korea) located in Gimpo, which was held on September 30. She has been actively participating in various campaigns and education conducted by Hurasia as well.
1. 1. As one of the Human Asia Executive Committee members, you participated in the opening ceremony of Jum Library in Gimpo on September 30, donating 500 English books you personally owned. Thank you for the generous donation. Could you tell the readers how you engaged yourself in Human Asia?
At first the concept of human rights was too broad and vague to me, but as I joined education programs and seminars, I realized how important this kind of activity is. Constant invasions of neighboring countries like China and Japan since ancient times and the recent Korean War damaged not only our economy but also our dignity. I think our country, now nearing the developed world, needs to meet the world’s expectations and I hope Human Asia plays a key role in human rights activities. In doing so, we can recover from the scars of the past tragedy and our damaged dignity. We also have a duty pass the dignity onto the next generation.
2. Currently, you are actively participating in YFHA (Young Friends of Human Asia). Could you explain what this program is all about?
Nowadays, a lot of students go abroad for study. I’ve thought that we need to teach those students about Asian human rights from earlier age, so that they grow into more responsible global citizes. In the meantime, we can form a sound and constructive network, through which we can share Asian human rights issues with other students, exchanging each other’s diverse views. The main goal of YFHA is to nurture a generation of children who can help solving human rights problems.
Those students who stay in Korea, say, during the summer vacation, can join Human Asia’s educational programs or campaigns. And then when they go back to the country where they study, they can create a club, campaign, or do fundraising activities based on what they learned during the vacation. Now YFHA is run mainly by high school students, but from next year when these students go to college, they can be mentors for other high school students.
3. How did you feel when you were at the Jum Library opening ceremony?
While there is criticism that our country is still antagonistic to foreigners, I was glad that we offered a practical help through the library to Jumma peoples, who face a lot of hardships living in Korea after they escaped from human rights abuse in their own country. I was happy to be one of their neighbors. In addition, we can encourage students involved in YFHA to work together with Jumma community. We will obviously get a lot of benefits from the cooperation.
I want to keep working in nurturing a generation who do not stop at just one time donation, campaign, or volunteering, but steadily contribute to advancement of human rights
Translated by_Yang Eun Young(Ewha Womans University GSTI)