[Photo Courtesy of Sahmyook University]
South Korea | Sahmyook University

Sahmyook University’s Charity Shop has stepped up to help struggling foreign students during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Operated by a group of volunteer women, the shop donated 30 million KRW (about US$26,000) to the university for school development and scholarships for students. The shop has been selling sponsored goods from various fields of society and donating the entire profit as scholarship funds for students since 2013. 

Specifically, the group began supporting fifteen foreign students from Vietnam, China, India, the Philippines, Iraq, and Cameroon in 2020. The scholarship fund greatly benefits these struggling students because they are not eligible for the Korean government scholarships, and opportunities for part-time jobs have almost shut down due to the COVID-19 crisis. Added to the strain are their families in their home countries who face financial difficulties as well.

The Charity Shop’s most recent fundraising event was for a Vietnamese student whose newborn baby had a symptom of stiffness in its fingers and required rehabilitation treatment. Also, the volunteer group held a giveaway event on July 16, 2021, for foreign students at the parking lot in front of the recreation center on campus. The students could receive clothes, cosmetics, bread, soy milk, and Korean rice cakes.

“We are glad to see our scholarship fund growing because it means we can extend help to more students in need,” said Kwon YeongSun, president of the Sahmyook Charity Shop. “We pray that the students will grow into great and capable members of society when they go back to their countries.”