Giving Back to the Community with IGVC

by Katherine Corteza and Naheen Madarbakus-Ring
Groove Korea (

The Itaewon Global Village Center needs you for their three charities

The Itaewon Global Village Center (IGVC) is centered around its community ethos, offering language classes, a library and plenty of activities for all local expats. With a full monthly schedule for arts and crafts, there’s something for everyone. But the IGVC also aims to give back to their community and have set out to provide expats with a great local opportunity.

The IGVC has teamed up with three local charities – the Yongsan Center for the Disabled, the Yongsan Senior Welfare Center and the Young Nak Aenea’s Home – and every month it arranges for a group of volunteers to help out at these centers. Whether it’s to help the children or the elderly or just to offer some company to those who need it, here’s how you can pitch in.

Yongsan Center for the Disabled

This center is managed by the Anglican Church of Korea. Its goals are to contribute to the social integration of the disabled in Korea, to expand their participation in the society, and to strengthen their rights. To achieve these goals, it offers integrated services to enrich the lives of disabled people, including living consultation, educational programs, cultural programs, family programs, employment support, community support, and strengthening local awareness.

The IGCV helps the Yongsan Center for the Disabled in its employment support programs. The IGVC also helps arrange volunteers each month to help our friends at the center with simple craft-making exercises. The items we create together are then sold to area stores and institutions, so this is a way for them to make money. Sometimes, we also help the center during their annual events such as the Day of the Disabled (held on April 20th every year) and the Secret Santa for their annual Christmas party.

Address: 서울시 용산구 효창원로 93길 49(효창동 3-268) 구립용산장애인복지관

(Yongsan Center for the Disabled, 49 Hyochangwon-ro 93-Gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul). The center is located behind Hyochang Park (Line 6).

Next volunteer date: August 12, 2016 (every 2nd Friday of each month)

Yongsan Senior Welfare Center

The Yongsan Senior Welfare Center was established on April 1, 2002 by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, and management is entrusted to the Onnuri Welfare Foundation. Its mission is to “be a happy community of senior citizens that promotes welfare” and to “foster happy senior citizens.” The center believes that, to achieve this goal, they should help elderly people through the Personal Role Model (PRM) program, which includes the following core values: Good Worker (positive outlook in life), Stewardship (empathy and sympathy), and Worker of the Worker (professional skills).
Their programs include helping residents with integrated consultation, social and life-long education, domiciliary elderly care, redevelopment, health and living support, senior citizens’ social activity support, employment for the elderly, and local welfare.

One of their educational programs is the English Language Class, which aims to help prevent Alzheimer’s in senior citizens. Most of the students who join this class used to be professionals (professors or government employees, for example) and some of them have lived abroad for a long time before deciding to retire and come back to Korea, so most of the students have intermediate to advanced levels of English. IGVC volunteers can visit the center once a month to help them practice their English speaking skills.

Address: 16, Yongsangudokdeodang-ro 11-Gil, Seoul (서울특별시 용산구독서당로11길 16 (한남동108) 시립용산노인종합복지관).

Next volunteer date: August 16, 2016 (every 3rd Tuesday of each month)

Young Nak Aenea’s Home

Young Nak Aena’s Home houses 40 children aged 4 and above with cerebral palsy above the age of 4. Founded in 2004, the name Aenea means “a commendable person,” which reflects the spirit of the home. The home provides self-development for the residents through physical therapy and daily care.

The compound is made up of three floors, including a basement which provides a living room, classroom, infirmary, physical therapy room, kitchen, laundry and volunteer room. IGVC volunteers can help prepare afternoon snacks and assist them with eating. Also we spend some time talking, singing to them, and wheeling them around.

Next volunteer date: August 18, 2016 (every 3rd Thursday of each month)

For more details about Itaewon GVC charities, contact 02-2199-8883~5.

To register for one of the volunteering programs, please email Itaewon GVC (Katherine Corteza) with your name, nationality and phone number at / .

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