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Music fest gets down to business for Korean kids

The 2011 Sejong-Syracuse Global MBA Student Association.
The 2011 Sejong-Syracuse Global MBA Student Association.

A charity music festival on Peppero Day will raise cash to fund villages helping orphaned children in South Korea.

Sejong University graduate MBA students from more than 20 countries are organizing the concert to raise funds and awareness of SOS Children’s Villages here, while strengthening their commitment to business ethics.

The Save our Souls Children’s Villages NGO provides family-based care for abandoned, destitute and orphaned kids.

Children live with an SOS “mother” in houses in the SOS villages to provide a stable and loving atmosphere as they grow up. Up to 15 “families” of around 10 children live in each of in South Korea’s three villages in Suncheon, Daegu and Seoul.

The villages also include kindergartens that children from outside attend with the village children. The kids go on to local state-run elementary schools.

The charity has a policy of keeping blood brothers and sisters together under one roof, encouraging a sense of family where older children help to care for those younger than them.

The Daegu site opened as the first SOS village outside of Europe when It started taking in Korean war orphans in 1965.

Now, the 2011 Sejong-Syracuse Global MBA Student Association is helping SOS raise funds toward its long-term aim of opening another village in Busan. 
Help! 11-11-11 poster
Help! 11-11-11 poster

International MBA students from countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Ghana, Germany, Morocco, Egypt and Afghanistan are organizing the Help! 11-11-11 music event.

Cash raised at the night of concerts in Seoul’s Hongdae area will go either toward the new village or to supporting kids with special needs at existing villages.

The charity said the cash would be mostly directed to help kids with borderline personality disorders, and also children who have undergone psychological disorders and difficulties caused by mental trauma.

Course member Dain Leathem, from New Zealand, explained that organizing a charity event formed part of the students’ move to incorporate the Harvard Business School’s ethics code into their studies and future work.

The oath is a voluntary pledge for MBAs to “create value responsibly and ethically,” started by the class of 2009 graduates of Harvard Business School to foster high standards of ethical behavior. The oath has so far been adopted by 250 universities around the world.

Leathem said the Sejong-Syracuse Global MBA course members have been working to incorporate the oath into all areas of their studies, as well as taking a separate ethics paper to promote good business practices that will benefit society as a whole.

“We are not taking it lightly. We are having ethics discussions, looking at a lot of case studies and examples,” Leathem explained, adding that discussing ethics in an international context now would help students going on to work in business in their home countries or abroad.

While in Korea, the group decided to focus on helping a good cause within the country.

“We wanted to do something where the money we raised would benefit Korea,” said Leathem, who is head coordinator of the Help! 11-11-11 music event. “One of our members had helped SOS Children’s Villages before and we recognized it as a good cause.”

The charity music festival will see more than 20 acts perform, with Korean funk-rock act YNOT?, Art of Parties, Pinnacle the Hustler, Seoul Electric Band, Angry Bear, Chanters Alley, Band Minha, Kozmo 3 and Eshe the belly dancer among those already on the lineup. The event is to be held across three venues ― Hongdae’s Club FF, Gogo’s 2 and Club Ta ― from 9 p.m. this Nov. 11.

A competition to create a logo for the event has also been launched, with prizes of a T-shirt, signed CDs from the performers as well as other goodies on offer. The contest is open until Sunday, Nov. 6 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 8.

For more information on SOS Children’s Villages go to www.koreasos.or.kr/ or search for the Facebook page “Help! 11-11-11” for updates on the music night.

By Kirsty Taylor (kirstyt@heraldcorp.com)
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