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International Youth Fellowship to tour Korea

International Youth Fellowship to tour Korea

The International Youth Fellowship will be holding a series of events to share the experiences of its over 400 overseas volunteers, the group said Tuesday.

The 2017 GoodNews Corps Festival will kick off Thusday in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province, and will travel to 12 other cities -- 10 in Korea and two in Japan -- before ending in Hiroshima, Japan on Feb. 28.
Overseas volunteers perform a traditional dance at the Good News Corps Festival. (GoodNews Corps)
Overseas volunteers perform a traditional dance at the Good News Corps Festival. (GoodNews Corps)

IYF is a Christian global youth initiative that sends university students abroad under its one-year overseas volunteering program, GoodNews Corps.

Last year, it sent some 422 participants to 62 countries. Through the festival, the volunteers will share stories of the joy and hardship they experienced while abroad. Some of them will perform traditional dances they learnt in other countries and musicals about their working experiences overseas.

“Last year’s members would like to show our gratitude for the love we received from each of the countries we were dispatched to, through the festivals,” said Song Eun-kyung who worked in Swaziland in Africa last year. “We want to deliver some heart-warming stories of our experiences to Koreans.”

Others who took part in last year’s program revealed that the work was more than just living with locals and helping them, but a chance to look back at their own lives.

“The students (I taught) may have learned how to use computers from me, but I learned how to care for other people from them,” said Kim hye-jin, a volunteer who taught students in Zambia, Africa last year.

Lee Hye-yoon, who suffered from leukemia, went to Fiji in the South Pacific to speak to the people and the needy there.

Rev. Park Ock-soo, who established the group and initiated the volunteer program, said the experience helps volunteers to reflect on themselves.

“Students see changes in themselves as they help others placed in difficult situations. GoodNews Corps is a program that goes beyond the good purpose of working for others, as it helps one to find the true meaning of volunteer work.”

GoodNews Corps began in 2002, when the group sent 14 members to 10 countries. The program has since expanded, sending 6,091 aid workers to 89 countries.

The International Youth Fellowship is a global organization dedicated to the spiritual, intellectual and emotional growth of young people around the world. It strives to advance Christian mission work in developed and developing countries, create international awareness of cultural exchange and administer alternative methods of post-secondary education.

For further information, go to www.iyf.or.kr or contact 1588-2346.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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