“What is your story to tell?”
Before going on the trip to South Korea, I might still be hesitant on how to reply to this. Even after 18 years of living, I don’t seem to have a great story to tell. After the trip, I can confidently tell my global volunteer (GV) trip as my story. It was my first AIESEC trip to South Korea where the project focuses on healthy well-being. I was so drawn to it that I couldn’t stop the excitement by myself after I received the volunteer schedule.
The first shock I have encountered is how mental well-being is taken seriously in South Korea, whereas from most of my experience, mental illness is seen as taboo or even not taken seriously. We were given an opportunity to visit the largest psychiatric treatment centre in Korea where we learned detailed information about the Korean psychical situation until now and the way to educate the children who have been suffered from autism. I realized how serious the discussion around mental health is in South Korea, which is something I cannot see in my country.
The main task of the trip is to educate the basics of mental health to the two groups of children, ages 9-12 years old and 13-15 years old. Before the actual presentation. We gave the children a detailed explanation of how to correctly recognize their emotions and taught them how to properly groom their feelings. 8 lessons, 16 hours spent in teaching and lengthy hours of preparation. We have combined what we have learned with what they want to know and used all kinds of methods to communicate our goals because we genuinely wanted to pass on the healthy well-being in the sustainable development goals.
And of course, my teammates were the best people I met. My team’s exchange participants consist of 4 countries, China, Canada, Mexico, Indonesia. I was the youngest, not only taking a lot of care but also learning from five sisters to deal with different things in a lot of ways and attitudes. 45 days of getting along are always inevitably quarrelling but we also get along well after we express ourselves to each other, just like a group of sisters. During the trip, we went on a lot of trips such as Busan and Lotte World. So in the last few days of separation, everyone said that we had to leave with a smile, but we couldn’t help but burst into tears.
This is my story in AIESEC.
In my 18-year-old life —
I have experienced a story that I will never forget,
A story I could tell.