CSC members organize visit to Philippines

Community Service Club (CSC) held its autumn-themed “Fall Into Music” charity concert in the atrium during activity period on Nov. 5. The profits from the ticket sales made up a total of 744,820 won, and were raised for the organization Freedom To Read (FREAD). Two of FREAD’s current presidents, Amy Ryu (12) and Bason Park (12), made a trip to the Philippines from Nov. 20–22 to donate books to four different schools.

FREAD paid a trip to the Philippines this year because of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that occurred last November. The schools were mostly elementary schools that had been destroyed by the typhoon and were rebuilt by the Korean army. The Korean Army supported Amy and Bason throughout the trip.

“This FREAD trip was different in that we’ve never had so much support in the past,” Amy said. “Also, we would normally just visit schools and spend time with the children, but because there was a definite cause in this trip and we were able to contribute to that cause, the trip was the most memorable [of my FREAD trips]. Although we’ll never truly be able to understand what it is like to be in their situation, we hope that we made them feel somewhat better and gave them hope and a future.”

At each of the schools, Amy and Bason dropped off boxes of books and interacted with the students at each school. Getting the opportunity to interact with the children was, for Amy, their biggest accomplishment. They spent the greatest amount of time at the largest school, where they read to the kids, took pictures and spent time with them.

“The children were very shy at first,” Amy said, “but when we kept smiling at them and interacting with them, it felt like they opened up to us. At the end of our visit, at the fourth school, right before we were about to leave, the children all came running out of their classrooms and started dancing to some music for us. It was a show they had prepared.”

FREAD was founded by siblings Elisa and Thomas Han, Classes of ’11 and ’13 respectively, and their mother, Lisa Han, who accompanied Amy and Bason on the trip, along with Irene De Shazo, Admissions Administrator, and Agnes Schuppel, Elementary Coordinator.