On September 27, the KAIST Global Leadership Center held the founding ceremony for the KAIST Global Leadership Corps at the Creative Learning Building (E11). 92 members of the volunteers and five faculty members including President Sung-Chul Shin himself came to the ceremony to celebrate the start of a new volunteer program.
The KAIST Volunteers have been renamed to the KAIST Global Leadership Corps in the hopes of expanding their volunteering activities to a global scale. Previously, the volunteers mainly focused on domestic volunteer work through activities such as delivering briquettes and cooking food for the elderly.
The KAIST Volunteers have had some opportunities to volunteer in other countries as well. During the summer vacation, 28 students visited Ethiopia for ICT education, such as Android app development and Photoshop skills for 300 college students. Another team of four students also carried out automated water tank level control and pond aeration as well as science fair mentoring for 80 high school students. Erick Martin, a student from Tanzania, sent a letter of thanks by saying, “Thank you for your knowledge [that you’ve given] us, and we promise to put [it] into practice in society.”
However, the KAIST Volunteers lacked organized planning for funding and training programs for students. Half of the applicants for the volunteer program in Ethiopia were not fortunate enough to get in the program.
The leadership center decided to support the KAIST Volunteers to open up new opportunities for students to volunteer abroad. The leadership center will provide special lectures and training programs for the students on every first Friday of the month. The director of the KAIST Global Leadership Center, Young-gil Kim, said during his speech, “As long as there is demand for such opportunities, we will provide full support for the students.” The Corps is aiming to volunteer in five Southeast Asian countries and five African countries by 2020. In 2018, the Corps will be volunteering in Cambodia and Indonesia over the winter and Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Uganda over the summer.
Director Kim concluded the ceremony by saying, “As global leaders of the future, KAIST students should not only provide an academic contribution to the society, but also contribute to creating a world where we can all get along together by helping others who need our help.”