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Korean school volunteers boost Murcia school facilities

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Korean volunteers join students and staff of Manuel Regalado Elementary School (MARES) in a community dance during the culmination of their week-long immersion program in Brgy. Sta. Rrosa, Murcia*

Volunteer students and staff of Keimyung Adams College (KAC) conducted a cultural exchange program and turned over almost 10,000 USD worth of improvements in the school facilities of Manuel Regalado Elementary School (MARES) in Brgy. Sta. Rosa, Murcia during the culmination of their week-long immersion program on January 18, according to a press release.

“Words are not enough to express the gratitude of the MARES community for all these improvements which Keimyung University, thru Keimyung Adams College students and staff, have contributed to our school. We will forever remember your generosity and kindness. These facilities will benefit our students for many, many years, and we assure you that we will take the utmost care of them,” said MARES principal Ana Toralba.

Toralba added that the Korean group constructed a substantial extension of the covered court and community stage, where the students and staff regularly gather during programs and other activities. The group also replaced the dilapidated roofing of the covered court, painted the covered court and stage, constructed a covered lunch counter for students, and decorated the school’s perimeter fence with a sea-themed mural.

Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas; right photo, MARES Principal Ana Toralba and KAC Dean Dr. Seo Jung Soo*
The teachers and staff of MARES headed by Principal Ana Toralba (3rd from left) perform an ethnic dance*

“Thank you very much for choosing Murcia as your partner in this cultural exchange program since 2015. This was interrupted for three years because of the COVID pandemic, but I am glad that Keimyung University has resumed the activity this year. We hope that there will be more of these exchanges in the future, and we are looking forward to also visiting Keimyung University soon,” said Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas.     

The visiting group consisted of 29 KAC male and female students from diverse year levels and specializations. KAC Dean Dr. Seo Jung Soo headed the delegation. He was assisted by Administrators Kim Kyung Hee and Kim Sang Woo in ensuring the welfare of the students and facilitating their seamless interaction with MARES and Murcia officials.

“We enjoyed immensely, and learned a lot from our interaction with the students and teachers of MARES, and we have formed unforgettable bonds with them. We also felt very welcome and safe, even at night, during our stay. For all these, we thank MARES students and teachers headed by Principal Ana Toralba, Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas and his staff, and our Bacolod liaison Mr. Charlie Shin,” said Seo.

KAC students showcase the traditional Korean fan dance*
The Korean drum beating demonstration*
The Korean students displaying their proficiency in taekwondo*
The KAC students performing the latest K-pop dance moves*

Keimyung Adams College is Keimyung University’s English college department which specializes in International Relations and International Business, among others. Situated in Korea’s third largest city of Daegu, Keimyung University offers a vast field of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and has a population of more than 27,000 international students, faculty and staff.

During their stay, the Korean students mingled with MARES students, learned the local culture and way of life, and shared Korean culture, history and practices with their counterparts. The guests made MARES their home, sleeping in their sleeping bags and tents inside the classrooms, and purchasing and cooking their own food.

Dr. Seo narrated that Keimyung University was founded in 1954 by American missionary Rev. Edward Adams of the Northern Presbyterian Church, and by local Presbyterian Church leaders Rev. Choi Jaehwa and Rev. Kang Ingu. The 70-year old learning institution was founded on the principle of providing Koreans with higher education firmly anchored in Christianity.

Keimyung was elevated to university status in 1978. In 2002, the university launched its Global Volunteer Corps Program.

“The visit of our group is part of Keimyung University’s Global Volunteer Corps Program. Through this program, we are paying forward to our global brothers and sisters all the blessings we have received from the higher education and Christian values inculcated in us by our founders,” shared Dr. Seo.*

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