Despite this past summer’s extraordinary heat wave, the fourth Global Volunteer Group selected by the POSCO 1% Sharing Foundation went on a volunteer service trip. Instead of having typical summer vacations, the POSCO family took on a challenge to volunteer for a construction project. Let’s learn more about their trip!
POSCO Global Volunteer Group, Off to Vietnam!
The fourth Global Volunteer Group was exclusively selected by the POSCO 1% Sharing Foundation’s internal contest, which had a competitive selection ratio of 1:7. From August 20 to 28, the volunteers participated in housing construction activities at the POSCO Steel Village located in the Tân Thành district, part of the Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu province of Vietnam.
Beginning last year, the Global Volunteer Group’s activities were designed for POSCO’s 1% Sharing Donor employees to visit overseas and participate in overseas CSR activities to experience sharing opportunities and promote them to a greater extent.
The volunteers who used their annual leaves to join this trip participated in an orientation session upon their arrival in Vietnam. During the orientation, they received safety education, shared a 9-day volunteering schedule and were introduced to Vietnam’s culture and home partners to quickly adapt to volunteering abroad.
They also had a meaningful time at a neighborhood orphanage by painting a playground and decorating dolls with children. Their visit to the orphanage was initially intended to give encouragement to the children, but volunteers said afterwards that they too gained great support. Furthermore, the volunteers visited home partners (future residents) to greet them and explain construction service plans. The expected residents expressed gratitude to the volunteers who had traveled many miles to build shelters for their communities.
Officially launched on Monday, the volunteers’ construction activity was a scene of utter devotion. Despite the extremely hot weather, all volunteers were giving their very best. The home partners who the residences were being built for also participated, which added more value to the service.
All participants, including the volunteers and the home partners, started each day with a safety guideline training which was led by Chansu Kim, Head of the Safety Department. Volunteers who had already received the training in Korea signed safety pledges to ensure safe conditions on site. In addition, volunteers with safety engineer qualifications were selected for each group to take charge of safety check-ups, toolbox meetings, and safety slogan reminders.
Thanks to these efforts, the volunteers were able to participate in the service without any accidents. Since it was monsoon season in Vietnam, there were heavy rains in the afternoon when all construction activities were in process. Because of the blustering rain, one of the domestic volunteers broke into tears, but was quickly offered support from other volunteers ensuring to build sturdy houses for the home partners. Also, during the four days of construction, employees from POSCO Vietnam’s affiliates (POSCO-Vietnam, SS-VINA, VST, VHPC) visited the construction site to assist. From POSCO group companies to local employees, it was a unified activity from the POSCO family.
On the last day at Vũng Tàu, the volunteers finally presented the completed houses to the home partners. For those who had been living in poor residential conditions, the new sturdy houses brought big change to their lives. The volunteer activity was wrapped up by a ceremony presenting the 40 houses that were built during the first half of 2016. Dongho Kim, the Managing Director of POSCO-Vietnam the Vice Chairman and Head of Labor Department at Tân Thành People’s Council wished for the new homeowners to live happily in the new houses.
In other aspects, POSCO Steel Village is a large scale social contribution project created through the collaboration of the POSCO 1% Sharing Foundation, POSCO-Vietnam and the local government to construct 104 steel houses in the Tân Thành District, 100km away from Ho Chi Minh City. The POSCO 1% Sharing Foundation funded the construction; the local government provided a location; POSCO A&C designed the steel houses optimized for the local environment; and POSCO SS-VINA produced steel materials for construction. With these supports, POSCO employees and university student volunteers worked together with Habitat for Humanity, an international non-governmental organization, to provide volunteer construction service.
The POSCO 1% Sharing Foundation will continue to provide various CSR activities in international and domestic locations to fulfill its responsibility as a global corporate citizen. More than 50 volunteers share their experiences below, revealing the great opportunities that await for any employees interested in volunteering in the future.
Volunteers’ Experiences from the Fourth Global Volunteer Group
We would like to introduce touching experiences from volunteers of the most recent volunteer group, filled with passion and a love for sharing.
POSCO STS Steel Production Group – Chansu Kim
“Our one week in Vietnam was a meaningful time for my life and career. I believe a new turning point was necessary for volunteer services. Thank you all who participated in the event.”
POSCO E&C Marketing Group – Jungho Kim
“Thank you for granting me an opportunity to participate in my very first volunteering activity. For the pure hearts of the children who were playing in the rain, I wish them happiness and joy in their future.”
POSCO ICT POSCO IT Business Group – Wonil Kim
“I went there to help but I received it instead. I went there to express love but I came back with more love. Now, I can see what my responsibility is. Thank you for the opportunity to see a different world.”
POSCO Gwangyang Hot Rolling Group – Byoungdu Moon
“One person’s journey is lonely and desolate, but a journey between two people is friendly and enjoyable. For three people, the journey is exciting and heart-warming, and as more people join, the journey lifts you up as if you were going on a picnic. The world is not a place you can live alone in. Let’s embrace each other and live with warm hearts.”
POSCO Gwangyang Technology Development Center – Byoungcho Kim
“I learned three things from this volunteering trip. First, volunteering gives you moments to feel joy with others. Second, I am capable of more volunteering than I what currently participate in. Third, the outcome of volunteering doubles when many people engage in it. I was able to have a good time because someone was always behind me, helping out.”
POSCO Humans Pohang Service Group – Kyoungsil Kim
“Life is a struggle between surplus and shortage. I appreciate the blissful time of sharing my additional resources with others, and experiencing joyful moments being with joyful people.”
POSCO Group University Job Education Group – Hyuntae Shin
“The word ‘volunteering’ has the connotation of a ‘satisfying experience’. Although it was a short experience, I am glad to think that I found my own form of happiness from the trip. Also, I was glad to see the happy smiles of other volunteers. I wish to continue the joy of sharing in the future.”
POSCO Thick Plate Group 1 Thick Plate Plant – Sangjun Lee
“It was a huge honor to join the village volunteers and contribute to the service with every effort. The children’s innocent laughter, the partners’ smiles and our passion have completely changed my life. I learned to give by sharing small things and found a newly cherished my direction in life. Let’s visit the houses again in 10 years. See you again in Vũng Tàu, Vietnam on August 21, 2017!”
POSCO’s employees are not only dedicated to the company, but to helping others as well. Their fourth collaboration with the home partners in Vietnam served to establish stronger communities and better housing, and they are looking forward to going back to reconnect with the local residents.
Please give your support to POSCO’s employees who will continue to volunteer around the world in the future!