Volunteer work doesn’t require a lifetime commitment. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of hours out of your week or even month. In exchange, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with people and do a bit of good for your community.
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in Seoul, though sometimes they can be difficult to find. That’s why here at 10 Magazine, we’ve compiled a list of 10 volunteer opportunities for foreigners in Seoul.
PSCORE(People for Successful Corean reunification) is a non-profit organization with neither religious nor partisan interests. As their name suggests, PSCORE’s main focus rests on the relationship between North and South Korea. From helping North Korean defectors settle into their new life in the South to creating awareness campaigns for human rights issues in North Korea to promoting public discourse on reunification, PSCORE undertakes a wide range of enterprises.
The organization is always looking for volunteers to grant write and translate news articles. As a grant writer, you will write texts in order to convince and gain sponsors for ongoing projects for PSCORE. Proficiency in Korean is definitely an advantage, but not mandatory to volunteer here. Submit an application through their website, and expect someone to contact you around a week later.
The Korean International Volunteer group, which consists of around 10,000 members, is an organization perfect for those looking for volunteer opportunities that don’t require a long-term commitment. From helping out at a shelter to teaching underprivileged children at a community center to simply exchanging languages, these opportunities are designed to be open to anybody who wants to participate (even last-minute)!
To learn about the latest volunteer events, simply register on www.meetup.com or check out their Facebook group. Korean proficiency is a big plus, but not mandatory.
HOPE is one of the largest volunteer-based foreigner organizations in Korea. Composed of fluent English speakers looking to teach English to children of lower-income families and orphanages, HOPE has learning centers spread out throughout the city. Alongside their regular program, the NGO organizes community service events and helps out at homeless shelters and orphanages.
If you’re interested in teaching, send your resume along with other documents over to firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-teaching volunteers (for cooking, cleaning, childcare) can contact email@example.com. Be sure to check HOPE’s official website for the exact application process.
Attention animal lovers, this may just be the perfect opportunity for you. Nabiya Cat Shelter is a private shelter that keeps itself going with donations, fundraisers, and volunteers. For those interested in getting their weekly dose of feline quality time, the shelter is always looking for volunteers to donate their time to the shelter as well as foster parents to take in a feline companion.
All potential volunteers will have to complete an initial training session, which takes around 3 hours to complete, and then afterward alert the shelter of their schedule availability. Proficiency in Korean is not required!
Justice for North Korea (JFNK) is a small non-partisan organization composed 100% of volunteers who aim to address the human rights crisis in North Korea. The organization’s biggest goals are to raise awareness for the human rights violations in North Korea as well as figure out ways to alleviate the crisis in itself. Helping North Korean refugees settle into their new lives in Korea and other countries is also a priority for JFNK. Proficiency in Korean is a big plus to join the organization, but not required.
For those interested, you can join JFNK by filling out theform on their website. Volunteers can take on the roles of translators, writers, graphic designers, and more. Check out their Facebook to keep track of their latest events.
Angel House is a center that houses 50 people with mental or physical disabilities. Volunteering at Angel House will involve helping out with house chores, such as laundry, cooking, cleaning facilities – therefore, no Korean is required! A small group of expats meets on the first Saturday of each month to help out at the center. Check out their facebook group or contact firstname.lastname@example.org get started.
Korea Women’s HotLine (KWHL) Volunteers Crossing Borders for Women’s Rights is a non-governmental organization made up of dedicated English-speaking volunteers who aim to raise awareness, promote women’s human rights, and protect women from violence. KWHL offers counseling services for domestic and sexual abuse for women and also assists them with medical or legal issues.
The English-speaking section of this organization manages KWHL’s English Newsletter, supports the organization through research on women’s rights issues, and issues maintenance on the organization’s English website alongside many other on-hands activities. Volunteers can either choose to participate in online or offline events, and no Korean skills are required. Check out KWHL’s official website or contact email@example.com to get involved.
PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) is a foreigner-based volunteer group in Seoul that focuses mostly on helping the homeless in the city. To be part of their team, check out their official website. Currently, the group does a combination of volunteering at soup kitchens and passing out food to the homeless in the city. Proficiency in Korean is not required! Members aren’t required to participate every week, but to do need to mark themselves as going on PLUR’s meetup page whenever they can spare the time for an upcoming event.
As its name implies, NKnet (Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights) is a group that aims to promote democracy and human rights in North Korea. Volunteers can support NKet by working as a translator, transcriber, or volunteer at events. Check out NKnet’s official website for more details. To get involved, send an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org and briefly introduce yourself.