5 MINUTES WITH… OUR RESIDENT VOLUNTEER, YOUNG-JUN

From the food donations, to the fundraisers and the volunteers who give their time, CENS just couldn’t survive without people’s generosity. One such person vital to the running of the project is our in-house volunteer Young-Jun. He works alongside our project workers and lives at CENS in a flat that was kindly decorated by the Anti-Loo Roll Brigade. We find out why he made the decision to give up his life in Korea and dedicate an entire year to CENS.

Deciding to come

“The university I was studying at has links with an organisation called Vounteering Matters. They give people the chance to volunteer with charities across the world. I looked at all the opportunities on offer but something drew me to CENS.

Breaking stereotypes

”I had to think about it a lot as I was unsure how dangerous it would be. In my country, the government do not look after the homeless in the way you do over here. I guess I had a certain idea in my mind of what the residents would be like. But then an ex-student who had volunteered at CENS previously shared her experience and told me that it wasn’t what I was imagining! She said it would be a great opportunity to see some of the world, to improve my English and to help others less fortunate than me. Speaking to her changed my mind.

Settling in

“When I first got here, I knew I had made the right decision because everyone was very welcoming and kind. My apartment is perfect, and I am really pleased with that! I am very comfortable here. It’s nice as well because I know the other volunteer from back home, so I have a friend here. I was worried about being lonely but what with living alongside all the residents there’s no chance of that!

‘The work CENS does is impressive. There are a few places I know of in Korea but they tend to be in large cities and so it’s hard for people to get there. I want to help people. I don’t feel that I have the ability at the moment to help as much as I would like. But, I’m hoping that by the end of the year my English will be better and I will be able to understand and communicate with the residents more easily.

“I study sports science at home and am really into football – I would love to organise a football match with the residents when the weather gets a bit warmer.”

If you would like to volunteer at CENS, please get in touch here.