Armed with the passion to extend expertise on Information Communications Technologies (ICT), members of the Korean Internet Volunteers (KIV) headed by Ilryoung Lee, a graduate school student of Ewha Womans University, spent a month of volunteer work in the Information Technology Department of Southville International School and Colleges.
Joining Ms. Lee are fellow volunteers Bobae Park, Taeyoung Han, and Eungyeong Hur, all part of Team UNIC (United Network of IT Community), who all underwent the extensive screening procedure of the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion (KADO) under the Ministry of Public Administration and Security. With them is Mr. Byeongkeon Kang who will be staying in the Philippines for the whole year.
“I really have an interesting experience. The level of IT Education in the Philippines is somewhat higher than expected. In Korea, there are several courses covered at universities in a period of time while here at SISC, there is an intensive development of one’s skill in a particular course,” said Mr. Park who is a computer trainer himself. He was very thankful to Mr. Rex Wallen Tan, the SISC Software Engineer, for helping him out with some projects. He added, “I learned a lot especially in Networking Construction. This is because my major is software development; therefore I couldn’t spend enough time to study on Network and Windows server during semesters. It is a truly interesting experience which I can learn myself a lot as well as extend my knowledge.”
Mr. Tan, on the other hand said, “I am pleasantly surprised that the KADO volunteers are able to learn so quickly since the task I requested them to do wasn’t in their current skill-set. However they were very professional and helped us learn Windows networking up to an Enterprise standard.”
Apart from ICT-related work, the volunteers also spent their time on cultural-exchange programs. Ms. Hur, who is fondly called Ms. Lucy, had sharing of Korean culture to some grade school students. She taught Calligraphy, Korean Music Instrument, and Korean folk games, among others.
The program, which started almost nine years ago, has been sending thousands of “internet volunteers” on a four-week mission to sub-governmental agencies, universities, or research centers in 63 developing countries throughout the world. Ms. Lee had her volunteer work last 2007 in Lagos, Nigeria where she felt elated upon witnessing her students learned to handle a computer mouse for the first time. Asked about her experience in the Philippines especially at Southville, she expressed appreciation especially with Mr. Tan. “Thank you very much Rex for being very (much) supportive and considerate. My second dispatch as KIV this time brought me a lot of different experiences. The level of IT class we were required to have sounded like a challenge, but we now find it very achievable and satisfactory. I believe this will definitely be a great experience for my teammates as well. We both KIV and SISC shared more than our knowledge. We all feel like we really did exchanges in both IT and culture between Korea and Philippines.”