ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - Young Catholic volunteers on mission to East Timor

Wednesday, 25 February 2004

Dili (Fides Service) - A group of 19 young Korean Catholic high school and university students recently volunteered to go on mission to East Timor where they will undertake manual work as well as organise cultural activities with the young people on the Island. The group of volunteers arrived on 18 February. The two week mission, organised by the Society of St Francis de Sales and the Korean Association of Young Volunteers KAYV, will be an opportunity for the young visitors to see a different situation to life in Korea. In East Timor there is widespread poverty, unemployment and comforts of life are few.
“I hope the project will help build relations of friendship and exchange among young Koreans and Timorese”, Prof. Thomas Aquinas Lee Myong-cheon, of Chungang University, a counsellor to the KAYV told Fides.
According to Father Park Gyeong who is accompanying the group of volunteers, “the experience it will give them a chance to discover their identity by helping others and learning the beauty of sharing”.
East Timor gained independence from Indonesia in 2002, after a referendum in 1999 and ensuing violence. A United Nations mission, still present to help monitor security and the process of building a democracy, should end in May this year but could be extended.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/2/2004 lines 27 word 289)