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Volunteer excited to celebrate holiday at Soyang


The monthly visits to Soyang Children's Home on Gadeokdo Island get even more fun in December. 

For several years, Busan Children's Homes Volunteering participants have spent many Saturdays educating and having fun with children at several locations throughout Busan, including Soyang Children's Home on Gadeok-do Island (and, you can, too! See the end of this interview for more information on how).

But, the biggest volunteer event of the year has to be BCHV's annual Christmas party, set this year for Saturday, Dec. 15 at Soyang. Volunteer Roxan Shapurjee is certainly excited to be participating.

Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

A. I am a South African living and working in Busan. I am a qualified civil engineer who recently changed careers to teaching. I taught kindergarten for two years in Cape Town, South Africa, before applying for the EPIK program to teach English in Korea. I moved here in February to pursue my dream of living and teaching abroad. 

Q. When did you join BCHV?

I began volunteering at BCHV in March 2018 during my first month here. I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of others, especially children. I joined BCHV because I wanted to give something back to the local community here in Busan. The children at Soyang Children's Home are so appreciative of any amount of time spent with them, and making their faces light up and hearts smile, even just for a couple of hours is reason enough to keep me going again and again.

Q. Can you tell us a little about what BCHV does every month?

BCHV is a program where Korean and foreign volunteers, mostly living in and around Busan, meet up on a monthly basis to spend some time with children through meaningful play and planned activities. BCHV is not officially connected to Soyang, but we work hard to find the best ways to complement its own mission in any small way we can.

Q. Can you tell us a little more about the annual Christmas party?

We are currently collecting Christmas gifts for all the children at Soyang, which will be delivered by a volunteer Santa Claus during our annual Christmas visit to the home on Dec. 15. Our group of volunteers is currently planning fun holiday-oriented games, activities and treats for the kids. We are also raising cash donations to purchase critical items to assist the home in their daily oper-ations. So far, in addition to some generous individuals, we have also already received invaluable support from the kind-hearted people at the Busan Foreign School and the Busan-based OVD Running Club.

Q. Can anyone get involved?

All are welcome! We like to encourage people to volunteer as regularly as possible for the benefit of the children as it creates continuity and consistency. However, this is not mandatory as any help is always welcomed. We try to provide the children with a fun and memorable afternoon to relieve their minds of any worry or stress and to expose them to new ideas and cultures from around the world.

Q. Anything else?

We want thank HQ Gwangan, Someday in PNU and Culcom Language Exchange Center in Seomyeon who have generously volunteered to serve as drop-off locations for the donated Christmas presents.

For more information, including how to get involved in the monthly visits or how to donate to the Christmas event, search "Busan Children's Homes Volunteering" on Facebook.