The power of change

The power of change

Rose Moremoholo

MASERU – HE grew up in a divided household where fights were common. Fed-up with his lot in life in South Korea, Jeon u Kang once attempted to take his own life.
But he survived.He says he was self-centred and did not care much about other peoples’ feelings. “Still after being rescued, I felt I didn’t want to live,” he says.

But that soon changed, particularly after he arrived in Lesotho to serve as a volunteer.
“When I arrived in Lesotho a year ago I found strength to overcome my burdens and difficulties. I became very open about my challenges and weaknesses,” Kang said.
Kang is among four volunteers who served in Lesotho under the International Youth Fellowship (IYF), a Christian group that seeks to promote good moral values.
The four South Koreans were the first batch of Good News Peace Corps (GNPC) and were volunteering under the IYF.

IYF is a Christian-based global youth initiative of International Youth Fellowship Educational Foundation, a non-profit making organisation headquartered in California in the United States.  IYF strives to advance Christian mission work in developing and developed countries and to administer alternative awareness and cultural exchange.

Kang says he did not only receive love from Basotho but he also learned how to speak English better than before. “It has always been difficult for me to communicate in English but upon my arrival in Lesotho I found people who could speak the language fluently,” Kang said.
“Never in my life would I have ever experienced so much happiness if I had not come,” he said.

His fellow volunteer team mates, Haeun Jee, Eunnye Lee and Kyung Young Kim shared the same sentiments saying they never knew that in changing other people’s lives theyoo would benefit. Jonah Hong, Country Director of IYF, said although South Korea is the 10th economically developed country in the world it has the highest suicide rates in the world.

“The riches we have cannot give us happiness. We invest so much in educating our children and being economically free but we miss out on creating inner peace and joy,” Hong said.
Speaking at a farewell ceremony this week, the Deputy Minister of Education Thabang Kholumo said it is surprising to see countries like South Korea being developed when it has the same terrain and educational investment as Lesotho. “South Korea is no different in terrain to Lesotho, the country is mountainous as Lesotho but the roads in Korea are the best roads,” Kholumo said.

“In Lesotho we invest much of our GDP in education but we fail to develop as a country. We have abundance of natural resources but we remain poor.”  Kholumo said when the government first invited IYF to Lesotho they had realised the need to have a mind-set education programme that is offered by the organisation.
“Mind set education programme is not only relevant to the youth, but it is also relevant to the old,” Kholumo said.

“We are a polarised country, divided and bitter. Small things make us angry and we need a change of mind,” he said. Kholumo said with the involvement of IYF in Lesotho the country will change.  “We are capable of changing and we need to realise our potential.”
“No doubt we declare you as Lesotho’s Ambassadors. Go home and represent Lesotho well,” Kholumo said.

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