By KMS Public Relations Team
By Seung-il Kim,
Vice President &Head of Car Development Center 3
Hello from the Public Relations team at Kia Motors Slovakia! We are so pleased that we could welcome the young Korean chefs to our country and would like to share our observations and impressions of the program with all of you!
Every year, a volunteer project entitled Happy Move Global Youth Program sends 1,000 students of medicine, environment, social affairs and gastronomy from Korea out to the whole world. Its main aim is to sustain long-term support for global community development and help nurture future leaders.
Slovakia was one of the five countries the program volunteers visited this winter. From February 6 – 13, 2009, our country became home for 20 students of the Korean Food Institute of Sookmyung University.
During their voluntary mission, the university students prepared a one-day program for children from child crisis centre Naruc, where mainly abused and neglected children are sheltered. Not only Korean culture and cuisine were introduced but also children were given the gift of the time they spent together, organized mini Olympic games, face painting as well as a taekwondo performance. Children came to adore and love the students very shortly after their arrival. The food, the show and the whole program made a huge impression on them and it was a day to remember.
Robert Bracinik, Director of the child crisis centre Naruc, expressed his doubts before meeting Korean students. “Possible communication barriers and cultural differences might have caused difficulties. Those doubts disappeared after the first minutes of meeting. The Korean students were very pleasant and behaved naturally, and our children immediately accepted them. It was mainly the students’ goodwill and honesty that won children’s hearts over,” said Bracinik.
“I am very glad that I had a chance to learn about Slovak culture and cuisine. The most precious time for me was the day spent in Naruc association. Even though we were not able to communicate verbally with the children, we spent a beautiful day together. I had joined the program to help others. However, I found out that the program has also helped me,” said Chae-Yong Lim, a student and volunteer of Happy Move Program.
Korean volunteers also showed their culinary art at the Kia Motors Slovakia plant where the company employees very much appreciated their specialties. It was a great break from the lines that build the Kia cee’d family line-up and Sportage. On February 10, students visited Secondary Vocational Gastronomy School in Zilina where Slovak students taught them how to cook Slovak meals. On the following day, they switched roles and Korean students taught Slovaks how to prepare Korean meals. This particular activity was very well received by students, teachers and not to forget local and national media.
A gala dinner took place on the final eve before the students’ departure, which elegantly concluded the whole program in Slovakia, with the participation of Kia Motors Slovakia employees, mayors of neighboring villages and our suppliers.
I think it is safe to say that the time between February 6 – 13 was well spent and definitely worth it for all parties involved. The mission was completed successfully. Special thanks go to the organizers and the Korean students who did move Slovakia. Actually, it was a Happy Move for many of us!