Necessity of Philanthropy all over Korea

In just a few weeks, class registration for the second semester begins, and with it, there great expectations for a new class that is being offered. Taught by Bekay Ahn, head manager of the International Council for Nonprofit Management (ICNPM), the course, “Understanding and Practicing Philanthropy” is designed to teach students how to effectively engage in philanthropy throughout their lives and to practically utilize various related systems. Philanthropy sets itself apart from charity or donations as it involves a surprisingly large amount of different processes to be successful. Hanyang University (HYU) was chosen as the first university in South Korea to offer this class and is hoped that other universities will follow suit in the future. Internet Hanyang News (IHN) met with Mr. Bekay Ahn to learn more about this new class.

Philanthropy at its best

Charity only solves instant problems. When someone is cold, providing warm clothing is charity. However, philanthropy rather seeks for root problem and solving it, according to professor Ahn. “This class was created to enable students to understand how they can positively impact society by their actions rather than just feeling momentarily satisfied helping others out,” explained Ahn. Philanthropy is widely conducted in many Western countries where citizens are often educated with this concept of aiding others in need. Ahn saw the potential to promote this practice in Korea and thus he wanted to offer a course at HYU.

“It might be easier to understand my class if I said the format will be a little like the TED lectures. There will be various renowned speakers and a variety of participation opportunities to help students better understand the content,” said Ahn, who was eager to introduce his class. The course consists of group discussions, research projects, and more. “There is an interesting concept that I am planning to use in the class, which is called body-storming,” said Ahn, and added, “Body-storming is when students move around, going place to place to conduct research. They are constantly doing something with their bodies rather than just sitting passively on a chair, listening to lectures.” On top of this, Ahn is planning to adopt another new educational system involving the use of different technologies. For instance, the Scratch coding program for young adults will be available for students to try coding for themselves and he hopes to link these programs to students to aid them in their future jobs. “The fact that IT is integrated into the class will enable more creative ideas and interesting project results to be achieved since students can get more creative with programs like Scratch,” said Ahn. “This class is typically used for professionals only but I figured that it should be applied to students also.”

The effect of philanthropy

Such workshops and projects would allow students to have different perspective on the society and insights on top of all the leadership they will practice. Such an orientation should be prioritized for students on their path to becoming mature, fully functioning adults, according to Ahn, which is all the more reason why student should enroll in this class. “The course will not only focus on the act of giving since that is different from philanthropy. As explained previously, various methods and lectures will be offered to students. The class topics include philosophy, ethics, economics, leadership, and more,” described Ahn. “It will be a mixture of various elements to prepare students for their future.” Practical lecture subjects, such as learning how non-profit organizations operate, and the economics of society relating to large corporations will be available. It is hoped that this new course will help students to obtain future jobs according to their needs, as well as helping those that are interested to become entrepreneurs.

“My goal is to help students use what they have learned in my class even after graduation,” said Ahn. “As I said before, this new education system will hopefully help students to get desirable jobs. When I provide projects for grades, their outcomes can be used in their resumes.” Last year when Ahn taught a similar class, my students designed an award, the Asia Philanthropy Award (APA) for a philanthropic event in which various renowned individuals from different fields was invited caught attention of major media presses and was a complete success. Everything was planned by several Hanyang students which was another reason why Ahn saw the potential in Hanyang University. Through this class, he hopes for students to have an impact on the society and have their resume filled up with meaningful experiences. These experiences will show more of the students’ thinking processes rather than just volunteer works.

Ahn hopes that other universities will gain interest in his class, and he is very curious to see how many students will enroll and how many will be genuinely interested in his ideas. “Being interested in matters that involve the public interest is a trait I really admire in a person. In fact, this attitude falls in line with Hanyang’s motto of “Love in Truth and in Deed,” Ahn said. “And this leadership is what I want to teach in my class in aiding students to understand what is necessary for them to integrate into their lives,” concluded Ahn with confidence in his voice.

인터넷한양 뉴스 - Hanyang University Electronic Newspaper

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(주)아이씨엔피엠ㅣ한국기부문화연구소

대표자 : AHN BOK KYOUN (Bekay Ahn, CFRE)

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