The Granite Tower
Happy Bubble Time!
Kim Na Young  |
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승인 2014.04.06  16:07:00
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

When was the last time you took a shower? Although most of us believe that washing ourselves is a natural and obvious action that we do regularly, it is not quite the case. In Korea, there are about two million physically challenged people and elderly seniors and about 400 thousand of them need help in getting washed. To lend a warm helping hand, "Happy Bubble" has come forth to offer a happy bubble time!

Happy Bubble was formed in 2007 by eager students who wanted to help those in need through volunteer work. With the aim of helping physically challenged people in ways that would better their everyday lives, the club decided to start an interesting type of volunteering—giving them a helping hand to keep clean.

Hygiene is extremely important for everyone. If you do not wash yourself regularly, you will be open to a variety of illnesses and diseases. Unfortunately, even though this is a crucial social matter, the current Korean government does not take care of each and every one of those who need help to becoming clean. Thus, Happy Bubble tries to contribute to society by helping people to take a bath.

Each week, some of the members of Happy Bubble visit the handicapped people chosen and arranged by the club. “The biggest difference between us and other volunteer groups is that we assist people with actual help that they really need, which is to take a bath,” claims Kim Ki Hyeon (’10, Political Science and International Relations). When they arrive, they are put into a group of two or three and each group gets assigned to one person.

Although helping someone else to get clean may seem a bit difficult at first, it is actually not that arduous a task. “As we work in teams of two or three students, it is fairly easy to assist them in taking a bath,” says Kim. “After all, we do not consider taking a shower as a tedious work. Rather, we do it naturally, without much trouble. It is exactly the same for the volunteer work we do here at Happy Bubble.”


▲ Kim Ki Hyeon, a member of Happy Bubble, talking about the importance of such assistance for getting clean. Photographed by Kim Jung Ik.

In addition, volunteer work is not extremely demanding as the members only go every other weekend to assist those who need help. The physically challenged, however, still get help every week, as different members of the same group visit them each week.

Such assistance does not stop even during summer or winter breaks. If the members did not go, the handicapped who usually get help would not be able to look after themselves, which would create the same problem as before. “The club’s main goal is to give the maximum amount of help and in order to do that, we cannot stop, even during breaks,” adds Kim.

Happy Bubble’s contribution does not stop here; it rather goes even further. There is another kind of volunteer work that they do at a protective facility for physically challenged children. When they arrive there, the members of the club not only assist the little kids in taking a shower, but also do many other things including preparing warm food. This happens once a month and all of the members participate in it together.

However, the club does not only do volunteer work but also has a variety of other activities. In order to continuously communicate with the people they are helping, they hold many activities with them. Such programs include dining or field trips. “We have to become closer with them so that the members of the club and the handicapped do not feel awkward during the baths,” says Kim. This also helps the club to fix any possible problems in order to develop.

They also occasionally hold informal activities for friendship and amity including sports activities, such as bowling, and going to theatres or holding membership training camps (MT). These help the members of Happy Bubble become closer and develop teamwork that they may need when they are carrying the volunteer work. Amity is especially emphasized in the club, as the members always work in groups, and thus a great relationship between them is absolutely necessary.

Although Happy Bubble is an official club of Korea University (KU), it also involves students from various other universities. In fact, out of around 60 members, only about 20 of them are from KU. “It is great to have students from different schools as it helps the club to be involved in a wider variety of great activities,” says Kim.

In order for the club to continuously be active, it always needs eager members. It welcomes any members who are full of volunteer spirit and are willing to be a part of the club for at least six months. “Since there are many voluntary services that the club is involved in, we especially want to invite those who are interested in helping society regularly,” states Kim.

The recruitment usually takes place at the end of each break, as new members would have to start as soon as school starts. It consists of both an application form and an interview. Thus, anyone who is interested in substantially helping the physically challenged by assisting them in taking a bath should definitely consider joining.

▲ On a field trip with the handicapped who gets help from Happy Bubble. Provided by Happy Bubble.


▲ On a field trip with the handicapped who gets help from Happy Bubble. Provided by Happy Bubble.
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