Chuncheon, South Korea
Join us for an exciting build in beautiful South Korea. This is an excellent opportunity to work with friendly people and learn about their unique and colorful culture. No previous construction skill or experience is required, just a thirst for adventure and a willingness to learn.
About South Korea
Many people remember Korea for the war that ravaged the region in the 1950s and the shaky truce that has remained in place ever since. There is much more to the Korean peninsula than the Military Demarcation Line dividing North and South Korea, however.
While the troubles in North Korea have been well-documented, South Korea has become a development success story. As late as the 1960s, perhaps 70 percent of the population lived below the poverty line. Today, that number has shrunk dramatically into the single digits, and South Korea is a major economic player in the world.
Of course, there are still major needs for many low-income South Korean families. Escalating land prices and a dramatic increase in population density have made it particularly difficult for many families to afford decent shelter.
We will be partnering with families and the local Habitat affiliate in Chuncheon, the capital of Gangwon province. The city is located northeast of Seoul in the northern part of South Korea, and serves as the main marketplace for agricultural goods in the region. Lots of large lakes surround Chuncheon, and the city is prized by South Koreans for its natural scenery and delicious food.
About Habitat for Humanity Korea
In 1992, a group of volunteers launched Habitat for Humanity Korea, building three houses thanks to land donations and individual donors. Today, Habitat Korea is one of the most active programs in the Habitat world, building houses at home as well as abroad. Thirteen local affiliates operate throughout the country.
Habitat Korea is also passionate about Habitat’s Global Village program, both hosting and receiving thousands of volunteers annually. Each year, Habitat Korea sends 40 to 50 teams overseas, and the national program has been particularly active in responding to recent natural calamities at home and as far as Pakistan. For more information on Habitat for Humanity Korea and the housing needs there, read South Korea’s country profile.
Types of construction for volunteers
On average, a Habitat house covers 53 square meters and costs some US$40,000 to build. Houses are typically made of concrete, lumber, plywood, drywall, Styrofoam, siding and shingle. Because of South Korea’s harsh winters, insulation is necessary. Construction time is four to six months.
Volunteers may assist with a variety of build projects, including new construction, finishing partially constructed homes, making house repairs, additions and expansions.
Day 1, typically Sunday: Arrive in Seoul; free time; dinner; travel to Chuncheon.
Day 2, Monday: Welcome and orientation; visit project sites and spend time with partner families; work in the afternoon; welcome dinner in the evening.
Days 3–7, Tuesday–Saturday (workdays): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. with lunch on site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Day 8, Sunday: Worship in local community; city tour and free time.
Days 9–13, Monday–Thursday (workdays): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. with lunch on site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Day 14, Friday: Dedication ceremony; farewell party and time to participate in cultural events; travel to Seoul.
Day 15, Saturday: Departure day.
Note: Additional cultural and educational opportunities may also be incorporated as time allows. Arrival and departure times may vary based on your flight schedule.
Teams stay in modest lodging located as near to the project site as feasible. Most meals will be provided. Breakfast will be served at accommodations, and dinner will usually be served at accommodations or a nearby restaurant. Lunch will be eaten at the work site, where snacks and water will also be provided.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village trip cost.)
Ezra Millstein is a staff photographer for Habitat for Humanity International. He works to document Habitat’s work in 90 countries around the world and has led Global Village teams to Vietnam and Hawaii. You can see his work at www.ezramillstein.com.
For more information about this trip, contact Ezra via e-mail at email@example.com.