Sunhak Scholarship Students Tour UN and the East Coast
Sixteen Korean students from the Sunhak Elite Scholarship Program are visiting America for 10 days from January 5-14 as part of their 2017 Winter Sunhak Academic Camp. The Sunhak Elite Scholarship, founded by the Wonmo Pyeongae Foundation, is awarded to model students who have shown excellent academic records and good moral character.
The theme for this year’s winter camp is “The United Nations and World Peace.” The Wonmo Foundation hopes that through this trip to America, students will be able to better understand the UN and the foundation and activities of Father and Mother Moon, promote networking among future global leaders and provide an opportunity for Korean students to meet and discuss various issues with American students.
On the first day, the students toured the United Nations building in New York where they saw the different rooms where important meetings happen and crucial decisions are made. They were happy to see Secretary Ban Ki Moon’s picture framed up on the wall.
After enjoying a quick lunch at the UN, the students sat down to meet with Keisha A. McGuire, the Ambassador of Grenada to the United Nations, a representative from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and a representative from UPF to talk about the ongoing refugee crisis. The representative from IOM spoke about the issue of immigration and how their organization has been helping refugees in different countries. Then the students had some time to ask questions. The session came to a close by taking a group photo.
“It was nice to come to the UN and be able to tour and look around. But it was even more meaningful since we could sit down with the Ambassador and discuss current issues affecting the world.” – H.L., 21, Yonsei University
On the second day, students visited East Garden and Belvedere to see True Parents’ former home. They listened to a brief presentation on True Father’s life and activities in America. Then they had a tour of the beautiful residence where True Father and his family lived during their time in America. The students were amazed by the beauty of the residence. They were also surprised by the heavy snowfall but were just as excited to take pictures in front of the beautiful white fields. For lunch, the students enjoyed delicious Korean food prepared by the cooking staff at East Garden.
“It is such a beautiful property. After hanging out in New York City, it was nice to see the country side.” – J.M., 22, Korea University
On the third day, January 8, 2016, the students gathered at the Clifton Family Church to hold a seminar on the role of the UN in the refugee crisis and the unification of North and South Korea. A total of 50 people came out to listen to the three presentations prepared by the Korean teams. The Korean students seemed nervous at first, having to present in English and not their native language. However, they did an excellent job of presenting the content they prepared so diligently. Everyone was impressed by the quality of the presentations. After each presentation, there was time for questions and then a 30-minute discussion in groups. It was a great opportunity for participants from America and Korea to share their opinions and perspectives and gain a deeper and broader understanding of these issues.
“I’ve always had an interest in North and South Korea Unification, it’s something that I’ve heard a lot about growing up in the Unification movement. Because of that I feel very connected to Korea. We should spread this kind of mindset to people of all countries, that they don’t just belong to one country but to think of themselves as global citizens. They need to think of the prosperity of all people and nations, that is the start of peace and unity in the world. If North and South Korea can unite, it can be a model for the world and bring a lot of hope to countries that still have war and conflict. Thank you for coming all the way from South Korea to meet with us and discuss these things.” – Naria McGee, participant from New Jersey
“It was a very good experience for me to widen my perspective and views. It is a very rare opportunity to be able to listen to the opinions of people from other countries. We had a good discussion and many good ideas came up. I think it will bear good fruit if we continue to keep an open mind and share ideas and solutions.” – Yongsu Seo, Political Science Major, Seoul National University
“Thank you everyone for coming out. We prepared very hard for these presentations. We had a good time.” – Media Major, Korea University
The students will stay in America until January 14. Since visiting New York and New Jersey, they have gone on to Washington D.C. to visit the Washington Times, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. During the next few days they will also travel to Philadelphia and Boston. We wish them a meaningful time and enjoyable stay in America!