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firepink
12-11-2007, 10:19 AM
Just in case anyone doesn't know about it, here's a link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7135896.stm) to a BBC story on the spill.

Does anyone know how I could go about volunteering to help clean this up? I may or may not be available this coming Sunday, but I definitely want to chip in the weekend after (as I'm sure there will still be tons of work to do). Do I just show up? I haven't found anything saying how to volunteer in English, but is there information in Korean somewhere? I'm going to ask my Korean coteachers today, but I figured someone on the forum is more likely to know.

Anyone want to volunteer with me?

mil-mil
12-11-2007, 10:35 AM
I'm in when are you planning on heading over there? I can get down there Feriday night.

firepink
12-11-2007, 10:41 AM
I couldn't make it until Saturday morning (12/22) - maybe Friday night if begging a coteacher to take my adult classes works out and i figure out a better way of getting there. right now it looks like 10am is about the earliest I could get to Taean gun.

skinsk
12-11-2007, 12:08 PM
Maggie, I will probably head down this weekend -- from all the sources I looked at, they can use the volunteers as it must be done by hand. . . I'll probably pick up some of those long fisherman waders/gloves-- you can get them in Mokpo I'm sure.

Not sure on what days I can go-- depends on a few other plans. . .

I would want to go to Hagampo Beach!! Where just a few months ago we were swimming with the phosporescents! PM me if you're interested in a pick up, etc.

mil-mil
12-11-2007, 01:13 PM
I contacted my public affairs office for information on the spill and this is what they sent me.

USFK/PA said, they do not have contact info at this time. FYI: The US Coast Guard has made an official offer to help through the US Embassy in Seoul and the Korean Foreign Ministry has announced this. Detail on the level of assistance has not been decided or announced. USFK/PA will check to see if there is a POC for volunteer help through MND, but the USCG offer may make that OBE.

We will keep you updated sir.

they are supposed to be contacting me back as soon as they have more info.

nics.trip
12-11-2007, 02:14 PM
Thanks for the thread Maggie...
I'm collecting úp more southern peoples and I'll try and head up friday night for a weekend of black goo...i'll get onto the waders tomorrow, should be easy to find in Mokpo (i'll get a co-teacher to help) let me know if people want me to get them some...

firepink
12-11-2007, 02:18 PM
ooh, Nicola, I was just wondering where on earth to look for those. If you're going after 7pm I can come on a wader search with you, otherwise - could you grab some for me? You rock : )

skinsk
12-11-2007, 04:06 PM
My Korean teacher (who works at city hall here in Jeonju) is coming over for Mexican tonight-- I'll have her search online if necessary for info on what we might be able to do. I've looked at various sites. It seems that buckets of some sort are also needed to carry away the oil. I would suggest bringing some of these as well. I have inquired of several English speaking reporters and groups and am awaiting responses about what we can do to help.

skinsk
12-11-2007, 04:45 PM
OK, it looks like this weekend I may 1) head to Mokpo Thurs, then bring a carload of beach-cleaners up on Fri PM/Sat AM and bring y'all back to Jeonju (bus) or Iksan (train) Sunday. 2) Head out from Jeonju Sat AM (people can crash here Fri PM) and bring people down to Mokpo Sun PM.

It kinda depends if/when my calendars arrive, but i will be in Mokpo either Thurs/Fri or Sun/Mon and unless it really looks hopeless, at Hagampo or nearby for cleaning up this weekend.

Mandalynn
12-11-2007, 11:28 PM
Hey Sonia,

What time are you heading out on Thurday? Im done with classes now and would like to help out on Friday and possibly Thursday. I have previous engagement for the weekend though.

PS would there be a place to stay in Mokpo?

Mandalynn
12-11-2007, 11:30 PM
Hey Mike,

Thank for the info, can I have an English verison please? Im not up to par on my abreviations yet.

Cheers!

nics.trip
12-12-2007, 08:36 AM
This is from the Korean Times
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2007/12/117_15359.html

"Taean needs more volunteers. The county office openly called for volunteers and related equipment such as oil absorbent, rubber boots, gloves, plastic buckets and clothing. ``It was such an unexpected disaster and it was larger than we could ever prepare for,'' an office spokesman said. He said the office is even considering buying the absorbents from Japan or the United States.

The Red Cross, the Salvation Army and other civic groups offered meals to the volunteers who work for absorbing the oil stains in the beaches.

For more information needed for offering help, visit www.taean.go.kr or call 041-670-2345 for equipment and 042-825-1646 for volunteering."

[email protected]

nics.trip
12-12-2007, 12:25 PM
From the mirad of phone calls my co-teacher has made I've found out they really need people to clean at Mallipo Beach in the Daeun National Park area.

First take a bus to Kunsan (군 산)
Second take a bus to Daean (태안)
Third take a bus to Mallipo Beach (만리포 해수욕장)

Here is a list of numbers which can be called if people get stuck-
041 -670-2646
041-670-2647
041-670-2648
041-670-2648
They will be expecting foreigners to turn up, but there may not be an english speaker on the end of these numbers (or there might not be a confident one).

Bring warm clothes that can be binned; waders (long waterproofs and boots) gloves, buckets, a quality face mask (for noxious fumes) etc.

Hypoxic
12-12-2007, 12:54 PM
The website is currently asking people to NOT go down to the site for volunteering. The response for volunteers has been so overwhelming that there are just too many people there. Having too many people there can also cause damage to the ecosystem.
They are asking people to refrain from going, and to please wait until they make another announcement for volunteers.
Donations to help the cause can be made in the meantime.

nics.trip
12-12-2007, 01:12 PM
Its good to hear they are getting a big response, although I can imainge they are having a few co-ordinating problems...you are very right about too many cooks (particularly ones that may not know what they are doing) causing more trouble than its worth...Can you please post the link for the website so we can keep track of when and where people may be needed???

skinsk
12-12-2007, 01:14 PM
I've basically heard the same as Nic, after contacting a reporter. He suggested going down if we wanted to help, and bringing supplies, but said there would be places to deposit the oil.

What website said they didn't need volunteers?

I'm considering heading down Thur or Fri, as there would likely be fewer volunteers then than on the weekend.

Hypoxic
12-12-2007, 02:09 PM
From the site (http://www.kfem.or.kr/kbbs/bbs/board.php?bo_table=notice&wr_id=1239):

" 검은 눈물을 흘리는 서해안 !! 서해안의 눈물을 닦아 주세요 ! "

1차 시민구조활동 참가단 모집이 마감되었습니다.
(현재 시간 12월 11일 오후 11시 35분, 이후 신청은 다음 공지까지 기다려주시기 바랍니다.)

"There are black tears being shed!! Please, wipe those black tears!"

For this current week, we have enough volunteers.
(Need for more volunteers concluded on December 11th at 11:35am, please wait until we make an announcement later for more volunteers.)

I would imagine that by the weekend they will need more, but I would guess that the weekend would bring more volunteers. Regardless, I'm keeping a close eye on it, and the wife and I will likely be going down with the KML this weekend. Maybe we could all coordinate.

There are remote areas that are in dire need of cleaning, but they are so difficult to get to (no transport to them at all) that it is likely that volunteers won't be going there, and professionals will have to be summoned from elsewhere to help get to those areas.

Hypoxic
12-13-2007, 05:03 AM
Been keeping an eye on things all night. The volunteer groups (all of them) are asking people to wait until a call for more volunteers is made. I've registered the KML for "group 2" (the second round of volunteers). If anyone is interested I can add you to the KML group to join us as a volunteer group. We're limited though.
Please, please, please remember too many volunteers is a bad thing. Please register before just deciding to go down. There must be a method to the help, no matter how badly we all want to go down there. I want to be there right now, but that's simply not a practical way of dealing with this desvastating disaster.
I honestly believe we'll all have our chance to help out as the problem is massive.

skinsk
12-13-2007, 08:04 AM
From the US Embassy:

The Korean government continues to confront a major challenge following the large oil spill off the coast of Taean County. So far more than 9,000 soldiers, policemen, and volunteers have been mobilized to mop up the oil and contain the environmental damage.

Members of the expatriate community who wish to contribute to the effort to combat the oil spill can do so in several ways:

1) Donations of goods: Authorities and volunteers need any of the following items you can donate:

-- used winter clothing
-- old towels or any other old cloth that can help absorb oil
-- personal protective gear such as face masks, rain coats, rubber boots, and gloves.

To send donated goods, address them to:

The County Disaster Relief Center
96, Nammoon-ri, Taean-eup, Taean-gun, South Chungcheong Province
Tel: 041-670-2645 through 2653

2) Volunteering:

The Taean County Relief Center is receiving applications from individual volunteers or organizations via telephone (042-670-2645 through 2653) or through its website at www.taean.go.kr.

Applications should be made at least one day in advance so that the relief center can assign volunteers to the most-needed area.

Please note that volunteers are required to bring with them their own protective gear including raincoats, boots, and gloves. Please note also that there is no interpretation service available for foreigners, so a basic command of the Korean language is needed.

3) Donation of Money:

Donations of money to assist in the clean-up operation are being received by the South Choongcheong Provincial Government at the following account:

Nonghyup Bank, Account No.: 471-01-002107, held in the name of: The Governor of South Choongcheong Province.

The U.S. Embassy thanks you for considering these assistance measures.

End text of message.

normalcyispasse
12-13-2007, 11:47 AM
Be careful, folks: Volunteering is illegal.

"If you are a foreigner working in Korea and volunteering on the side could you be fined, even deported? Don't laugh. Volunteering may put you in danger.

The law governing these matters is the Immigration Control Act of Korea. The law stipulates that a foreigner must obtain, in advance, permission from the Ministry of Justice for "activities corresponding to a status of sojourn different from his own."

To register an activity, you must apply to a local or district immigration office with jurisdiction over the area in which you live. The application should be made in person, but could be made by proxy in special cases. You must have your passport, alien registration card, downloadable application forms, and other documents that pertain to your visa category, which are detailed on the Web site. You also have to pay a 60,000-won fee. If your application is accepted, you will receive a stamp in your passport and amendments on the back of your alien registration card.
The process is required for each activity that may go "beyond the current visa status.""

http://news.empas.com/show.tsp/cp_kt/20070109n11184/?kw=stamp%20%3Cb%3E%26%3C%2Fb%3E

Hypoxic
12-13-2007, 02:04 PM
From the US Embassy:

The Korean government continues to confront a major challenge following the large oil spill off the coast of Taean County. So far more than 9,000 soldiers, policemen, and volunteers have been mobilized to mop up the oil and contain the environmental damage.

Members of the expatriate community who wish to contribute to the effort to combat the oil spill can do so in several ways:

1) Donations of goods: Authorities and volunteers need any of the following items you can donate:

-- used winter clothing
-- old towels or any other old cloth that can help absorb oil
-- personal protective gear such as face masks, rain coats, rubber boots, and gloves.

To send donated goods, address them to:

The County Disaster Relief Center
96, Nammoon-ri, Taean-eup, Taean-gun, South Chungcheong Province
Tel: 041-670-2645 through 2653

2) Volunteering:

The Taean County Relief Center is receiving applications from individual volunteers or organizations via telephone (042-670-2645 through 2653) or through its website at www.taean.go.kr.

Applications should be made at least one day in advance so that the relief center can assign volunteers to the most-needed area.

Please note that volunteers are required to bring with them their own protective gear including raincoats, boots, and gloves. Please note also that there is no interpretation service available for foreigners, so a basic command of the Korean language is needed.

3) Donation of Money:

Donations of money to assist in the clean-up operation are being received by the South Choongcheong Provincial Government at the following account:

Nonghyup Bank, Account No.: 471-01-002107, held in the name of: The Governor of South Choongcheong Province.

The U.S. Embassy thanks you for considering these assistance measures.

End text of message.

You're beautiful, Sonia!

Like I mentioned above, I've already registered and we still have space for people to join us when we get our call. Let me know if you want to head down with us. I think Corey is in, he wants me to keep him posted anyway.

Hypoxic
12-13-2007, 02:08 PM
Be careful, folks: Volunteering is illegal.

"If you are a foreigner working in Korea and volunteering on the side could you be fined, even deported? Don't laugh. Volunteering may put you in danger.

The law governing these matters is the Immigration Control Act of Korea. The law stipulates that a foreigner must obtain, in advance, permission from the Ministry of Justice for "activities corresponding to a status of sojourn different from his own."

To register an activity, you must apply to a local or district immigration office with jurisdiction over the area in which you live. The application should be made in person, but could be made by proxy in special cases. You must have your passport, alien registration card, downloadable application forms, and other documents that pertain to your visa category, which are detailed on the Web site. You also have to pay a 60,000-won fee. If your application is accepted, you will receive a stamp in your passport and amendments on the back of your alien registration card.
The process is required for each activity that may go "beyond the current visa status.""

http://news.empas.com/show.tsp/cp_kt/20070109n11184/?kw=stamp%20%3Cb%3E%26%3C%2Fb%3E

Ah, yes, the infamously most absured immigration law on the planet.

Although my visa status exempts me from this "law", and with all due respect to the Ministry - and sorry for being crude - but the Ministry can kiss my arse.

shanja
12-13-2007, 03:12 PM
Guys I'd like to volunteer also, but I'm flat out this week with classes and plans. If I can join with KML and we get a call next week, I'm in. Shawn mate are you excempt because of your F2 visa? That's what I have too.

skinsk
12-13-2007, 05:11 PM
I am going to head up to Seoul maybe Tues? to Vietnam Thurs! I am available this weekend and Wed. . . and trying to get with the Mokpo group.

I just feel I owe Korea a little time and effort, especially this seacoast, where Maggie, Lindsey, Erin and I climbed and swam late summer!


But I'm kinda with Jake. . . just finished exams. . . trying to finish grades, visit folks, distribute calendars, clean up, pack and move out. . . and currently take apart my bike. Anyone want to come down to Jeonju and volunteer:lol: !!

Hypoxic
12-13-2007, 07:31 PM
Guys I'd like to volunteer also, but I'm flat out this week with classes and plans. If I can join with KML and we get a call next week, I'm in. Shawn mate are you excempt because of your F2 visa? That's what I have too.

I'll keep you posted when they give us our notification. It's highly unlikely it will be this weekend. We must remember, too, that this cleanup is going to take weeks leading into months. There will be a lot of work for everyone. Like Nicola said, people may actually feel the problem is over after the initial shock when in fact there is still lots to be done. It will be an ongoing effort in which we all can do our part - no matter how small. I do encourage everyone to donate in equipment or cash. Even 10 bucks - not much of a dent in an English teacher's salary - can make a difference.

Yep, Jake, as F2 holders we generally have more rights that are not extended to other visa holders. And I do believe that ridiculous volunteering "law" does not apply to us. I've been thinking about it though since I made my "arse" statement previously, so I'll look into it for certain (when things less important are going on).

firepink
12-13-2007, 11:18 PM
Reading the actual article that Brandon posted, I feel that you'll only actually get busted for that if you're getting money under the table or if you're in some other way doing something authorities deem harmful. At that point it's just something to point to and officially bust you for, not the reason in and of itself. I don't think anyone is going to get fined or deported for helping with an oil spill, particularly if you are going through the proper channels in order to volunteer. There are all sorts of stupid laws on the books everywhere, and most people have better things to do than find foreigners working productively against the spill and asking for their papers.

Two resources that haven't been posted here:

1) There's a facebook group, of which so far members are mostly from Jeollanam-do, but anyone is welcome: Oil Clean Up (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6707456628) (I hope that link works. If not, a facebook search for the group should bring it up easily)

2) An English website dedicated to news/volunteering/donations for the spill: Expat Helping Hands (http://expathh.wordpress.com/)

Hypoxic
12-14-2007, 11:28 AM
Reading the actual article that Brandon posted, I feel that you'll only actually get busted for that if you're getting money under the table or if you're in some other way doing something authorities deem harmful. At that point it's just something to point to and officially bust you for, not the reason in and of itself. I don't think anyone is going to get fined or deported for helping with an oil spill, particularly if you are going through the proper channels in order to volunteer. There are all sorts of stupid laws on the books everywhere, and most people have better things to do than find foreigners working productively against the spill and asking for their papers.

Two resources that haven't been posted here:

1) There's a facebook group, of which so far members are mostly from Jeollanam-do, but anyone is welcome: Oil Clean Up (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6707456628) (I hope that link works. If not, a facebook search for the group should bring it up easily)

2) An English website dedicated to news/volunteering/donations for the spill: Expat Helping Hands (http://expathh.wordpress.com/)

Well, if you're getting money - under the table or not - that's not volunteering, and would obviously make the person subject to deportation.

Regardless, I don't think (or don't want to think) the government would actually enforce the "law" in this situation, although they have done it for situations where foreigners were volunteering at an orphange. An orphanage!

I've signed up on that Facebook group. It was started by a KOTR member, nics.trip.

skinsk
12-15-2007, 09:48 PM
Well, I am sore. . . a bit saddened. . . a bit glad I could pitch in and do a little to help the environment. I went with a well organized univeristy group (http://expathh.wordpress.com/) from near Cheonan. Contact them if you are interested. They have a bus, and supplied more than everything we needed, even a ride to/from the bus terminal.

We went to Padori Beach, just South of the main spill. It's a small village that supports itself through fishing a some seasonal tourism. There is a sand/pebble/rock beach and at least one obvious boulder problem! While the main slick isn't visible, there is oil stuck to everything, from a thin film to globs. Basically, they need all the help they can get-- I don't imagine anyone being turned away. You really don't need to bring anything-- I was shocked at how many disposable supplies there were-- you could easily salvage any protective gear (except maybe some boots. . . then again. . . probably you could get these too). The fumes weren't too bad, though I did wear a mask most of the time. You might bring towels, old T-shirts or absorbant rags. Buckets and shovels aren't necessary. We spent the whole day (6 hours!) cleaning rocks and beach. You clean a foot or so, go to the next place, return, dig a little, and more black gunk just seeps up. Some folks saw some small crabs. . . the only living things I saw were a few sad "sea cockroaches". Kids and old people came, civic groups and city organized busses like the Mokpo group. As a group of mostly white people, we were followed, interviewed and photographed by the news much of the day (they asked us to pull down out masks and hoods for photos:suspiciou !!) but the locals and coordinators seemed for whatever help they could get. . . old young. . . everyone was put to work. Coffee tea and snacks were distributed (if I went back, I'd bring a trash bag to pick up some of the trash left about by volunteers). Vegetarians might bring something to supplement. If you're planning to bring the kind of thing you can buy at min-bak supermarkets, it might be better to buy there and support the local businesses.

Hypoxic
12-17-2007, 06:17 PM
Well, I am sore. . . a bit saddened. . . a bit glad I could pitch in and do a little to help the environment. I went with a well organized univeristy group (http://expathh.wordpress.com/) from near Cheonan. Contact them if you are interested. They have a bus, and supplied more than everything we needed, even a ride to/from the bus terminal.

We went to Padori Beach, just South of the main spill. It's a small village that supports itself through fishing a some seasonal tourism. There is a sand/pebble/rock beaches and at least one obvious boulder problem! While the main slick isn't visible, there is oil stuck to everything, from a thin film to globs. Basically, they need all the help they can get-- I don't imagine anyone being turned away. You really don't need to bring anything-- I was shocked at how many disposable supplies there were-- you could easily salvage any protective gear (except maybe some boots. . . then again. . . probably you could get these too). The fumes weren't too bad, though I did wear a mask most of the time. You might bring towels, old T-shirts or absorbant rags. Buckets and shovels aren't necessary. We spent the whole day (6 hours!) cleaning rocks and beach. You clean a foot or so, go to the next place, return, dig a little, and more black gunk just seeps up. Some flks saw some small crabs. . . the only living things I saw were a few sad "sea cockroaches". Kids and old people came, civic groups and city organized busses like the Mokpo group. As a group of mostly white people, we were followed, interviewed and photographed by the news much of the day (they asked us to pull down out masks and hoods for photos:suspiciou !!) but the locals and coordinators seemed for whatever help they could get. . . old young. . . everyone was put to work. Coffee tea and snacks were distributed (if I went back, I'd bring a trash bag to pick up some of the trash left about by volunteers). Vegetarians might bring something to supplement. If you're planning to bring the kind of thing you can buy at min-bak supermarkets, it might be better to buy there and support the local businesses.

Excellent, Sonia! You're a gem.

We all need to remember too that the problem is not going away quickly - there will be plenty of volunteering opportunities to come.


(if I went back, I'd bring a trash bag to pick up some of the trash left about by volunteers).

:doh:

skinsk
12-17-2007, 11:34 PM
Thanks Shawn, but I just posted first. . . others from KOTR were there too. . . Maggie and Nicola made the trek from Mokpo. Actually, it was Maggie's post here (this thread!!) that gave me the idea to volunteer, so both of these Mokpoites inspired quite a few of their fellow foreigners. . . Nic started the Oil Slick Facebook group (I maybe take credit for bringing Maggie out to Taean National Park at the end of summer :rolleyes8 ). . . . My role in this was small. . . I cleaned some oil off of some rocks, and you know, I owed these rocks! And yes. . . if you're not sure what to do on your winter vacation, I think they'll be wiping the rocks for awhile.

And this is more than just an environmental disaster. . . the people in the coastal villages have for generations made a living off fishing and tourism (and fishing tourism). . . their lives and fortunes are invested in this. Even if they were to get a payout (and this is unlikely to compensate), they've lost their way of life, which just happened to be in one of the most beautiful, pristine areas of Korea! I worry about the depression that's sure to set in (especially after the crowds and news leave and the adrenaline settles down and reality sets in) and the eventual destruction of the communities.

Hypoxic
12-18-2007, 02:24 PM
Yes, I've been in touch with Nicola. Everyone's doing great!

I've thought of the livelihoods of all the people that have lost everything in the disaster, too. This will be the first test for the new government - just how well are they going to handle it, and how are they going to help the people that have lost everything, and how are they going to help posterity that will still be affected by this disaster?

The government doesn't exactly have a crystal clear reputation when it comes to compensation, but they can stir things up here, and get some compassion and help these people. Given how slowly they responded to the spill itself, though, I don't know...

In the words of John Lee Hooker: "Sad Christmas..."