Have you ever thought that just by buying a cup of coffee, you can be an actual help to those who are suffering from starvation in Africa? Well you actually can help the Africans by buying coffee. There was a booth at the flea market on April 4th, trying to raise money by selling coffee, Stand Up for Africa (SUA). The Sookmyung Times (SMT) introduces you to this considerate group of people who care for those in need.
SMT Introduce SUA and what kind of events it holds.
SUA The idea of the group SUA was first raised upon interest, when 13 Sookmyung Women’s
University students and 3 professors visited Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda for the Global
Exchange Program. During the program, the 13 students got to visit one of the orphanages,
Shepherd’s Orphanage, within the country. This orphanage was administrated by an individual person which is why it didn’t receive much of investment nor help from the outside. It was suffering from financial crisis so children were suffering from starvation and other health problems. After the visit to Shepherd’s Orphanage, we had a discussion about how we should fund the orphanage to make a clean and healthy environment for the children so that they could have the proper food and
clothing for their daily lives. So from this conclusion of our discussion, we realized our hope and took into action and founded the club, SUA. And to serve our club’s founding purpose, we raise money from charity works and send it to Africa to eradicate poverty. The main event our club holds is the on-campus “one-day cafe.” We set up a booth on campus twice a semester and sell coffee to students. The profit raised from this event goes straight to the orphanages in Africa. Besides this external activity we hold on campus, we have study sessions within our club. We debate about the political, social, and cultural issues in Africa and make efforts to learn more about Africa to be more helpful to the eradication of poverty in Africa.
SMT What was the most memorable episode that happened during the one-day cafe event on campus?
SUA From the very first day I joined SUA to this day, every day was memorable and unforgettable. However, to pick one episode, I would say that the day we got kicked out from the cafes nearby the school was the most memorable episode of all. We try to cut our expenditures as much as possible and make profits to the maximum, which is why we go door-to-door to every cafe near campus asking for free ice cubes that go in the coffee. We tell the cafes our club’s purpose and ask for sponsorship of their ice. However, it wasn’t that easy to get free ice from the cafes. When we were just about to give up on getting free ice, we visited the last cafe nearby the campus and asked for free ice. The manager of the cafe nodded with a big smile, replying that he’d be happy to sponsor us with ice, and be part of the great purpose of SUA. If we had given up asking for ice, we never would have gotten the chance to raise the money for the African kids. I still thank that manager for sponsoring us with ice for our event and will never forget him because that is when I knew that there are still people who care for the unfortunate ones.
SMT Are there any other activities you hold for charity work?
SUA Although we think that the one-day cafe on campus is the best way to raise a great amount of profit in a short period of time, we still debate and discuss on a daily basis to find the most effective way to raise money for Africa. We participated in many volunteer works and contest xhibits to raise the attention of the seriousness of the poverty in Africa. We also receive donations from many cafes that sponsor SUA and sell hand-made crafts. Besides the donation we provide to Africa, to be an actual help, we try to communicate with the African kids we help. Three members of our club visited Watoto Orphanage last February and met with the children. Other tudents in the group exchange letters with the orphans to show their love and affection towards the African kids. We try to come up with more inspiring plans to help the African kids and always hold meetings to think of the best ways of how we can help the children.
SMT Is there anything you ould like to say to the potential applicants of SUA?
SUA People generally think that you must have professional knowledge in coffee in order to join our club. However, we do not require any sense of knowledge about coffee, but require the warm heart and genuine thought for the African kids. If you have compassion towards the kids who are dying from starvation and malnutrition across the world, you are a qualified applicant for SUA. We recruit new applicants every February and August, so I wish to see many students apply for SUA and be part of the group to think and study about Africa and become a real help for the unfortunate ones.