The Seonbae Ramyeon Scholarship was established as a way for older students to support their juniors, delivering an extraordinary ray of hope to Ewha students. The Seonbae Ramyeon Scholarship campaign launched in November 2010 with the motto, “If you are an alumna of Ewha (seonbae ramyeon), you can show your affection towards Ewha students with a monthly donation of 10,000 won.” The campaign has raised a total of three billion won so far, with more than 3,000 beneficiaries, and firmly taken root as the first and longest micro-donation program in Korea. This is made all the more meaningful with the aid of about 200 long-term benefactors who have shown consistent support towards the program since its launch.
Memories of the first donor, Kim Seok Hyang (Professor of the Department of North Korean Studies, the first donor to the Seonbae Ramyeon Scholarship)
Recalling the day I made my first donation, it was a chilly day in 2010, and I was with a graduate student who had brought me a cup of tea in my office. Just then, I was reading an email introducing the launch of the Seonbae Ramyeon Scholarship program. I asked the student, who had a regular income, if she could afford to buy me a cup of tea each month. When she seemed puzzled, I explained to her that she could support the scholarship with the same amount of money that she had just spent on a cup of tea, and asked her to participate in the program with me. We went to the Office of University Relations and Development together, then I became the first donor to the program, and she became the second.
I am who I am today thanks to the help of so many people. Of course, my parents helped me the most. But it is difficult to estimate how much the helping hand and support of teachers, senior students, and friends at Ewha have influenced me. In this regard, sharing and donating mean giving back what I have been given. In my younger days, I thought the right thing to do was to give back only as much as I was given. Now I realize that I should do what I can at the time to help those in need, and share and support others whenever I have the opportunity.
In the name of “seonbae” (Alumna Hwang Yu-gyeong, Biology, graduate class of 1989)
I couldn’t help but act as a seonbae (senior students or alumnae) after seeing the name of the campaign, “Seonbae Ramyeon” (“if you are a seonbae”). I felt that letting younger students know that they have the support of their seonbae would help them to muster up the courage to go out into the harsh world. Ten years ago, I began mentoring for Ewha students while working. I was also looking for other ways to help, then I came across the scholarship program and started donating. I was able to jump right in without much reservation, as it was an affordable amount of money. I’m happy that my little act of sharing can be a huge source of support to others.
I want to let students know that their alumnae are watching over them and supporting them as well as providing financial aid through the Seonbae Ramyeon Scholarship. Ewha students are autonomous and independent, so they are used to doing everything themselves. They rarely asked for help from senior students or reached out to younger students. I thought this was a natural state when I was a student myself. Even after I graduated and began working, this preconceived notion never changed. Now that I’m an alumna and participate in mentoring and contribute towards a scholarship, I understand that my predecessors would have thought of me and my classmates in the same way that I am looking at today’s Ewha students. It’s okay to ask for help. I want Ewha students to remember that their alumnae are cheering them on, even in days of hardship. These are tough times, but I want everyone to have courage.
Join in the joy of sharing (Lee Soon Nam, professor emeritus of the Department of Medicine, member of Ewha Honors Club)
I am so pleased to hear that the Seonbae Ramyeon Scholarship has already reached its 10th anniversary and made remarkable achievements with the participation of many alumnae. I believe that one’s studies should not be impeded by circumstances that are outside of their control. It is our responsibility as a country and a society to build an environment where the youth can achieve their dreams. However, since the government and society cannot solve all problems, all members of Ewha must take on some of the responsibility for the development of the school and its students. I will keep on sharing because I have faith in the virtuous circle where students who receive support will become competent members of society and give back to society or younger students, thereby creating a better world. What’s more, the Seonbae Ramyeon Scholarship is a micro-donation program that you can easily participate in through scheduled payments.
For me, sharing is a small habit built upon gentle hearts that cannot overlook the suffering of others, and a donation is not only an act of sharing but also an act of gaining joy. I believe that Ewha has an obligation to lead the donation culture in Korea as a school that was established based on the contributions of a missionary. I strongly encourage the Ewha family to join in a worthwhile cause by growing Ewha, nurturing young talents, and leading social changes to build a better society without inequality through the beautiful act of donation. I am thrilled that such small acts of kindness can be of service to Ewha students. I can only hope all Ewha alumnae, or even just a half of them, would join in the donation drive to further benefit Ewha students. It’s time to take action and relish the joy of sharing.