24 September , 2022
Opening Ceremony Held Near Pokhara, Nepal, For WT-ADF Um Hong Gil Human School Cares Project
By Seok-Jae Kang
Asia Journalists Association Vice President
POKHARA: An opening ceremony was held for the new WT-Asia Development Foundation (ADF) Cares Program for students at the Um Hong Gil Human School near Pokhara, Nepal on September 23, 2022.
The ceremony took place at Shree Birethanti Secondary School, about one and a half hours by car from Pokhara City, drawing WT President Dr. Chungwon Choue, WT Vice President Kyu-seok-Lee, THF Asia President Dae-geun Kang, and Mr. Seok-jae Kang, senior consultant for WT Cares Program.
Also on hand were Korean mountaineer Um Hong-Gil, Mr. Prem Bahadur Thapa, headmaster of Shree Birethanti Secondary School and Prakash Shumsher Rana, president of the Nepal Taekwondo Association.
Under the theme “Let’s Build the Future with Taekwondo,” WT teamed up with the Nepal Taekwondo Association to start their new WT-ADF Cares Program on August 22, 2022 for a one-year period.
The new $25,000 WT-ADF Um Hong Gil Human School Cares project is funded by the ADF, headed by Kim Joon-il, and the Nepal Taekwondo Association runs the program by dispatching local taekwondo instructors to the secondary school.
The Cares program, which is benefitting about 90 students, offers the school students one and a half hours of taekwondo and Korean language classes after school four times a week.
During the ceremony, Cares students showed the participants their taekwondo skills and performed a traditional Nepali dance.
During the opening ceremony, WT President Choue said “This Cares project is very meaningful as it offers taekwondo and the Korean language to school students. I hope this kind of Cares program will further expand to other Um Hong Gil human schools in Nepal and other Asian countries.”
Dr. Choue said, “If my memory serves me well, we had an opening ceremony of WT-ADF Cares projects for reformatory inmates and female victims of home violence in Kathmandu on August 3, 2019. The ongoing Nepal Cares projects are model cases.”
“With the financial support from the ADF, WT now carries out its Cares projects in Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and East-Timor. We plan to start new Cares projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan this year,” Dr. Choue said. “I wish to see some of Um Hong Gil human school Cares students grow up to become champions at national and international taekwondo competitions,” WT President Choue said.
WT signed a cooperation agreement with the Seoul-based Um Hong Gil Human Foundation, headed by chairman Lee Jae-hoo, at the WT headquarters in Seoul, Korea on August 29, 2017.
The Um Hong Gil Human Foundation was established in 2008 and has since built 16 human schools in remote areas of Nepal to commemorate Korean mountain climber Um Hong Gil’s achievement of climbing 16 slopes higher than 8,000 meters in the Himalayas, the first in the world. The 16 slopes are the commonly recognized 14-peak Himalayan set and two peaks of Yalung Kang and Lhotse Shar that Um believes deserve the same status as the original 14.
Shree Birethanti Secondary School, which was built in 2013, was the 4th human school by the Um Hong Gil Human Foundation.
“Today is a very historic day as WT President Dr. Choue visited here at Birethanti Secondary School and we strongly hope to expand this Cares programs to other l human schools,” said Um Hong-gil.
In January 2019, WT and the ADF signed a memorandum of understanding on the WT Cares Program to donate 100 million Korean won (about $90,000) to WT. The ADF also donated WT, in Cares funds, $150,000 in 2020, $200,000 in 2021 and $150,000 in 2022.
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