Spreading warmth by sharing briquettes
Mae-Chuk-Ji Village in Beomil-dong, Dong-gu, Busan is also known as the "town where time has stopped" because traces of the past are still seen today. Mae-Chuk-Ji means reclaimed; it was a reclaimed land during the Japanese occupation.
After Korea's liberation from Japan in 1945, it was populated by people who returned to Korea after years of forced labor overseas. As it used to be a location where coachmen, horses and porters rests in stables, the new settlers remodeled the stables into residential houses. Today, the village left untouched by time and has become an urban village nested amongst high rise apartments. The residence in the village is majority elderly and low-income families that still uses briquette to keep the house warm during winter. As winter is approaching soon, our team in Busan have organized a traditional Korean activity of sharing briquettes to the elderly in Mae-Chuk-Ji Village. Through the Briquette bank, we have purchased 5000 briquettes and gathered all volunteers from our employees, seafarers and senior management team members to distribute the briquette throughout the village.
As the village path is narrow and unstructured, it is not possible to distribute the briquettes using a vehicle. The distribution of the briquette must be done by foot into each household’s briquette storage space. Everyone took part in the laborious activity with teamwork and enthusiasm to serve the local community.As the journey gets too hard along the way, volunteers are seen encouraging each other for motivation. Everyone was looking out for each other to accomplish the distribution of briquettes before sunset.After the hard work of almost 2 and half hours, our team finally finishes the distribution. Our tired but still enthusiastic volunteers are covered in soot from the briquettes. But everyone agreed this is a worthwhile effort as they see the smiles they brought to the elderly's faces.We would like to thank all employees and seafarers that has participated in this meaningful activity. We hope our sponsored briquettes will keep the elderly warm in the upcoming winter.