Thursday, August 18, 2016

Meet Nyaka's Newest Junior Board Member!

Please meet Nyaka’s newest Junior Board Member, Cheryn Shin!  Cheryn is a student at Seoul International School in South Korea.  She learned about Nyaka during one of Jackson’s visits and was inspired to help the students there. 

Cheryn is part of an NGO in the city of Seoul called Art & Love, which collects and shares art work from student volunteers like her.  Every year they have an exhibition, and this year, Cheryn featured Nyaka at a booth in the Art & Love bazaar.  Here is her amazing story... 

I got involved with Nyaka through SIS GIN (school club) since 2013 (Freshman year). I personally reached out to Nyaka for the first time in 2016.

I always wanted to support NGOs that accepted donations to make the world a better place. Ever since I was 8, I supported organizations such as UNICEF, Green Peace, and World Vision. However, since I do not have any palpable connections, it was difficult to express my passions. When I was 10, I met Mr. Jackson Kaguri during his first visit to Seoul International School. This was when I discovered Nyaka and gained awareness of the situations in Uganda. Furthermore, Mr. Jackson encouraged and convinced me that even a student in Korea can make a change through Nyaka. I have been supporting Nyaka ever since.

I have attended all of Mr. Jackson’s visits at our school, and was part of SIS GIN’s donations to Nyaka. Initially, I was too shy to reach out to Nyaka myself. However, at the end of my Junior year after Mr. Jackson’s 6th visit, I began to feel that I was running out of time. I gathered up my courage to speak to Mr. Jackson after the meeting, and soon we were in regular contact through email. I then asked for a collaboration between a Korean NGO I was a member (now president) of called Art&Love. In this way, I was able to purchase over a $1000 worth of Nyaka products with my own allowance, sending donations to Nyaka as well as raising awareness of Uganda in Korea. I plan to continue this project and collaboration even after I graduate high school. In order to make sure this plan works, I am currently creating both an official Art&Love website and Facebook page to keep track of our progress. In addition, I would like to write articles about Nyaka and my experiences and publish them on a student run website called Teen10, in which I am an editor.

Nyaka has given me courage to try new things because it’s never too early or too late to make change in the world, as long as you have a purpose to carry on. Nyaka has also made me realize the importance of the phrase “actions speak louder than words.” I enjoy planning and organizing, but I was always afraid to act upon my words. Now, through my recent collaborations with Nyaka, I have come to realize how much progress I was able to make simply by contacting authorities and “walking the talk.”

My dream has always been a writer. Because Nyaka has given me so much experience and inspiration, I would like to express my works through my writings. I plan to keep in contact with Nyaka even in my college and adult years, raise awareness at my future college. I also dream of travelling to Uganda myself and visit the Nyaka children.

Thank you Cheryn!   YOU are an inspiration!