WORLD ROK volunteer joins hands with Chinese community against pandemic


ROK volunteer joins hands with Chinese community against pandemic


10:17, October 30, 2021

Disease control and prevention workers collect samples from frozen products in Tianjin's Nankai district on Nov 9, 2020. (File photo: Xinhua)

TIANJIN, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- When a resident from the Republic of Korea (ROK) got vaccinated, Jun Hyunkee's face lit up as he saw less unvaccinated ROK names on a list, which means more and more compatriots from his country are being protected from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jun, aged 50, the vice president of the Korean Society in north China's Tianjin Municipality, loves traveling. However, he canceled his travel plans and volunteered to join his local community group in the anti-pandemic fight after finding out the staff had problems communicating with the ROK residents.

His phone rang constantly. Jun was busy responding to various messages and filling in the information in the forms for people. But to him, it was all worth it. "I want to be a bridge between the people of the two countries and do something for them," said Jun, a fluent Chinese speaker.

In 2002, Jun quit his job in Seoul and came to China to start his cattle feed business. Over the years, he traveled to many places in China and finally settled in Tianjin in 2009.

There are tens of thousands of ROK residents working and living in Tianjin. In Jun's community, there are around 1,800.

"No one knew the exact number before. But during the epidemic, the community staff and I collected the residents' information door to door and sorted it out," Jun said.

Jun explained China's anti-epidemic policies thoroughly to the ROK residents and told them why it is important for everyone to participate in the anti-epidemic fight.

The responsible, warm and caring attitude of the community staff and Jun made many ROK residents feel particularly at ease. "China's epidemic prevention and control measures are very effective. Many people told me they feel very safe in Tianjin," Jun said.

Since China and the ROK have opened a "fast-track lane" for those on urgent visits, more ROK people have landed in Tianjin.

Jun helped out as a translator when the quarantined individuals made requests and communicated with the Chinese staff to help them solve problems.

"The results of China's arduous battle against the virus is hard-won. We need to cherish what we have now and follow strict measures for pandemic prevention and control. Meanwhile, I try my best to meet their reasonable demands to make them feel at home," Jun said.

A few months later, Jun's WeChat contacts list surged from 300 plus to over 6,000. His new connections ranged from Chinese staff in the community and the police station to fellow citizens who happened to meet Jun once. "As long as they sent me messages, I would spare no effort to help them."

Since China has made great efforts to promote vaccination, Jun quickly took the Chinese coronavirus vaccines and helped nearly 1,500 ROK residents in Tianjin get vaccinated.

"Chinese vaccines are very safe. None of us had adverse reactions after vaccination. I hope more and more ROK residents living in China will get vaccinated soon to protect themselves," Jun said.

"China has created a stable living environment for the people amid the pandemic. I hope through my efforts, more and more people will become links for friendly exchanges between China and the ROK," Jun added.

On the wall of Jun's workplace hangs a banner sent from his Chinese community as a small gift for his immense help in the epidemic fight.

"This is the greatest honor for me and the whole Korean Society in Tianjin," Jun said.

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