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International volunteer conference highlights Korean volunteers' work
31 March 2008

Seoul, South Korea: According to the Korean Council of Volunteering (KCV), the outstanding work of volunteers in Taean, South Chungcheong Province, devastated by the nation's largest ever oil leak, will be presented during the 20th International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) World Volunteer Conference from April 2-5 in Panama.

The catastrophe took place Dec. 7 after a Samsung Heavy Industries barge collided with the 146,000-ton Hong Kong-registered tanker "Hebei Spirit."More than 10,500 tons of crude oil was spilled into the sea off Taean.

Students, workers, soldiers, policemen, public officials and other concerned individuals, including foreign nationals and American soldiers, soon rolled up their sleeves to help clean the affected area. The number of volunteers joining the cleanup work hit a record high of one million in just 70 days.

At the conference, their work will be introduced through eight-minutes of video footage produced by the South Chungcheong provincial government. It contains images of the area before and after the accident, as well as cleanup activities by volunteers.

The conference will also highlight the designation of Kang-Hyun Lee, secretary general of KCV, as the new president of IAVE. He is the first Asian to serve in the position in the volunteers' group.

The biennial conference will be held under the theme of "Volunteering for Human Development: More Solidarity, Less Poverty."

Visit the official website of the 20th IAVE Conference