The Beautiful Store
Since the first Beautiful Store opened in October 2001, growth has been explosive. As of 2013, there are over 146 Beautiful Stores located throughout Korea. The Beautiful Store is unique among Korean organizations in that it uses all of its profit for charity and public benefit while propagating a culture of recycling. This "culture of recycling for charitable purposes" is well established in other developed countries, but is relatively new in Korea. With its fresh ideas and expert management, the Beautiful Store hopes to make a substantial contribution to the Korean civil society movement toward community sharing.
The Beautiful Store relies heavily on its volunteers, who willingly take on the hard work of transporting, classifying, and repairing donated goods. Their efforts are of the utmost importance. The Beautiful Store aims to build bridges between those who donate their resources and their time and those who benefit from their generosity. At the Beautiful Store, we work passionately and with a great sense of duty.
The Beautiful Store not only encourages the donation and recycling of secondhand goods, but also advocates using reusable shopping baskets and handmade, chemical-free detergents in our everyday lives. A responsible, sustainable lifestyle is a worthy and important goal. The Beautiful Store also provides an open space for disadvantaged community members to connect with one another, as well as a cultural space for local residents. Through small actions and changes such as these, we can ultimately make the world more "beautiful."
Human Rights Law Foundation, GongGam
1. Legal service project for NGOsGongGam aids NGOs in the protection of the human rights of minorities and the marginalized. GongGam provides legal advice for organizational management and administration, offers legal consultation, and supports the work of NGOs through the enactment and revision of law, filing of lawsuits, and research on system and policy.
2. Public interest lawsuits and improvement of the systemGongGam is working toward the rapid improvement of Korea's legal system by researching social problems that demand immediate attention and aiding in preparation for lawsuits against violators of human rights.
3. Developing programs for public interest law practice and mediating the pro bono activities of LawyersGongGam intends to initiate public interest law practice by acting as the intermediary between organizations that need legal support and the lawyers who desire to get involved in civil activities. As a step toward this, GongGam is doing field research to assess the actual need for legal services. We also support programs for public interest law practice by law firms, match law students with volunteer opportunities, and run the GongGam Internship Program.
4. Study and researchGongGam is currently conducting research on legal systems and policies to protect minorities and the marginalized, as well as on promoting the practice of public interest law. We are also researching public interest law practice abroad for the purpose of applying the findings to Korea. Moreover, GongGam runs internship and fellowship programs in order to expand its scope of public interest activities.
Areas of practice
1. WomenGongGam provides legal support for women who are discriminated against and who face hardship because of their gender. Not only does GongGam take legal action and offer legal advice, but it also continues to look for new ways that the legal system can be improved on behalf of trafficked persons, immigrant women, and the victims of sexual and domestic violence.
2. DisabilityGongGam is involved in legislative activism (drafting of anti-discrimination acts concerning persons with disabilities, guardianship of incapacitated persons, treatment and protective custody for convicted persons with mental illness, welfare for persons with disabilities act, etc.), providing legal education to organizers/activists working in the disabilities field, and offering legal advice and legal consultation to various disability organizations.
3. Immigrants and refugeesGongGam works to combat and prevent discrimination against immigrant workers in their workplaces and their daily lives outside of work. GongGam takes actions to protect the rights related to exit and entry of illegal status immigrant workers, specifically in the areas of control, protection and expulsion. GongGam helps refugee applicants to ensure that they are examined through an appropriate and transparent process. It also works toward providing conditions in which refugees can seek and establish stable lives in Korean society.
4. Poverty and welfareGongGam is currently providing legal advice, working on lawsuits, and conducting a study on legal systems for the poor and the homeless. It also provides legal support to civic communities and organizations that try to protect and improve the rights and interests of the underprivileged. Moreover, GongGam has participated in legal consultation and field research on social service organizations' human rights issues.
5. Public interest law in generalGongGam assists with the human rights problems of our society, including sexual minorities and those infected with HIV/AIDS. Accordingly, we are trying to work together to take various actions for social change, including citizen autonomy, budget monitoring, and observing the activities of Korean transnational corporations abroad.
The Hope Institute
1. Idea ProjectA small idea can change the world.
Interesting suggestions and ideas can be shared with The Hope Institute through the Internet. The Hope Institute will then adjust, supplement, and combine these ideas in order to make them more concrete and attainable. The Hope Institute awards those who provide good ideas and transmits the completed work to pertinent institutions in order to bring about real change.
2. Roots projectMy local community can be the center for the world.
The Hope Institute carries out general consultation projects to aid regional governments in developing their abilities. It examines regional studies and aids local governments in actively addressing pending problems in local society. The Hope Institute works to continuously develop the local community and suggests pathways to reaching desirable local community models.
3. Suggesting alternativesAct to nourish and develop civil society.
The role of civil organizations is expanding in each social area. Grassroots activities by citizens are changing society. The Hope Institute researches, studies, and actualizes projects to support civil organizations, to promote the level of consciousness of citizens, and aid in the maturation process of civil society. The Hope Institute aims to be a center of alternative civil society through analysis of other countries' civil societies.
4. Suggesting future strategiesGrowing Korean society and providing hope for the future.
The Hope Institute engages in in-depth research projects in diverse areas, such as politics, economy, national defense, education, environment, gender, and culture. The Hope Institute wants to illuminate the future path for this society through a careful diagnosis of problems and an informed discourse on possible workable alternatives.
5. Storage of wisdom projectNetworking knowledge all over the world.
The Hope Institute wants to be an initial actor of social development and build a database of information and knowledge spanning the globe.