Because society is very busy these days, people are only spending their time to help themselves, not on other people who need help. Also, living in a capitalist country, where money has the highest value, donating it feels so strange to ordinary people. Because of those circumstances, Korean society has been desolated. To encourage people to volunteer and donate, Naver created the ‘Happy Bean’ system. Also a Korean university student created an application that smartphone users can contribute to prevention of global desertification.
Naver founded the ‘Happy Bean’ corporation in 2006. Naver is one of the biggest and widely used portal websites in Korea. Happy Bean Corporation, which is founded by Naver, is connected to various Naver activities such as their Blogs, Q&A system called KnowledgeIn, etc.
a) ‘Bean’ from Happy Bean system
A ‘Bean’ in the Happy Bean system is the donation item. One bean is worth one hundred won. Beans from the Happy Bean system can help ordinary people who haven’t donated, to donate to the community. Beans can be bought with cash or card, and be supported from companies. Also, as mentioned above, people can acquire beans by doing various Naver activities.
How to get bean
1. Replying in the Q&A system (Knowledge In)
2. Introduce sharing box in your blog or joined online café
3. Posting something on your blog or your joined online café.
4. Writing an e-mail with your Naver account.
5. Clicking on Bean banner on Naver and Happy bean website.
6. Participate in the ‘Give Day’
Also, there’s ‘Bean coin bank’ where you and your friends can accumulate beans together. If you share your coin bank in your blog or online café, more beans will be accumulated by many people. By using the coin bank, you can donate more beans to the needy. When you donate your ‘Bean coin bank’, it will be under the group’s name.
b) Happy Bean store
Unlike other online stores, you can do ‘nice purchase’ in the Happy Bean store. Basically if you purchase in Happy Bean store item, you will receive beans and those beans will be later donated to needy. The advantages of Happy Bean store are you will receive a lot of beans by just purchasing products, and you can directly donate the beans to ‘happy log’. Also, the products can be donated, and there are some products that whole sales will be donated as beans so it will be distributed to Naver users. This online store not only has a good cause, but also sells certain products with cheaper price, so customers can purchase good product with lower price and also help people.
Tree planet – smart phone application
Currently, about 6 million hectares have been deserted, and one third of the Earth’s surface is exposed to danger of desertification. In Asia, China, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Syria’s desertification has deepened. Africa and South America have been already exposed to danger of desertification for a long time. The best way to prevent the deepening of desertification is planting trees. However, planting tree takes a lot of time and effort. Therefore, ordinary people don’t think of planting trees. However, ordinary people can plant trees by playing a game with smart phone. In 2010, a Korean university student created a smart phone application called ‘Tree planet’. It’s both in Apple’s app store and Android’s market. ‘Tree Planet’ was awarded a grand prize in Mobile advertisement. ‘Tree Planet’ is an application you can plant trees in imaginary ground. If you plant and grow your imaginary tree up to level seven, an actual tree will be planted in desertification areas. Advertisement fee and support from partner will help the actual tree to be planted in those areas, so all the app users need to do is plant and grow virtual trees. Your virtual trees will be planted in Mongolia, Korea, and Sudan. This app is supported by Hanwha, and UN, UNCCD, World Vision, Korea forest service, and Gangnam-gu are partners of this app.
What did CAH did?
Since May 4th, 2012, Chung-Ang Herald’s editors and reporters have been accumulating happy beans and planting trees on their smart phones. For a week, every herald members helped the society or even world, by donating or planting and growing trees. Here are comments of herald editor and the reporters.
When I first learned about Tree planet, I was curious about the system that if grow a virtual tree, a real tree would be planted. Even though it was just a game, I dug the ground, watered and fed the tree. My tree grew well and I felt proud. Growing an imaginary tree with phone wasn’t easy because of the imaginary loggers and sheep attacking my tree. When we think of preventing desertification, we only think of planting trees. However, I realized that it is also important to be concerned consistently when growing tree. This application was a great opportunity for me to actually understand what’s involved with planting and growing tree by consistently feeding, watering and protecting my trees from danger. Level and the ways of playing the game weren’t difficult so this game could be a useful tool to teach kids when teaching the protection of environment and planting trees. I introduced this application to my friends and they are all planting and growing trees enthusiastically. Although growing imaginary trees by me and my friends on Tree planet application won’t make dense forests, if we all grow one tree per day, the earth will get healthier, suppress global warming, and prevent yellow dust in Mongolia and Africa’s drought and starvation. Since Africa’s drought and starvation are related to many African countries’ conflict, hostility, even civil wars, our effort with tree planet will, without a doubt, contribute to world peace. I hope that many people will feel the same through Tree Planet. Scholar Spinoza said that if the earth collapses tomorrow, I will plant an apple tree. Just like him, I’m starting my days with planting another tree on Tree Planet and I hope many people will do the same.
Social and political reporter Jeong You-jin
Planting anything has never been easy. I killed my tomato tree back in the day. But with Tree Planet all I had to do was feed and water the tree. It never died and soon grew into a big and healthy tree. It is sad sending away my dear “Moose” tree, but having it sent away for all the better reasons makes me feel betterJ.
News reporter Lim Soo-bin
I am not good at a games that requires me to take care for a long term. However, because this game was created for a good purpose, I was motivated to keep moving my fingers to open the game and raise my tree. I have introduced this game to some of my friends and they also started to raise trees. Whenever I finish with raising one tree, I feel really great! I am really happy just by thinking that I am contributing to make a better world so easily in my daily lives.
News reporter Lee Jung-hyun
I don’t blog or post my thoughts on my online café. However, to receive the beans I posted my daily lives on my blog and online café. Also, when I saw the bean banner I clicked on it so that I can receive the bean. At first, I thought it will take a long time to accumulate beans and donate to the people. However, in 4 days, I saved 13 beans and it wasn’t difficult at all. Even though it was only 1300 won, someone could have eaten lunch or bought something they desperately need. When I donated, I felt really proud.
Culture reporter Park Jung-hee
It is very difficult for modern people to volunteer firsthand, but happy bean can help the poor and people in need easily and it takes little time to do it. When I answer the question that I know well and write what I want to share with others, I could get beans. I think people do not know the existence of Happy Bean yet, so it needs more attentionJ.
International reporter Kim Kyu-hyun
I always hear how important it is to donate but never actually get around to doing it. However, donating through happy bean was too easy that I couldn’t ignore it. All I had to do was write an entry on my blog and a happy bean would be given to me! There were also a variety of places or individuals that I could choose to donate to. At first, I felt kind of embarrassed at donating with such a small amount of beans but it definitely felt good after seeing how many people need help.
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