Words are a medium of communication that are the sole basis of any interaction that form the ground for everything from relationships to the creation of spaceships. Moreover, a simple exchange of words between two people can make someone’s day or break it. This principle, is essentially the driving engine for the core of the Sunfull Foundation.
The Sunfull Foundation established by Professor Min Byoung-Chul in early 2007, is a non-profit organization that dedicates itself towards the eradication of hate speech, the prevention of suicide, but importantly is fighting for peace, prosperity, and compassion on and offline. Currently in Korea, the Sunfull campaign has been signed by 294 out of 297 members of the National Assembly, and the movement is spreading quickly globally. As our next mission, the Sunfull foundation sought to spearhead its goal for peace to the Philippines.
On September, 2019, as the Hanyang University representative for the Sunfull Foundation, I had the privilege to travel to the Philippines for the launching event of the Sunfull movement as well as assisting with filming a documentary covering the Sunfull movement covered by Arirang TV.
Arriving at an incredibly late hour on Tuesday night, it would be a difficult day the next day as most of us would only get about 2~3 hours of sleep before our biggest day of the trip. The following day, we would travel around from the Philippines Senate, Congress, and the House of Representatives to meet with distinguished political members of the Philippines as well as be part of the MOA signing.
Our first destination, the Senate. The day started out quick with a visit to the Senate to meet with Senators to spread the word of the Sunfull foundation. The Senators that we met with at first were not aware of exactly what the Sunfull organization is or does, and so Dr. Min had to first explain the organization’s mission as well as what its social implications are. After explaining the movement, the Senators were touched to hear how the organization’s purpose was to bring peace and prosperity into the Philippines. It was clear to the Senators that the Sunfull Foundation’s mission did not only serve a unilateral purpose, it was an NPO founded to the expansion of peace as a whole.
Continuing that day, we had a Sunfull Internet Peace Movement launching ceremony with the House of Representatives at a hotel. We were joined by some of the Senators as well as one of the main Congresswomen, Ms. Florida P. Robes, who was one of the main advocates that spearheaded the Sunfull movement into the Philippines.
It was coincidentally brought up during the event that it was the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, and the leaders of the Philippines signed a peace agreement from the Sunfull Foundation. It was highly memorable during the event to hear the speakers of the House of Representatives and distinguished Senators give their take on peace, action, and compassion.
Dr. Min gave further background on the Sunfull Foundation, towards its motives and the beginnings of its creation. Once Dr. Min spoke about the suicide victims in Korea that influenced his decision in the creation of this NPO, it was clear that everyone it the room could feel the compassion in his voice.
Proceeding that event, we had the opportunity to visit the House of Representatives where we met with the leaders of the Philippines government. It was an event that not only was providing guidance towards how the legislative body may direct their policies in peace and eradicating hate speech, but also a significantly strong glue to the Philippines and Korean bi-lateral relationship.
After the Sunfull Foundation and the delegates were introduced by the House, we proceeded up to the Speaker of the House’s office where the MOA would be signed by the distinguished Congressmen and women. The MOA was a document that established an agreement by the Philippines leaders to adhere to the guidelines of promoting peace, safety, and prosperity set by the Sunfull Foundation.
The signing of the MOA was a success, and it was clear that the distinguished members were in complete agreement for the Sunfull Movement. Once we got to hear some of the words by those leaders, we found that the Sunfull movement’s mission aligned very well with the Philippines. Since the Philippines is still a developing country and the internet is still being developed, it is imperative that the direction of the development is guided towards a path that is supportive, inclusive, compassionate, and creates a safe environment for those that are interacting with it.
Finally, we headed towards the local town, San Jose Del Monte, headed by Ms. Florida P. Robes and her husband who is the mayor. This event was one of my personal favorites because it was an extremely warm and inviting event. They truly treated us with great hospitality and the environment was very welcoming.
This event’s purpose was to further expand the Sunfull foundation to the local level from the legislative level, hence working our way down. Moreover, it was an event dedicated to two of the families who lost their children due to cyber-bullying and hateful words. The event as a whole was very successful and fun, but it was noticeable that the victim’s families were still in pain and struggling to keep strong during the event.
Though it was a fun event, it was inspiring and very powerful to see real victims of cyber-bullying, and the tragic endings that it could bring to some individuals. I had the opportunity to interview the families after the event was closing, and it was one of the most intimately moving moments for me during the entire trip. They discussed how everything happened so quickly and without warning, and the pain that they described was excruciating. That was the point where I told them that the Sunfull Foundation would continue to work and fight the good fight against hate speech to prevent such tragedies in the future.
The next day, we had the opportunity to visit Enderun College, one of the most prestigious universities in the Philippines where we would further spread the Sunfull movement. The event was hosted by the University Chairman as well as the other top executive members of Enderrun, and the luncheon was very successful to say the least. An iconic moment of the luncheon was when Dr. Min discussed the Sunfull foundation with the President of the University, Dr. Edgardo P. Rodriguez. When Dr. Edgardo understood what the Sunfull movement was, he said that, “the Sunfull Foundation is not just about eradicating hate speech on the internet, it is the promotion of peace as a whole.” Hearing the President of such a distinguished University give such praise to Sunfull was enlightening because this non-profit organization truly is spearheading its goal towards global prosperity and peace, and it felt nice to be recognized.
Following the luncheon, we had a brief lecture by Dr. Min in the University’s library to educate the students about Sunfull as well as some of its objectives. Dr. Min also discussed some of his histories, and gave light to how success is created and earned. He explained how ideas become reality through several steps of persistence, creativity, and compassion, which the students were radically interested in.
Proceeding the signing ceremony, the University student delegates from the Sunfull Foundation went to lecture some of Enderun’s students about the negative implications of using malicious words on the internet and to help them join the Sunfull network. We talked to the students personally about whether or not they are part of any social network on the internet, and to little surprise most of them were. We then discussed how on social networking platforms, there are always individuals who are commenting negative and/or hateful comments, and what we can do to help prevent that from happening. The students were excited to be a part of the Sunfull movement because they all recognize that hate speech does not add anything of value to society, but conversely spreading love and support creates an immense about of value.
Being a part of this overall sequence of events was inspiring because I was able to see how a vision to do good for the world becomes reality through meticulous planning and taking action. It was a privilege to travel to the Philippines with Dr. Min, and I hope to be a part of other launching events in the future.