“Let’s buy ‘comfort women’ grandmothers a new van” … fund raising spreads

Disclaimer: The following is a totally unauthoritative personal translation of a news report on the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) on November 26, 2011. All rights regarding this post stay with the author of the original news script or with SBS. Accordingly this post will be scrapped immediately with their request. Original news of this post (in Korean. It also contains a video footage.) can be found in the link at the bottom.

“Let’s buy ‘comfort women’ grandmothers a new van” … fund raising spreads

Anchor comment:

There is a van that works like legs of Japanese military ‘comfort women’ grandmothers. It has always brought them everywhere and worn down a lot in that arduous course. Now, thinking it’s time for a new one, many precious hearts bind together to make it come true.

Kim Do-gyoon (getset@sbs.co.kr) reports.

Reporter message:

To Japanese military ‘comfort women’ grandmothers, one van they have is like their legs. Assemblies, hospitals, or the shelter; wherever they go, it accompanies them.

[Gil Won-ok, Japanese military ‘comfort women’ victim: This car is like Jack of all trades. It carries us in the night in emergency and it carries us in the afternoon. It carries us to the Wednesday assembly (in front of Japanese embassy); It does a lot for us.]

The van that came to work for the grandmothers in 2003 is worn down too much with the burden of past arduous struggling time.

It won’t start right away.

[(Won’t it start right away?) It wouldn’t start at all in winter. In winter, it takes really a long time.]

Engine noise is worryingly loud. It is a usual thing that doors do not shut well. Since the van sometimes suddenly stops while running on the road, long distance trips are an unimaginable thing. Since it rattles so much, grandmothers often suffer severe carsick.

[Sohn Young-mi / manager of shelter ‘our home’: When they come back from Wednesday protest after an hour, it’s just 30-minute distance from here, it’s about 2 o’clock but they cannot have dinner. They are all so exhausted.]

It was Twitterians who stood out to try to solve this problem. One power Twitterian posted a short message “Let’s change the car for grandmothers” and it spread like a wild fire. It finally became a fund-raising movement.

[Kim Jeong-hwan / Power Blogger: I am so thrilled. I can finally deliver it to them. From a space where no body seems to listen to me appear so many Twitterian friends who eagerly want to become the legs of our grandmothers.]

Twitter users raised the fund for about 3 weeks time proactively and plan to deliver a new van to the grandmothers on 14th next month, to mark the 1,000th Wednesday protest.

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