A Place for Teenagers to Refill Their Bowls and Hopes: Green Frog Food Truck
It has been approximately seven months since the Green Frog Food Truck moved to a new area. The service team has been facing multiple troubles due to social rejections of teenage delinquents. Communities around Bucheon did not appreciate the efforts that the service team was providing for the teenagers. The service team has consequently been roaming around Bucheon city to find a safer and more stable place for the teenage visitors to gather around.
The Green Frog Food Truck (GFFT) a service group organized by Jung-Ah Lee, aim to help vulnerable delinquents on the streets by providing them with late-night meals. The service used to be held every Thursday in a small green tent. The service seemed to have much improvement when they moved into a larger area indoors. There was much to be done with the place since the building did not have any sort of interior decorations or any good quality facilities. It simply had white-painted concrete walls. The service community had been planning out different sorts of development for months, such as remodeling the interior, brainstorming for various activities and events to liven up the area for the visiting teenagers, and planning out new service hour schedules.
Interior remodeling was planned since May 2016 and was roughly finished at the start of December 2016. The Interior designs were done by In-Chul Baek and construction was helped out by the service team and the Bucheon community. People from these communities worked every single day until the day they completed the construction. And their efforts definitely paid off.
<Newly Constructed Green Frog Food “Cafe”>
The area was designed to have facilities fully optimized for the visiting teenagers. Now, GFFT has a kitchen and counter area where meals can be properly prepared. There is a room for counseling sessions, a floor/stage area, and facilities for watching movies. According to Jung-Ah Lee, the teenagers were extremely impressed with the new area and commented that it looks like a very relaxing home for them, which fulfills the purpose of the service.
GFFT did not only improve on their interior. The service community also planned various events and activities based on the teenagers’ wants and needs. GFFT previously offered late night meals, guidance sessions and health checks. Now there are more activities added such as cooking, playing various games, learning how to play the keyboard and Ukulele, baking, watching movies, and traveling. Some service providers organized a trip around South Korea by foot for three weeks, and created a once-in-a-life-time memory for those who participated. The special New Year’s Eve parties were arranged in celebration of a closure of another year, and the official opening of a newly designed GFFT. Another convenient improvement is that the GFFT is now open every single day. Teenagers who are in desperate need for a warm indoor area are now welcome to stay any time and any day of the week.
<New Year Wishes>
Technically, there are other services within the government that can help the delinquent teenagers, and GFFT is therefore not greatly necessary in reality. However, Jung-Ah Lee tends to consider that the aid from the government is very limited compared to what the GFFT provides. The services from the government are provided merely for teenagers; this means that people over the age of 20 are not included. Also, the services provided are only those that fulfill the basic needs of the teenagers. Meanwhile, GFFT is willing to provide more service to wider age groups, give guidance to each teenage visitor, act as a “teenager’s guesthouse,” and also provide some luxury other than the basic necessities.
Through the provisions from GFFT, Jung-Ah Lee’s hopes for the teenagers to maintain good health, restore their good behavior as members of the youth, and become improved citizens of the society. GFFT will continue forward into the New Year and hopefully, the years after. Jung-Ah Lee says that the service will continue until there is no young citizen who feels socially abused. To see how the service has improved drastically the year before creates new expectations towards GFFT’s development in the future.
<GFFT Service Team>
Grace Jiyoung Lim
Branksome Hall Asia
Grace Jiyoung Lim firstname.lastname@example.org
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