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Won Bin visits Gambia for UNICEF

While Won Bin hasn’t been doing much acting in the past few years, he has been busy as the Korean goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, and recently traveled to a relief center in the west African nation of The Gambia.

Won Bin’s two-week trip spanned from April 4 through 13, and took him to slums and schools in the capital city of Banjul, as well as a public health center and hospital in the eastern region of Basse, where malaria-preventing mosquito nets and vitamins are handed out.

 

Won Bin has been UNICEF goodwill ambassador since 2007, and explained his sentiments about his recent visit:

Won Bin: “I felt a deep sense of melancholy on this trip as UNICEF goodwill ambassador, seeing the relief aid center and spending time with the children directly. … I’d like to convey what I’ve felt on this visit to other people, and do more for these children in the future.”

The actor has also contributed funds raised by his own Pan-Asia fan club “Venus” to a new elementary school in the Basse area for books and teaching materials. The production company behind his upcoming movie Mother, Barunson Films, has also sent money to the school for supplies.

Won Bin’s Gambia visit will be featured on the current events program “W” on April 24 on MBC. Meanwhile, his movie Mother releases in theaters on May 28.

Via My Daily

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first! i like him

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that is so nice of him~

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Good to see he is keeping busy with helping people. The last photo gave contradicting sentiment: happiness that he is willing to do good work, but sad that there are still people living in inhumane conditions in other parts of the world.

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wow go him!!

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he looks soooo attractive in this pics. I think it may be the fact that he looks so real and happy in these pics. Good job!

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In the last picture, it looks like he is genuinely enjoying being around them and helping ^^

Perhaps it's because the camera is not directly next to him, so it doesn't give off that feeling that he's smiling for the camera... as well as his feeling of natural interaction with others.

I'm happy at more Won-Bin news ^^
*excited for comeback*

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Wow, such a sweetheart. I love that a lot of this actors go help out developing countries themselves. ^_*

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It is nice seeing celebrities give back BUT must it always be to another country other than there own? I mean aren't there many who are in need locally? I just don't get it. Oh well. Nothing new. Just venting.

It is nice though, at least they are giving back when they don't have to.

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@8, cecee -

That's a sensitive topic to be sure. My initial thought was almost exactly like yours. Why should Won Bin go all the way to Gambia, when there are needy local charities that could use Won Bin's star power to be benefited? And I think there was some buzz a few weeks back about celebrities like Madonna adopting foreign orphan infants, and the buzz question was, "are there not needy orphan infants in this country"??

Still to be true, I would bet my last dollar that Won Bin gives to local charities as well. And, independently, if Won Bin by chance has a heart towards unfortunates in other parts of the world, then shouldn't he be able to give his time, money and strength toward them as well (whether or not if gives to local charities)?

Won Bin brings with him, really, only his ability to draw cameras and media attention to a situation for which media attention needs to be drawn, and without celebrities like him, there would be virtually no media attention at all, and thus no possibility of help from anywhere. While there are charitable causes in Korea (or the US, if we are talking about US celebrities) as well, no question, those causes inherently benefit from being in Korea (or the US) and not in sub-Saharan African region.

In the end, it is all by choice. Most people I know who make charitable donations do so locally or nationally, but a few make efforts to find worthy international causes. Some people I know, do not donate at all, to any charity, local or otherwise. Regardless, it is their choice, and who am I to say whether one should donate or not, and to whom. Similarly, I am not anyone who can say whether one should use his or her star / celeb power to draw attention / interest towards specific charities, whether local or international, or whether, if a certain celeb declines to participate at all, whether he or she should.

We can say, yes, celebs should be held to a higher standard because they are in the public eye, and because they represent the best and the brightest of us all, and because they can be considered to be part of the public interest. So, they are public, and that makes them everyone's concern. But even so, they do not leave their free will at the door when they leave their homes, and, as I said above, it is difficult to make a judgment as to which charitable cause is "needier," since by definition, needy is needy. I am just proud that there are people like him at all.

-Samsooki

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I think Wonbin is taking the same or similar steps as Brad Pitt. They use their fame and fortune through some sort of good cause. I say that regardless of their intentions, something good is being done and no one can argue about that. I must agree with the previous comment in why they must travel so far, why not donate and give to the local communities. That, I'm not quite sure but I think more celebrities using their earnings on helping others rather than material possessions would be a great and indeed valuable addition to bettering the world.

Wonbin looks good on the outside and also it seems on the inside.

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That is one smokin' HOT ambassador!! LOL!!

In a more serious note, it's good to know that he used his position as a top celebrity to promote good will and do some charity work. Not everyone is able to take a break from daily life to do something meaningful like that. Good for him.

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I agree with the sentiments above on some level, but remember, he's kinda supposed to high-profile globally, as the "Korean goodwill ambassador for UNICEF."

Plus, domestic issues are so politically sensitive, particularly in this time of recession. I would think that in the area of international standing and prestige, Koreans are not happy to be reminded of their not-so-prosperous past.

Personally, I don't care if the efforts are directed outside or even if celebrities use them as a forum for publicity stunts as long as it spurs this recent development of the culture of charity in Korea.

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thanks javabeans! ^^
Won Bin Come Back is becoming full blown!
Aside from his recent trip to Gambia, he has done charities in Korea.

on the side note: his got the sweetest smile that can melt a girl's heart (maybe just me, j/k! lol! ) ^^

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good for him!

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An act of goodwill is admirable, regardless of who benefits. :)

#13 mzpakipot - does that mean you don't have to be "pakipot" with him? nyehehe... :D

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Wow, UNICEF ambassador..Amazing..We can see his true dedication..
Well, nice seeing him back on screen by the way..Good luck Won Bin ssi..
I like Won Bin hair style..It makes him cuter than before..

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@snikki, LOL.....if it's him, no "playing hard to get." I just grab that chance!! hahaha

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don't hate on me, but i just think that Won bin doesn't look as HOT as he used to be... just my opinion don't hate...

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I'm sure as a goodwill ambassador for international organizations like UNICEF, he/she will be attending to international events scheduled by the organizations themselves and not just his/her own country.

I'm glad Won Bin is out there doing the good deed. It's nice to see him smiles again since coming back from military service.

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@Samsooki,

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised Korean celebrities do more international charity work than the other Asian countries. Almost every month, you'll see programs where popular actors spend a few days in another country, often caring for children and such. This is reflection of the national character (and mingling of Christianity and burgeoning affluence.) Both charity and missionary work in South Korea is energetic and very well organized. (KBS-LA broadcasts commercials promoting missionary efforts in Africa during prime-time dramas.) So, while there is a photo-op aspect to celebs, it is itself both an advocacy for continuing charity and it's a feel good story for pretty much everybody.

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He is such a wonderful role model. I really admire him for all the work he is doing with UNICEF. It's nice to know that he has been busy using his celebrity in a positive manner. I'd like to wish him the very best for "Mother", he is an amazing actor and I amsure the movie will do well.

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Cecee I totally agree with you. Also everybody please stopped being duped into thinking Africa is just a land of impoverished people which could not be further from the truth. There are plenty of countries in Africa that are doing quite well. Also charity is fine but encouraging entrepreneurship and microfinancing is better. How does the phrase go Give a man a piece of fish and he eats for a day but teach him how to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.

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Dang Won Bin...you've got it all Good looks and a good heart.

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Hm. While I understand Cecee's sentiment of "charity begins at home", I would argue that many African countries often don't get the kind of exposure that would illuminate the socioeconomic issues that affect the populations. For example, I'm sure there are people who didn't even know of the country Gambia until Won Bin visited. So yes, it is definitely important/worthwhile for people to be involved in philanthropic ventures at home, but doing charitable work in underexposed countries gets the word out about issues in places that people might not even be aware of.

@22 dwilliams

"Also everybody please stopped being duped into thinking Africa is just a land of impoverished people which could not be further from the truth. There are plenty of countries in Africa that are doing quite well."

This, I disagree with. There really aren't *plenty* of African countries doing well at all. Sure, South Africa is a notable exception, and Botswana has enjoyed a relatively stable economy, and Ethiopia is doing okayish. But the figures speak for themselves - average African annual income hovers around $3000 - whether or not the market prices are adjusted to income in these countries, $3000 per year is still an insanely low amount to earn. Most African countries have a at least 30% of the population living on less than a $1 a day.

"Also charity is fine but encouraging entrepreneurship and microfinancing is better."

This, I do agree with. The concept of "drip aid" - giving these countries enough to feed their populations for one day, but not encouraging them to build the necessary infrastructure to feed themselves is very problematic and is a big factor in the stagnating economies of many African (and other developing) countries.

Anyway. Back to the point of the thread - what Won Bin is doing is a beautiful thing.

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I watch SBS morning shows (theyre fun~ The news host are funny and they show all these awesome places that I have to remember to visit. Like the watermelon spa or that restaurant in the country side where the waiter lifts the entire table on his shoulder - the entire food on top of it, 50 side dishes - all for 5000 won XD Or the little 5 year old who is a genius pianist.. and that company where you can order your food and they come and cheap, and they even do services like massage and cleaning :O And of-course that show about the Dal-in, I think I mispelled... , that are extremely fast... liek the lady who washed 1oo dishes in 1 min, the donut people who can make 10 donuts in 30 seconds, or the lady who folds a stack of paper in 1 min... etc)

Okay, before I get off on my rant, theres A LOT of charity work that happens within Korea >...<
Recently, with the orphans in Korea this lady (gah I cant think of her name @[email protected]) was spending the day with the children. Apparently, lots of stores and restaurants give away free food to orphan places :O

I saw this guy once (not a celeb) but he just lives going from one village to another and pays for his stay but helping the elders with their work whether in the farm or climbing trees for nut, or mushroom hunting, etc.

Than there was this factory where all these ajummas work seperating all these cloths/shoes/etc into boxes and they would give these to charity and those in need.

And than those days in the park where they would be free meals and etc >..<?

And if they did do charity-related stuff, it'd be like at Tae An beach, where it's not always open but they do part take in it :O

oh well oh well, either way, what Won Bin is doing is still benefiting and even if there are other places that could help, why are there still places that need help? Won Bin is helping the places that need it ^^

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@Biscuit,

"Okay, before I get off on my rant, theres A LOT of charity work that happens within Korea >…<
Recently, with the orphans in Korea this lady (gah I cant think of her name @[email protected]) was spending the day with the children. Apparently, lots of stores and restaurants give away free food to orphan places :O"

Totally, and I wished I underlined that message more. The celebs do it because the people do it, it's a privilege of their success that feeds the soul .

As Liv said, it's a beautiful thing.

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These stories always bring a smile to my face. Doing volunteer work just gives you a bigger heart. :)

to go on a brad pitt tangent: the pitt-jolie fam contributes a LOT to local causes as well. having just been down to new orleans this spring break for rebuilding efforts, i've seen the (rather funky-looking but) energy-efficient homes that were built with brad pitt's money. there's still a ton of work to be done down there but he has done so much to help out by donating money, meeting the victims of katrina, listening to their stories &c. (he's done more than our former president bush at the least!)

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To be UNICEF's ambassador of goodwill is always a good thing. And I admire Won Bin for taking some time off from work to be with these children.

I understand UNICEF handpicks their ambassadors of goodwill. I don't think a celebrity if tapped by UNICEF will have the audacity to say, "No, I prefer to be charitable only here in South Korea."

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A Goodwill ambassador for UNICEF is awesome and WonBin's the right person. He's cool, a rather quiet guy..(saw him in person and he's more shy than i thought!) and a very dedicated actor. Keep up the great job my gorgeous one!!

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Way to go Won Bin! What a beautiful person inside and out.

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Thank you javabeans for the report!

sharing some videos of Won Bin promoting UNICEF campaigns.^^
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D2189C1999DE619B

He also donated the model fee to Sichuan earthquake relief in China.
http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200808/200808200024.html

I remembered he also donated all the profit of his Japan fanmeet held in 2005.

UNICEF national committee (consist of 36 industrialized nations)
http://www.unicef.org/about/structure/index_natcoms.html

As a public figure and UNICEF Ambassador for the Korea committee, I think Won Bin is trying his best to spread the message. His words and actions may influence others, and eventually change the lives of the children in need.

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ooooh my god..i love yuooooooooooooooooo won bin..U'r so so so so cute ..that's so so so so nice from U to go to west africa..

in arabic:-((ياا الااااااااهي شو هاد شو بحبو ..هاد شي كتير حلو منو انو يروح على غرب افريقيا ))

bye..<3

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<3 he gives off a real air of sincerity and being a proper part of it instead of just a 'visitor'; sweet~

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he looks so angelic

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Yes, it is good for stars/celebrities to raise awareness to an improvish country BUT must all the stars go to AFRICA? Lots of Asian countries are just as poor and underdeveloped. There are select few who do charity work in Asian countries...ie. Lee Yo Won she went to Vietnam I believe and worked with a fishing family.

I think that is my only beef. Everyone goes to Africa! Most if not all. But YES good help is good help. Kudos to everyone who does bring some awareness to world poverty.

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I just love him. Whatever the reasons that a person decides to give something of himself, may it be truly selfless or not. I believe as long as it helps somebody in need... ITS OKAY!

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woww is it just me or does he look more boyish as he grows older ^^

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I've always admired Won Bin but I think I might be in love NOW!!! He just captivates me!

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waooooooooo I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS GUY.

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yo.. he looks ridiculously hot.. wth. LOL.
i miss him so much.
he is honestly the sexiest asian man alive.

<3
look at the smile in the last pic

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"Yes, it is good for stars/celebrities to raise awareness to an improvish country BUT must all the stars go to AFRICA? Lots of Asian countries are just as poor and underdeveloped. There are select few who do charity work in Asian countries…ie. Lee Yo Won she went to Vietnam I believe and worked with a fishing family."

Exactly CECEE as if Africa is a tool to be used to bolster my image that I desperately care about the people. Also I remember Bob Geldof having his second Live Aid concert and people rightfully criticizing him for not having any African acts. How can you talk about aid to Africa but lack African artists in your concert. White and others are not the only ones concerned with Africa, Africans are as well and deserve recognition. If one needs proof pick up Dambisa Moya's book called DEAD AID.,excellent book

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This is very impressive. Well-done Won Bin. His smile is very warm and attractive!

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Guys,
Won Bin went to Africa this time because UNICEF Korea has been funding to build schools for children in the remote area of Gambia... now that a couple of school buildings've been finished, they paid a visit and gave them some school supplies~ :)

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that is so kind of him; wonbin is amazing; he's good looking;
he's an amazing actor; he's kind and caring and sweet <3.
you can tell he wasnt doing it for publicity; he actually cares.

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