© EAAFP Secretariat
In the words of Ejin Kim,
"Working at the EAAFP Secretariat as a Communication Assistant made me experience many things I would never gain if I were not here. Before I joined the EAAFP, I wanted to explore myself as well as my career path since I’m majoring in Global Affairs and concentrating on Media, Communication, and Culture. Throughout my university life, I only focused on school-related communication. Thus, I had a doubt whether I should follow this field for my career since I was unsure how communication can be connected to other areas. At the same time, working at an international organization was one of my dreams, and pursuing the environment field was my interest. Thus, I wanted to have hands-on experience, which matched my academic background and environment. My experience as a Communication Assistant could widen my perspectives and teach me how communication is important to environmental sectors.
During 6 months at EAAFP Secretariat, I tried and worked on new things that were totally new to me. As a Communication Assistant, I was involved mainly in CEPA activities, which fascinated me with the connection between communication and conservation works. It was a great opportunity that I could be involved in activities of various types such as uploading daily SNS posts, publishing monthly e-Newsletters, and facilitating annual big campaigns related to World Migratory Bird Day. Also, I could expand my environmental knowledge by supporting the EAAFP Black-faced Spoonbill Conservation Cooperation Forum and the 11th Meeting of Partners.
At Black-faced Spoonbill Conservation Cooperation Forum and Black-faced Spoonbill café © EAAFP Secretariat
The first big forum that I supported was the Black-faced Spoonbill Conservation Cooperation Forum. The participants came to the forum in person/online to discuss how to conserve them in a sustainable way. By supporting this forum, I could talk with many people from different countries with experts on the environment and see the importance of Partnerships since conservation could not work by only one organization. Also, I could learn how international organization organizes events to make cooperation between different people with one shared goal.
Explaining how to play Lulu game to children © EAAFP Secretariat
In addition, one of my most valuable experiences in EAAFP was the World Migratory Bird Day campaign project. World Migratory Bird Day is one of the biggest campaigns of CEPA activities for raising awareness of the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. To celebrate the WMBD, I contributed to creating translated WMBD global posters in 12 EAAF languages, designing three species introduction Card News that was shared on UN Biodiversity, and facilitating the Black-faced Spoonbill birthday party. During the birthday party, I explained how BFS migrates and how to play the Lolo game to the children, and checked whether they answered correctly. I was happy that I was the person who encouraged children to be active in migratory bird conservation activities and provided the opportunity to learn about the birds and their environmental importance. The whole series of events and works could increase awareness of the importance of the connection between migratory waterbirds and water to the public audience. I realized that the public should know the significance of migratory waterbirds and habitats to conserve them strongly.
Group photo of Gochang BBR & birdwatching © EAAFP Secretariat
Furthermore, by joining Gochang Big Bird Race, I could participate in birdwatching to directly feel the importance of migratory birds and promote them to the public. By running a booth, I engaged people to know more about EAAFP and the significance of migratory waterbirds and their habitats. Joining the Gochang BBR with my colleagues was an invaluable experience because this was my first-ever bird-watching experience and it made me enjoy the bird watching and seeing the many species.
Birds and Schools Group photo © EAAFP Secretariat
The last important event that I facilitated was Birds and Schools, the Black-faced Spoonbill education exchange program between Incheon and Hong Kong. I communicated with two countries to organize and coordinate the event and worked as a moderator of the Q&A Quiz session. Students enjoyed the whole activity and actively participated in learning about the same birds that migrated to two different countries.
© EAAFP Secretariat
My internship started with the Black-faced Spoonbill Cooperation Conservation Forum and ended with Birds and Schools. I could never experience these if I did not join the EAAFP as Communication Assistant. These whole experiences grew me a lot and made me increase my problem-solving skills as well as communication skills. Also, I was happy that I could gain lots of environmental, especially migratory waterbirds knowledge. Even though I finished my 6-months internship, I would pay attention to migratory waterbirds and habitat conservation works. Thanks to EAAFP, now, I can go further in my future journey based on what I have learned from EAAFP."