Seoul, 15 Oct 2015
In the Dobong District of Seoul in South Korea, located north of the city’s Han River, sits an unassuming cottage called the ‘Noodle Sharing House’.
Run by the Red Cross, the Noodle House can accommodate up to 10 people. It’s a tight fit but it’s worth it for the noodles that are produced from this tiny set up.
Established in 2010, and the second of its kind in South Korea, Red Cross volunteers work in the cottage to produce enough noodles to feed hundreds of local low-income families at least once a week.
Each Red Cross volunteer contributes $10 to participate which covers the ingredients and operating costs. It’s a simple model but it works, with 10 Noodle Houses now operating across South Korea helping to feed thousands of people.
Macquarie Division Director Helen Kim was involved in the establishment of the Noodle House.
“People in need locally benefit from the Noodle Sharing House,” she says.
“They rely on volunteers to produce the noodles to help feed their families and it’s a simple and practical way of supporting them.”
Volunteers who make the noodles live in the local area or travel to volunteer as part of team events with their employer, usually based in Seoul, including Macquarie Group.
For five years, groups of Macquarie staff have visited the Noodle House in the Dobong District as part of an annual community day run by the Seoul office.
The Noodle House’s initial building and set up costs of $14,000 was provided by Macquarie in 2010, as part of a staff-led fundraising project in celebration of Macquarie’s tenth anniversary in Seoul.
The Red Cross was one of 10 charities chosen by the office’s 300 staff as part of the celebrations.
Ben Way, Macquarie’s Asia CEO, and former member of Macquarie Group Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee in Korea, said at the time: “Macquarie believes that a company should work for the betterment of the society in which it operates and we have a strong track record of contributing to Korean society through community endeavours. This activity in Korea is extended from the corporate philosophy in line with commemorating our 10th year in Korea.”
Macquarie staff in Seoul and across Asia have been long term supporters of the Red Cross and contribute to their blood donation drives and lunch box programs for school children.
Image caption: Macquarie staff after a volunteering session at the Noddle House in the Dobong District of Seoul.