“Every human being is valuable and worthy of appropriate care no matter what kinds of issues and difficulties they might have.”
“I’ve always had a passion for communicating with and listening to people and felt joy whenever people told me that they felt better after talking to me and having my support.
“Having been raised in Korea, where there is a big focus on achieving academic and financial success, I initially lacked understanding about what social welfare is, and I was oblivious to the ideas of social work practice.
“However, after coming to New Zealand, I saw the difference between the social services provided in Korea and in New Zealand. This had a big influence on me in choosing to study social work.
“Through my study, I found that a variety of social services exist as well as social work practices around different ethnicities and cultures to promote individual well-being and social justice. I felt deeply motivated to contribute to New Zealand society in ways which I could have never have thought of back in Korea.
“I would like to work with people who face stigmatisation and discrimination in their everyday lives, and I want to support them by using a variety of social work skills, knowledge and theories that I have learned through my degree.
“I think that a social work career will enable me to work closely with people who have complex backgrounds and provide an opportunity to advocate for those voices that are unheard in the community.”
Haeun Lee, from the Republic of Korea, is enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work programme and is in her final year of study.