On May 20, Doosan Group donated three billion won (US$2.93 million) for the family members of the Sewol ferry disaster’s victims and to improve the safety infrastructure of the country. Many companies, cities, organizations, and even celebrities including Hallu stars like Kim Su-hyun donated to this cause, but not in such a large scale as Doosan Group.
Shinsegae Group, one of the largest distribution and retail groups for food and fashion in Korea, sent a food truck to the disaster site to provide meals for 300 people, and South Korea’s top ramen manufacturing companies like Nongshim and Ottogi Food donated their brands’ ramen and water. But no other companies donated cash like the Doosan Group.
Assuming that the retail price of the most expensive ramen is 1,000 won (US$0.98) per package, even 10,000 packages would only amount to 10 million won (US$9,755). In this light, what Doosan Group has done to help out the ferry victims is quite generous.
As far-fetched as it might seem, it’s nothing unusual for this socially-friendly conglomerate. In fact, Doosan Group has a long history of making monetary social contributions. Under the philosophy of enabling the growth and independence of human beings, it has been focusing on helping out people.
Since 1978, when the Yonkang Foundation (now Doosan Yonkang Foundation) was founded under the slogan “Education is the main drive for national development,” which the first-generation Doosan Chairman Yonkang Park Du-byeong declared, it’s been providing financial support for academic research, overseas study, and book donations. It’s also operating Doosan Art Center for the purpose of aesthetically enriching people’s minds.
On top of this, the subsidiaries are making even more dynamic social contributions. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction (Doosan HIC) made an agreement with Changwon City to collaborate on projects under local government policies, developing outstanding human resources, and supporting socially-neglected people. Doosan HIC is giving out financial support and scholarships to students of all ages under an agreement it made with special high schools and colleges. It also made connections with 70 child welfare facilities, runs experience programs for children and teenagers to experience new things and new places, and provides facility operating funds, donations for children, and even the famous study books published by Doosan Dong-a for free.
Globally, Doosan HIC is making social contributions in countries like Vietnam, India, and other Southeast Asian countries. Specifically, medical service, water pumps, scholarship programs, and other customized volunteer activities are being conducted in Vietnam. In India, it joined an elementary school in the region and is working on improving the country’s education environment.
Another subsidiary is working very hard on social contributions. Doosan Infracore has been building primary schools in China since 2001 through “Hope Public Duty,” a school-building movement in neglected areas. Until last year, it donated 985,000 yuan (162 million won, US$158 thousand) to build 26 primary schools in 25 cities and autonomous regions, and is currently building six more schools.
Doosan Engine, another subsidiary of Doosan Group, is doing a different kind of social contribution by protecting the environment. It’s cleaning the trash that is thrown out on the beach and the sea near Changwon’s central port where its diesel engines get shipped out. It is also making similar social contributions as other affiliates, such as making an MOU with Cheongwang School for special students to help the disabled students to become independent.