[Sponsored Report] Giving back to society through economics

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[Sponsored Report] Giving back to society through economics

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A Nongshim employee teacher poses with students while taking part in the company’s economics education program. Provided by the company

Nongshim, Korea’s largest instant noodle maker, has been busy with its corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR is deeply embedded in Nongshim’s corporate culture, with 2,500 employees spending around 20,000 hours annually doing social work.

Nongshim’s CSR program spans diverse fields, ranging from helping farmers harvest Sumi potatoes to giving a hand at a facility for senior citizens. The company also runs a food delivery service for the needy and a scheme to save the local environment.

Among Nongshim’s initiatives, its economics education for children especially stands out. A director in charge of the decade-long service introduced it as a “knowledge-sharing program that teaches future leaders to have a proper understanding of the economy.” Nongshim employees transform into elementary school economics teachers for the program.

“My intentions were to give back something small, but I ended up learning a bigger lesson myself,” said a Nongshim employee, looking back on the experience.

Against concerns that the lectures could result in spreading biased information and pro-business ideas, Nongshim said it is using a program from the Junior Achievement Korea organization, an international nonprofit that provides economics education, to help children gain a sense of economics with no strings attached. The students mostly consist of elementary school children near Dongjak District, southern Seoul, the location of Nongshim’s head office. So far, more than 10,000 students have received the education.

While most teachers are company employees, some are college students who took Nongshim’s classes as children and came back to the scheme as teachers. Lee Ji-won of Sookmyung Women’s University is one of them. “Teaching elementary school students myself, I now understand why my [Nongshim economics] teacher always used to swipe his forehead with a handkerchief during classes,” she said.

From Nov. 14 to 28, Nongshim’s 29 special teachers will deliver lively lectures and stories to 674 students at Daeyoung Elementary School.

In line with its philosophy of “pursuing coexistence and happiness with a willingness to share with neighbors,” Nongshim plans to keep its unique program going.

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