Mentors help burn victims help others

Hallym University Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital's 2013 Jump Camp for Burn Survivors

On August 7-9 Hallym University Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital held their 2013 Jump Camp for Burn Survivors at Yongin Hillside Hostel. This year sixty young burn patients participated as campers while almost twenty staff members including surgeons, nurses, social workers, and television producers worked as “mentors”.

The theme of this year’s camp was “I am a mentor”. The Burn Jump Camp worked to help childhood burn patients find a mentor and teach them to become a mentor to someone else who has experienced the same thing. By fulfilling each of the camp’s programs and missions, the child patients could find ways to overcome their own traumas.

Why a burn camp? According to a study by the Canadian Burn Foundation, a burn camp can be effective at motivating and improving the self-confidence of childhood burn patients. Someone who has experienced terrible burns is subjected to traumatic suffering. Especially in the case of children, these injuries stay with them their entire lives. Therefore, they need continuous psychotherapy and the support of people in their lives. Burn camps can be understood in the same context. Burn camps are not an unfamiliar idea abroad, so there are many local and global burn camps held around the world every year.

One of the 2013 Burn Jump Campers said “Through this camp, I could meet many friends who have suffered the same thing. I’ve thought about the burn scars on my face. I’ll try to love my scars.” During the three days of mentoring programs, campers came face-to-face with their burn scars and themselves. Social work team leader Hwang Se-hee of Hallym University Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, said that the changes the campers show in just a few days is a positive sign toward a healthy recovery.

Mentees at the burn camp become mentors themselves. By learning how to overcome their own difficulties, they can teach other patients to do the same.

Lee Su-hyun

Major: Social Welfare Interests: NGOs, modern art, museums, photograph, movies, indie music, British rock, Jeju Island, and magazines

Leave a Reply