Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) - More than 12,000 people are expected to walk through Seoul on May 13 to raise awareness of climate change refugees.
The annual walkathon organized by the International We Love U Foundation will start at Olympic Park in Songpa-dong at 10 a.m.
Ambassadors and organizations including Daejayon student environmental group is also set to participate in the walk that President Lee Myung-bak and other celebrities have joined in the past.
The Korea-based International We Love U Foundation operates with the lofty goal of sharing the mother's love of founder Zahng Gil-jah with all mankind.
Founded in 1995, the organization now has 70,000 members with 43 branches in Korea and 30 international branches across seven continents.
Its current Clean World movement aims at environmental and humanitarian goals with WORLD standing for Water, Oxygen, Region, Life, and Descendants.
"The meaning of 'Clean World' is to think about how to make everyone feel happy. If everything is clean all people will think it is beautiful and feel happy," explained general manager Lee Sung-an.
"First, our hearts should be clean and then the environment should be clean, sharing love with our neighbors should also be clean."
Lee said that the international programs including providing water pumps to Asian and African nations, planting trees to clean the air, donating blood and providing medical care were changing people's lives and mindsets.
"We have done activities all over the world, so many people have changed their thinking to become clean. In America, originally the people were a little individualistic but after this movement they can feel love with their families.
"In ASEAN, it was a little lazy, but after this movement ... many governments and official offices are participating in this movement now.
"In Europe, before only the government took part in environmental movements, but after Clean World movement, citizens were taking part too."
The organization also runs many projects in Korea including visiting senior citizens living alone and assisting multicultural families.
"The purpose of this foundation is to give mother's love and make the world become one.
"Times are changing so our activities are also changing to reflect this. Before we were helping with food or expenses but now we have many medical and environmental branches," Lee said.
"Now, sadly, child crime and violence is increasing. To change this, we provide education for children. Kids also take part in the movement to help them to become more kind.
"All the people that participate in the movement feel happy and they become clean. They are changed by the movement."
Last year's walk promoted the foundation's water pump projects in Africa and Asia, but Lee explained that environmental catastrophes had prompted them to help climate refugees.
"The U.N. is helping (political) refugees but no one helped the climate refugees so they are in need of our support. It is possible that in future all nations can have climate refugees so this is a very important subject."
The ambassadors of Gabon and Ghana have confirmed they will join the event, and organizers are expecting the attendance of some government ministers.
Those wishing to take part in the Walkathon can register for free online at www.weloveu.or.kr.