The positive influence that changes the world!
In a time when we need empathy and understanding more than anything, there’s a global artist thriving to make the world a better place and heal our soul.
That artist is Siwon Choi, an actor who is also a member of the K-Pop group Super Junior, which is leading the worldwide Korean Wave, or “Hallyu”.
During his successful 15-year career, Siwon has built his reputation not only as a singer but also as an actor starring in domestic and foreign dramas and films thanks to his strong acting performance.
The world is paying attention to his transformation into a superstar in both acting and singing.
Siwon is famous not only for his talent but for his persistent social activism and charity.
Since 2010, he has been making use of his talents for UNICEF. He was nominated as a special representative of the Korean Committee for UNICEF in 2015, in which he co-participated in various campaigns advocating for the protection of children’s rights and the elimination of child abuse worldwide.
Recently he drew attention when he became the first Korean artist to be nominated as a goodwill ambassador to the East Asia Pacific region.
What caused you to become involved in UNICEF? What are your thoughts after working with it?
I was always interested in issues related to helping our neglected neighbors and influencing positive social change, such as protecting children’s rights. I got the chance to start working in UNICEF in 2010.
I got involved with UNICEF through the recommendation of a family member.
I participated in various campaigns that advocated the rights of children suffering worldwide and earned the title of a UNICEF envoy. As I became more heavily involved, I became more interested in social activism and charity. I started to envision a world where everyone can lead a life of happiness and joy.
People in unfortunate circumstances didn’t choose the life they were born into, so I felt a deep obligation to reach out and help them. What I realized from working with UNICEF was that if we all pay a little more attention, people who are suffering can become as happy as we are.
In the summer of 2018, I went to Malaysia and gave a speech. I was very surprised when someone asked me a question assuming that I had never suffered from negative online comments because of my popularity.
I answered with my honest thoughts and experience, and that night something miraculous happened.
I got a direct message on my social media account when I was on my way to Brunei.
It was a message from someone who was at the talk. He told me that he was thinking about ending his life that night, but he was deeply moved by what I said about the question and changed his mind. I was just talking about my own experience and it had made such a big difference.
The experience made me think that I have a mission to make this world a better place.
So, I'm continuing to work with UNICEF along with other volunteering and charity work.
#The joy of volunteering together!
Siwon Choi, the pioneer leading a beautiful culture of fans donating to a common cause.
Siwon is spreading his goodwill to the world not only through UNICEF but also through SM Entertainment's charity project. He also personally participates in volunteering and donation work with his fellow celebrities, while encouraging his fans to contribute to important causes.
Moved by his exemplary acts, his fans worldwide are contributing to spreading the culture of charity.
Q. How can I take action instead of just thinking about helping others?
I suggest donating first if it's not easy to act yourself.
Even if it is a small amount, it's the easiest way.
In the case of hands-on volunteering work, it feels different from just donating.
There are many organizations that provide help for our neglected neighbors.
Think about what kind of volunteer work would suit you and first try through a group or with friends.
Including interacting with the elderly and doing volunteer work for orphanages or refugees from North Korea, there are so many things you can do.
You can even try running or bike riding fundraisers, in which donations are made when you pass the finish line.
You can do something good and work out at the same time.
These are things I can do with my fans, and everybody can participate.
#No Challenge? No Change!
Siwon always says to share happiness and positive messages.
This quote always follows him: ‘No Challenge? No Change!’
He always mentions this quote whenever he can meet his fans. As a result, the ‘#No_Siwon_No_Life’ hashtag movement was a popular thing among his fans.
He truly believes constant challenge and change would make this world a better place. Therefore, he started the 'No Challenge? No Change!' project to make a world where everybody can be happy.
Siwon created and jump-started this project himself, embodying the message of positivity and warmth.
Q. Is there a reason you like the quote, ‘No Challenge? No Change!’?
Challenge! Change! The two words rhyme but have two different meanings.
That itself is fun, but I also like this quote because it embodies a truly positive message.
There is no change without a challenge. You can't expect change without willing to challenge.
And I feel truly happy when my challenge helps someone else.
It has become a very important message to me, now a big part of my life.
Q. What challenges have you made and what changes do you want to make from now on?
Super Junior doesn't dwell on one genre.
We have fun when we have a new genre to learn.
We were pioneers in the Korean Wave, as you can see from our first concert in Thailand and our first tour in Southeast Asia.
We were also the first to tour in Asia and in Dubai.
We started our ascent to worldwide fame in China, where our predecessors, H.O.T and Shinhwa, first set milestones.
Speaking of my acting career, I debuted in a film in which Korea, Japan, and China collaborated together.
After that I did more collaborative films, earning me recognition as an actor of Asia, not just Korea.
I once worked nonstop for 80 days for a film in China, and I think that was a big challenge for me.
Even if I fail, I don't call them failures, but experiences. The failures are what make me grateful for the aspects of life that I had neglected.
I want to continue to lead the Korean Wave movement and take on more challenges to make the world a better place.
Q. What are your values and principles in life?
Humility, honesty, and principle. I always think about these three values.
#His interests in many different contents including Youtube videos!
Challenge and good deeds! His plans to communicate closely and spread the message further
Siwon Choi is very interested in creating content, including on Youtube, the biggest video streaming platform.
In order to show his down-to-earth, humble personality that is not shown in public appearances, he is planning to open his own channel and create his own content. He wants to interact and communicate with fans around the world and spread messages of charity and positivity.
Q. What kinds of challenges do you want to take on these days?
We can do everything with smartphones now. We watch more videos on the phone than on TV. Youtube is something we can watch on the go or even right before sleep.
If there is content that is fun and easy, yet meaningful, I believe people will pay attention.
That's what makes me want to start my own channel on Youtube.
I can post short, but meaningful messages. I can create talk shows or even produce 10-minute films.
I want to experiment with various approaches to creating content.
It'll feel so rewarding.
Q. Can you recommend any films or other visual content that influenced you?
I was recently moved by a Netflix documentary called Inside Bill’s Brain.
It was about the story of how Bill found the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and what he's done through the foundation for human rights and hygiene issues in developing countries. I'm also highly interested in those issues while sharing his passion for taking on challenges, so I could relate to his story on a deeper level.
I realized how amazing it was for one person to gather people to set up a foundation, and furthermore brand himself as an icon for changing the world to a better place.
I also loved the cinematography that realistically captured his passion.
For films, I recommend The Godfather and The Lion King.
Both portrayed the ups and downs of life very well.
#Siwon working toward his dreams through constant challenges, his immense appreciation for his fans
The center visual attraction and the sub-vocalist of Super Junior, ‘the king of the Korean Wave’!
The acting sensation who has shown strong performances in both domestic and foreign pieces.
A representative of UNICEF, volunteering and donating for children all over the world, taking on challenges in many different areas.
His hard work in various areas also earned him an honorable title.
He is always grateful for his fans who take part in his charitable projects and plans, and he wants to continue to share such precious moments with them.
This is the first step to make the world a better place!
Siwon believes that the challenge that takes you to the first step is a small one, but that challenge creates change. That change creates a routine that will eventually change our fate.
Q. What are you working on these days?
I'm doing a Super Junior tour and also planning concerts.
My personal work is paused due to current circumstances, but I'm still monitoring the projects.
I will be reaching out to all of you through the Youtube channel I mentioned earlier. I want to closely interact with all of my fans.
I'm also continuing my work as a UNICEF representative and volunteer.
I had to prioritize my more important work, so I had to put aside some projects that I was working on.
I am sometimes surprised by my own boldness in making such decisions. Some of the projects that I had to end were going great, but I just had to put them aside because that felt like the right thing to do.
I think being passionate and being excessively ambitious are two different things, so I want to focus on my priorities. Just wait and see.
Q. What are your plans and goals for the future?
I will never stop challenging myself.
It doesn't matter what area the challenge is in.
I realize that the people around me really make a difference, especially my managers, staff, fellow artists, and most importantly, my fans.
We're all in this together, and we have to help each other to get the best results. So I’ve been lately thinking that I should really do my best to help the people around me.
The world will feel our genuine passion if we try our best.
And when I'm older, I want to lead a life of contribution and sacrifice. Such values are passed down to younger generations like how my father did to me.
I want to be more like my father and be a positive influence on younger generations.
Q. The whole world is suffering due to Covid-19. Would you like to send a hopeful message to our people?
The most important thing right now is to stay positive.
Before this pandemic, a lot of people hated going to work or school, but now we’re in the opposite situation.
I hope we don't forget the little things that made us happy every day. I am confident that we can get through this together!
I think the virus will be eventually eliminated like the 14th century Black Death eventually did. In the end, we will prevail.
Q. Finally, can you please say a word to your fans who took part in this meaningful project.
There's one thing I really want to tell my fans.
I’m always touched when my fans celebrate my birthday or other meaningful days to me. I’m always moved when they work with me and contribute to important causes like the environment or human rights.
One of my fans is sending money to help sustain a lion in South Africa. She is saving the life of a lion.
There are fans who are sending me certificates they got for their UNICEF donations.
These are the actions that give me more confidence and faith in my values.
Good deeds not only become good memories, but also leave a mark in this world.
There is an old saying that in our life we at least make a dent in this world.
I am confident that everybody shares the wish to change the world. It is very difficult to completely change the world in one step, but it is very rewarding when we work together to better the world one step at a time.
I believe that good deeds can start from an individual and spread to the rest of the world.
You can start a challenge by wearing a T-shirt with a meaningful quote, and posting that on social media. The movement will spread around the world through hashtags, and there will be more people who want to join the movement.
I want everyone to feel the happiness and joy of sharing. Such beautiful thoughts become beautiful words, which become good deeds. When these good deeds become good habits, we can change our fate.
We can lead a life of happiness and joy if we all work together.
I am confident that we can create change for the better.
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