Ven. Chief Monk Hyangdeok (Park Seung-uk) of the Cheonman-sa Buddhist Temple in Ulsan, Gyeongsangnam-do, delivered a plaque of merit to an Ethiopian youth, encouraging his heroic relief activities during the Itaewon disaster.
On Feb. 17, Ven. Chief Monk Hyangdeok delivered a plaque of merit and a gift of money to Wakjera Gemechu Guta, an Ethiopian young man who showed heroic and exemplar activities to save a Korean lady in a terrible accident in Itaewon, Seoul last October.
Delivering the plaque, Chief Monk Hyangdeok said, "I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of Koreans for his heroic and exemplary relief efforts to save a Korean woman in an emergency at the site of the Itaewon disaster where many people were killed in October last year."
Meanwhile, Ven. Chief Monk Hyangdeok donated 1 million won worth of medicine to the Ethiopian Embassy in Korea.
Amb. Dessie Dalkie of Ethiopia in Seoul handed over a plaque of appreciation to Chief Monk Hyangdeok for his strenuous efforts to promote cultural and economic cooperation between Korea and Ethiopia.
Chief Monk Park Seung-ok is also honorary consular of culture and economy of the Embassy of Ethiopia and U.N. NGO World Peace Ambassador.
Venerable Chief Abbot Hyangdeok also received a Voluntary Service Medal from Joe Biden, President of the United States of America.
The medal was presented in a ceremony hosted by Korea Nobel Foundation at the Center Mark Hotel in Seoul on Jan. 19, 2022.
The citation is known to be awarded only to American citizens. Ven. Hyangdeok received this citation as an honorary citizen of California, and Secretary-General Yoo Jae-ki of the Korea Nobel Foundation delivered it directly to Ven. Hyangdeok at the ceremony on that day.