K-pop group Seventeen partners with UNESCO to open learning centers in East Timor

K-pop boy group Seventeen performs on stage at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, Nov. 14. AFP-Yonhap

K-pop boy group Seventeen has joined forces with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO to set up two community learning centers in East Timor, aiming to provide education for marginalized students.This is part of the #Going Together campaign the two have been running since August 2022. The campaign promotes the importance of education while encouraging more people to participate in diverse educational activities.Located in Oecusse and Manatuto in the Southeast Asian country, the learning centers opened their doors in April.They plan to offer different classes, including in computers, sewing, Korean and English, to about 300 underprivileged students each year.”The centers were built with donations made from the #Going Together campaign,” Seventeen’s agency, Pledis Entertainment, said Tuesday.As part of the campaign, Seventeen recently donated parts of its world tour profits, as well as the proceeds made from its newly created font, “BongBongee,” to fund education in Africa’s Malawi.

In November, Seventeen delivered a speech at a special session of the 13th UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris, with the members Seungkwan, Jun, Woozi, Mingyu, Joshua and Vernon speaking on their group’s behalf in Korean, English and Chinese.”Going forward, we plan to improve educational infrastructure in the least developed countries by building schools,” Joshua said in English. “We pledge to work as ambassadors to UNESCO to further raise awareness of the critical challenges in our time.”Seventeen debuted with the extended play “17 Carat” in 2015 and has rolled out a series of hits such as “Very Nice” (2016) and “Don’t Wanna Cry” (2017).Its latest album “17 IS RIGHT HERE,” which came out in April, sold more than 2.9 million copies during the first week of its release and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart.After its concerts in Incheon and Seoul, Seventeen is preparing for upcoming performances in Japan as part of its “SEVENTEEN TOUR ‘FOLLOW’ AGAIN,” at Yanmar Stadium Nagai in Osaka on Saturday and Sunday, followed by shows at 스포츠토토존 Nissan Stadium in Kanagawa on May 25 and 26.

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