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Samsung hosts International
Guide Dog Seminar


INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION of Guide Dog Schools for the Blind (IFGDSB) holds the International Guide Dog Seminar every two years. IFGDSB awarded this year’s seminar, the fourth seminar in the sequence, to Samsung Guide Dog School in Korea.

It is a special sign of recognition for Samsung Guide Dog School to host this seminar, especially since the Samsung Guide Dogs School has a relatively short history of only eight years. Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance is the sole sponsor for this seminar and have provided accommodation for the seminar at the state of the art corporate training facility in Yongin, South Korea, about 30km south of the capital of Korea, Seoul.

The first Guide Dog Seminar was held in 1996 in France, in the USA in 1998, then in England in 2000. One hundred delegates from over 19 countries (US, France, UK, Finland, Japan, etc.) will gather in Korea to discuss various topics such as training techniques, volunteer programmes, puppy raising schemes, environmental hazards, etc. Top professionals in the world of guide dogs will address these topics and learn from one another, with the underlying goal of providing better guide dog services for the visually impaired people of the world.

The seminar will also include retirement recognition for Ken Lord who has served in the distinguished Chairperson position for IFGDSB and has been involved in the guide dog world for over 40 years.

There will also be a special award ceremony for Samsung Chairman Kun-Hee Lee in recognition of his service is visually impaired persons through the establishment and support of Samsung Guide Dog School and other canine programmes.

Interaction

Chairman Lee and Samsung’s philosophy has been that the relationship between people and pets - especially dogs - fosters a better and less self-centred world. Samsung believes that in our new millennium of technology and fast-paced business environment, interaction with animals introduces a calmer, sensitive and more holistic dimension to our world.

In addition to Samsung Guide Dog School, Samsung’s other canine programmes include Search & Rescue Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Agility Team, and Pet Ownership Programme (where select breeds are carefully bred and are given out to selected Samsung employees to better promote responsible pet ownership).

In addition to canine programmes, Samsung has an equestrian team and hosts the Nations Cup in the UK, and recently, has started Riding for Disabled programme for children as physical therapy. These programmes are expressions of Samsung’s belief in corporate responsibility to the community it operates in - both in Korea and abroad, and exemplify Samsung commitment to people and animal welfare as a top corporate agenda.

In the wake of the World Cup games, Samsung Guide Dog School is hopeful that holding the seminar in Korea will have many positive effects to increase public awareness of guide dogs and visually impaired persons, in addition to improving the current international impression of treatment of dogs in Korea.

Samsung celebrated ten years at Crufts as a major sponsor this year.