Our Affiliated Project: The Hyungje Children’s Home in Gwangju, South Korea

 

Quick facts about the Hyungje Children’s Home:

  • Ages served: While children of all ages receive care at the home, those enrolled in our sponsorship program typically range in age from infancy to 19 years old.
  • Education: School-aged children attend local public schools, where they receive instruction in core academic subjects and rudimentary English.
  • Academic schedule: In South Korea, the school year typically begins in early March and ends in mid-February, with a long summer break. Children are also excused from classes on national holidays, such as the Moon Festival, which is similar to America’s Thanksgiving.
  • Extracurricular activities: Children participate in daily assigned chores. For recreation, they play popular sports like volleyball, soccer and baseball.
  • Nutrition: Children receive three nutritious meals each day, with kimchi (the peppery cabbage-based staple of the Korean diet) occupying a prominent place on the table.

Comprising the lower half of a mountainous peninsula in East Asia, South Korea is truly a nation of contrasts. Although it emerged as an autonomous country in the aftermath of World War II, its rich culture and heritage reach back thousands of years.

Today, this populous nation (with a population density ten times higher than the global average) is renowned for its future-oriented advancements in technology. However, more than half a century after the Korean War armistice, South Korea is still haunted by the ghosts of its turbulent past. The Korean War (1950-1953) devastated South Korea, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives — both military and civilian — and leaving thousands of children orphaned.

Like many South Korean orphanages, Hyungje Children’s Home traces its origin to efforts to address this postwar crisis. Located in the large, southern city of Gwangju, Hyungje Children’s Home continues in its mission of providing orphaned and underprivileged children with a safe, nurturing home environment, nutritious food and medical care — all while instilling the values of honesty, integrity, compassion for others and dependability.

Here, each child receives respect, encouragement — and the opportunity to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which s/he has come.