No matter where you are in the world, it tends to be more expensive to live in big cities. Rent and housing costs in major cities are often higher than in rural areas. Products purchased in stores can be more costly as well in urban settings — including basic needs like food and clothing.
“Of all the homes I have visited in South Korea, the Shin Mang Ae Children’s Home receives the largest allocation per child, but the cost of sustaining each child is much higher.”
– Luis Bourdet
Children Incorporated has two projects in and near one of South Korea’s largest cities, Daegu. With a population of around 2.5 million people, Daegu is the fourth-largest city in the country.
The city itself is known for Eastern medicine, impeccable lawns and a national museum with Buddhist relics and culture, and although not as expensive to live in as Seoul or Busan (South Korea’s two largest cities), living costs are still higher than in many other smaller Korean cities.
The Shin Mang Ae Children’s Home
Located within the city limits of Daegu, the Shin Mang Ae Children’s Home provides sponsored and unsponsored children in our program with a nurturing environment, nutritious food and medical care throughout the year, and a well-rounded education.
The nicely-maintained complex that makes up the home is comprised of three large dormitories, a dining room, a kitchen, a chapel and storage buildings. Children attend local schools and enjoy activities in the afternoons, like volleyball, basketball and baseball.
Upon visiting the home, our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, noted that the lawn of the home was incredibly well maintained, like other residential and commercial properties within the city.
“The home’s current director is the son of the late founder of the Shin Mang Ae Children’s Home. His mother had dedicated the later years of her life to improving the home and creating an immaculate lawn for the children to enjoy,” explained Luis.
Thirty-eight children live at the home — our sponsors support fifteen of them. Beyond donations provided by Children Incorporated, the home receives funds from the local government as well as from local churches and other Korean donors.
The importance of sponsorship
“Of all the homes I have visited in South Korea, the Shin Mang Ae Children’s Home receives the largest allocation per child, but the cost of sustaining each child is much higher,” said Luis.
Even with all the outside help the home receives, Luis knows that the Children Incorporated sponsorship program is incredibly important to our sponsored children, and for more reasons than one.
According to Luis, sponsorship funds are mainly utilized to cover educational expenses and other basic needs like shoes and clothes that are not covered by government contributions.
“The director of the home indicated that support from our program is vital to the children to provide for unexpected educational expenses, like when books and school supplies are not provided by the school.”
“The children also love connecting with their sponsors and receiving the extra help,” stated Luis.
Love your neighbor
The Ae Hyang Children’s Home (whose name means “love your neighbor”), is located an hour outside of Daegu. The home is made up of a main building with dormitories which are surrounded by a hilly forest. School-aged children attend local public schools, where they receive instruction in core academic subjects as well as rudimentary English.
Even though the home isn’t technically within the city, administrators still struggle with expenses related to high costs of city living. Unfortunately, compared to other homes that Children Incorporated affiliates with, the government provides a very low amount to the Ae Hyang Children’s Home.
According to Luis, sponsorship funds are mainly utilized to cover educational expenses and other basic needs like shoes and clothes.
“Sponsorship support is very much needed at the Ae Hyang Children’s Home because government support doesn’t cover all the needs of the children,” says Luis.
How do I sponsor a child in South Korea?
You can sponsor a child in South Korea in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in South Korea that is available for sponsorship.