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The Value of Respect and Encouragement

There are many reasons that children—no matter their background—deserve respect and encouragement as they grow.

But when it comes to kids from impoverished households or children who are orphaned, it is especially important to show them respect and encouragement. For these children—like the ones who live at the So Jun Children’s Home in South Korea—having adults motivate them and treat them with dignity helps their self-esteem and provides them the drive they need to achieve their goals.

According to our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, sponsorship support also helps sponsored kids to feel respected and encouraged.

So Jun Children’s Home

Located in the South Korean province of Jeollanam, the So Jun Children’s Home cares for children from ages 5 to 19 years old. The facility itself is made up of a complex of brick buildings—35 classrooms in total—with a kitchen, dining room and auditorium. The grounds include a playground and a large garden.

During the school year, children attend local public schools. After school, they participate in a variety of daily, assigned chores. They help raise ducks, chickens, doves and geese on the property. For recreation, the children play popular sports such as volleyball, soccer and baseball.

At the So Jun Children’s Home children are shown respect and are encouraged to be confident.

Thanks to their Children Incorporated sponsors, children in our program receive basic needs throughout the year. According to our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, sponsorship support also helps sponsored kids to feel respected and encouraged.

“When—thanks to their sponsors—they receive food, clothing and school supplies the children know that someone cares about them and they feel better about themselves,” said Luis.

“Along with the encouragement and respect the administrators show them while living at the home, the children at the So Jun Children’s Home are well taken care of.”

Helping kids develop

Why are respect and encouragement so crucial for children in need? Because respect helps build a feeling of trust, safety and well-being—feelings kids might not otherwise have in their home environment or have ever had in their lives.

When children are shown respect, they learn how to treat others with respect. Kids who are encouraged to be confident in their abilities will find that their efforts can result in achievement—and that is a valuable step in helping them break the cycle of poverty.

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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 sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in South Korea that is available for sponsorship.

The High Cost of City Living

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.

It tends to be more expensive to live in big cities, such as in Daegu in South Korea.

“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.

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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 sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in South Korea that is available for sponsorship.

Conserving Energy in South Korea

It is more often than not that our affiliated projects, especially outside of the United States, are not housed in modern, state-of-the-art structures.

We at Children Incorporated many times see dormitories that are run down, kitchens that are outdated and schools that are in need of fresh paint. This is not the case at the Dong San Children’s Home and the Jin Woo Children’s Home in and near Busan, South Korea, however.

When funds are scarce and money is stretched thin, our volunteer coordinators must focus on making sure our sponsored and unsponsored children are receiving everything they need to succeed, not leaving much for updating infrastructure or repairing buildings.

Because of this, we at Children Incorporated many times see dormitories that are run down, kitchens that are outdated and schools that are in need of fresh paint.

Modern buildings in Korea

This is not the case at the Dong San Children’s Home and the Jin Woo Children’s Home in and near Busan, South Korea, however.

According to our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, both homes have received government support to modernize their buildings.  This includes making them energy efficient — meaning in the long run, the administration is saving money that can then be used to better support the orphaned and underprivileged children in attendance.

The Dong San Children’s Home

Children Incorporated supports twenty of the 46 children living at the Dong San Children’s Home located in South Korea’s second largest city of Busan.

“The Dong San Children’s Home was one of the first to introduce solar panels to the home in Korea,” said Luis.

“In recent years, they have remodeled some of the buildings to conserve energy. This saves money on their electric bill and utilities in general.”

Children in our sponsorship program in South Korea are provided with fruits and other nutritious foods throughout the day.

Upon visiting the home, Luis found that it also had heated floors, new dormitories and an updated nursery. On the grounds of the compound, large green spaces, trees and beautiful landscapes had been created for the children to enjoy, as well as a memorial dedicated to the founder of the home and a little chapel where children can pray.

Motivating kids to strive

Not only is the Dong San Children’s Home concerned about the children’s comfort, they also understand the importance of motivating students to strive to do well in school.

“There is a big emphasis on tutoring in the home because our coordinator has noticed that many children who are coming from difficult circumstances need additional motivation to increase their self-esteem,” explained Luis.

Support from Children Incorporated sponsors is mostly used for tutoring and educational support and to provide clothes and shoes for the children. According to Luis, the government continues to support the home with food and maintenance expenses, making it one of the better-maintained homes he has seen in South Korea.

“Both the Dong San Won Home and the Jin Wood Home are wonderful examples of how support from sponsors combined with a great living and learning environment, means children have the opportunity to overcome the barriers that poverty creates.”

 

-Luis Bourdet

The Jin Woo Children’s Home

About an hour outside of Busan, the Jin Woo Children’s Home was relocated from its original building in the city to a brand new and extremely energy-efficient home away from the busy downtown area.

“The home is in great shape. The new buildings now have offices, dormitories and a daycare center,” stated Luis.

“This is probably the most efficient home I have visited in South Korea. They have considered insulation and other efficiencies in the building process. The children are very well-cared for here in this modern setting.”

Of the 23 children at the home, our sponsors support fifteen of them. Children receive food, educational support and clothes and are provided with fruits and other nutritious foods throughout the day.

“Both the Dong San Children’s Home and the Jin Woo Children’s Home are wonderful examples of how support from sponsors combined with a great living and learning environment, means children have the opportunity to overcome the barriers that poverty creates,” says Luis.

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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 sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in South Korea that is available for sponsorship.

Taking Care of the Youth of Today

Making sure young people have positive influences around them is crucial to their development.

This is especially true for children coming from difficult circumstances like the orphans and children from impoverished backgrounds living at the Kang Nam Children’s Home in South Korea.

After a visit to the home, our International Director of Programs Luis Bourdet reported that the sixty children living at this Children Incorporated affiliated project meet with local university students every week. The college students not only help the kids with their homework but also serve as role models and mentors.

Apart from having more than twenty-six staff members, the local university volunteers spend their free time at the home tutoring and participating in sports activities with the children.

These interactions with caring adults outside of their supervisors and teachers help the children learn valuable life skills and teach them behavior that will prepare them for the outside world once they are grown up.

Kang Nam Children’s Home

Located on the south side of Seoul, the Kang Nam Children’s Home provides orphaned and underprivileged children in this region of South Korea with a safe, nurturing environment, nutritious food and medical care.

Children are often placed in the home after having been through the country’s welfare system. Many of them are coming from broken homes or have only lived in an orphanage, having no living parent. Because of this, many of the children we support have already had very challenging lives considering their young ages.

Thankfully, the administrators of the Kang Nam Children’s Home, with help from our sponsors, make sure the children receive food, clothes, housing and an education.

College students help kids at the Kang Nam Children’s Home with their homework and serve as role models and mentors.

“On top of support from sponsorship funds, the local government provides money to cover staff salaries and building maintenance. The Korean Welfare Foundation also supports the home for any incidental expenses,” says Luis.

The home also has some corporate sponsors and individual local sponsors. Because of all this, Luis reports that the physical buildings in the home are in great shape, and the children are well cared for by many different individuals and groups.

“To further support the children’s psychological development and give them a sense of family life, the facilities have been divided into ‘houses’ where six to nine kids share the house along with a housemother, who is always a university-educated social welfare worker,” continued Luis.

Volunteer to give back to kids

Apart from having more than twenty-six staff members, the local university volunteers spend their free time at the home tutoring and participating in sports activities with the children, helping with psychological evaluations or leading field trips to local parks.

Combined with the knowledge that they have a caring sponsor, the university students and the fantastic staff of the Kang Nam Children’s Home ensure that our sponsored and unsponsored children are surrounded by dozens of encouraging adults who are helping the youth of today grow up to be influencers of tomorrow.

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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 sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in South Korea that is available for sponsorship.

To Be Loved and Looked After

We know well that sponsorship support is valuable to children living in poverty both physically and psychologically.

That was especially apparent for our Director of International Programs Luis Bourdet while he was visiting the Sung Ae Children’s Home in South Korea.

According to our volunteer coordinator, Ms. Cho, who oversees all of our projects in South Korea, the support received from Children Incorporated sponsors is valuable in many different ways.

While at the home, which is located outside of Korea’s capital of Seoul, Luis found that the support children receive from their sponsors is utilized not only to provide clothing and shoes for them but also for educational needs that government funding does not cover, such as funds for fields trips.

But while there, Luis also found that many of the orphaned children who are living at the Sung Ae Children’s Home are learning for the first time in their lives what it means to be loved and looked after.

Helping children achieve their goals

According to our volunteer coordinator, Ms. Cho, who oversees all of our projects in South Korea, the support received from Children Incorporated sponsors is valuable in many different ways.

“Ms. Cho indicated that our partnership is significant not only in its financial aspect, but in its psychological effect on children as well. The orphans appreciate that people from far away and unknown to them can help them achieve their goals,” said Luis.

That caring love from sponsors goes a long way in encouraging children to do their best, especially for children who do not have parents of their own to encourage them. 

The Sung Ae Children’s Home

Like many South Korean orphanages, the Sung Ae Children’s Home traces its origin to efforts to address the postwar crisis after World II.

Caring love from sponsors goes a long way in encouraging children to do their best as they grow.

The home is in the suburban town of Incheon, just 30 miles from Seoul, where orphaned, underprivileged children in the region are provided with a safe, nurturing home, nutritious food and medical care.  

The home serves children ranging in ages from four to eighteen. The home itself consists of large, attractive dormitories, offices, an auditorium, a dining hall and a kitchen.

“Many of the buildings are new, updated only a few years ago,” said Luis. “I was very pleased to see the government had funded the updates so that the children have a beautiful home to live in.”

While living at the Sung Ae Children’s Home, sponsored and unsponsored children attend local public schools, where they receive instruction in core academic subjects and rudimentary English. 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.

Working hard and having fun

In addition to rigorous schooling and education-related activities, the children perform a variety of assigned chores at the home, but they also get to have fun.

It is the priority of the administrators of the home to make sure that the children grow up in the safest places possible where they are encouraged to succeed and continuously feel loved and looked after until they reach adulthood.

Recreational activities in the afternoon and on weekends include flying kites and playing sports like soccer and volleyball. Field trips into Seoul are a special treat, where the children get to visit parks, shrines and museums. Picnics are also popular.

Protecting Children

According to Luis, Children Incorporated currently sponsors 19 of the 58 children living at the home.

In addition to assistance from our program, the home also receives a large amount of help from the Korean Government, which covers costs such as housing and educational expenses to make sure the children have everything they need.

While Luis met with Ms. Cho, she expressed to him that the home overtly emphasizes that protection of the children. Because they do not have a family of their own to protect them, she makes sure they are safeguarded from any harm at all times. It is the priority of the administrators of the home to make sure that the children grow up in the safest places possible where they are encouraged to succeed and continuously feel loved and looked after until they reach adulthood.

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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 sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in South Korea that is available for sponsorship.

Visiting Lebanon and South Korea

After many years of not being able to visit Lebanon and South Korea, where we support hundreds of children through our sponsorship program, our International Programs Director, Luis Bourdet, was finally able to visit both countries at the end of last year.

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing stories about Luis’ visits to our projects in Lebanon and South Korea.

“In recent years, great turmoil and many political issues have created instability in countries neighboring Lebanon and South Korea. As a result, previous plans to visit the two countries have had to be postponed,” said Luis.

“Thankfully, last year it became safe enough for me to travel to both countries to see first-hand the positive effects that our sponsors are having on impoverished children.”

Our affiliated projects

sponsor a child in lebanon

In Lebanon, Children Incorporated is affiliated with three projects.

In Lebanon, Children Incorporated is affiliated with three projects: The Armenian Evangelical Schools (AES) and the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID), both located in the country’s capital, Beirut; and the Armenian Evangelical Secondary School in the small city of Anjar.

We have a large number of projects in South Korea – eighteen in total, all of which are homes for orphaned children. Our affiliated sites are located all over South Korea, including in the cities of Seoul, Busan, Iksan, Daegu, and Gwangju. Thanks to the help of our Korean Volunteer Coordinator, Ms. Soung Ok Cho, who oversees all of our projects in the country, we are able to work with so many homes.

“Since most of the homes are located in cities with large populations of more than 1.6 million people, and they are far away from one another, it would be truly difficult to coordinate and visit sites on a regular basis without the help of Ms. Cho,” Luis stated.

A Brief history of Lebanon

Located in Western Asia, Lebanon borders with Syria to the north and east, and with Israel to the south. Cyprus is west of it, across the Mediterranean Sea. Due to the country’s location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland, Lebanon has a rich history and cultural identity evincing the influence of such illustrious civilizations as the Greek, Roman, Arab, Ottoman Turk, and French.

However, Lebanon’s wealth of diversity has also contributed to its turbulent history. Lebanon continues to suffer the repercussions of a history riddled with wars – both civil and international. Unemployment, underemployment, and the ever-present threat of war are tragic realities there. These are, perhaps, most pronounced in Beirut. Settled over 5,000 years ago, this historic city is Lebanon’s largest and primary seaport, but it is also afflicted with dire poverty and its subsequent socioeconomic effects.

About South Korea

Comprising the lower half of a mountainous peninsula in East Asia, this populous nation, with a population density ten times higher than the global average, is today renowned for its future-oriented advancements in technology.

Although it emerged as an autonomous country in the aftermath of World War II, more than half a century after the Korean Armistice Agreement, South Korea is still haunted by the ghosts of its turbulent past. The Korean War, from 1950 to 1953, devastated South Korea, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives – both military and civilian – and leaving thousands of children orphaned. As a result, a number of orphanages were constructed – orphanages that now house children enrolled in our sponsorship program, ensuring that they have the resources they need to go to school.

More stories to come

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing stories about Luis’ visits to our projects in Lebanon and South Korea. Seeing these two diverse countries through his eyes, we hope you will catch a glimpse of how – thanks to our affiliated projects, volunteer coordinators, sponsors, and donors – we are able to make a huge a difference in the lives of children in need.

“Children Incorporated support is essential in these countries for the purchase of clothing, food, and shoes, so that children living in poverty can attend school,” said Luis.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN LEBANON OR SOUTH KOREA?

You can sponsor a child in Lebanon or 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 sponsorship@children-inc.orgor go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in Lebanon or South Korea that is available for sponsorship.