Tag Archives: south korea

Extraordinary Homes in Busan

Busan is South Korea’s second most-populous city after Seoul, with a population of over 3.5 million. It is also the home to three of our affiliated projects: the Grace Children’s Home, the Hee Rak Children’s Home and the Sae Dul Children’s Home.

While visiting the homes, our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, got a chance to find out how each of the homes stands out in a unique way, while equally supporting our sponsored and unsponsored children with basic needs, a safe home environment and a quality education.

Building children’s self-esteem

During his first visit, Luis found that at the Grace Children’s Home, children are looked after by nineteen staff members, most of whom are social workers.

Without sponsorship support, Luis elaborated, the home would not be able to afford nice garments for the children because they are expensive in Korea — especially in a big city like Busan.

“I was pleased to find that the local government pays the salaries of the large staff, ensuring that the children living at Grace are getting the best care possible,” said Luis.

While on a tour of the home, administrators told Luis that it is their goal to provide the children with the best clothes and shoes possible, in addition to making sure they are fed nutritious food.

“The director of the school feels strongly that providing the children with high-quality items helps increase their self-esteem,” stated Luis.

Without sponsorship support, Luis elaborated, the home would not be able to afford nice garments for the children because they are expensive in Korea — especially in a big city like Busan.

Supporting kids beyond basic needs

At Hee Rak Children’s Home, located on the outskirts of Busan, Luis found that the thirty-six children who are living in the home are not only receiving a well-rounded education but are also provided with after-school tutoring and psychological support.


“Most of the children in the home do not have families and have faced a lot of trauma in their lives as young people. They need support to cope with their individual situations,” explained Luis.

“They live at the Hee Rak Children’s Home all year long and need help on a regular basis, whether with homework in the afternoons or support from a therapist.”

Support from Children Incorporated sponsors is used to augment the home’s food supply as well as to buy clothes and shoes and to cover any small educational needs that government funding does not provide.

Before Luis completed his visit, he had a chance to see the home’s improvements and updates to some of the older buildings. The entire compound had a new sprinkler system installed as well as new windows and doors. Luis was both impressed and pleased with how nice the home was for the more than thirty children who live there full-time.

“The director of the school feels strongly that providing the children with high-quality items helps increase their self-esteem,” stated Luis.

A large home with many students

The Sae Dul Children’s Home itself has a large infrastructure, with the capacity to house 96 children. At the time of Luis’ visit there were 75 children in the home.

“This home is impeccable. The city provides a great deal of support, and it is one of the nicest homes that I have seen in South Korea,” said Luis.

“The children have all they need here — really nice housing, food, educational support and clothes. As is customary in South Korea, all the children sleep on mattresses on the floors which are heated for their comfort.”

Upon leaving Busan, Luis reflected on how grateful he was that these homes were able to support children in our program in such a consistent way.

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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.

Surrounded By Beauty in the Land of the Morning Calm

For over 2000 years, Koreans have been shaping the world around them, creating beautiful landscapes through refined gardening.

While visiting our affiliated projects in South Korea, this was apparent to our International Director of Programs, Luis Bourdet. With each home he visited, Luis found that sponsored children in our program were growing up in environments surrounded by nature’s beauty. The homes also provided them with safe and comfortable places to play, exercise and develop into young adults.

Sun Duk Children’s Home

The Sun Duk Children’s Home is located in a hilly area about one hour away from Iksan in the North Jeolla Province of South Korea. According to Luis, the home has a stunning view of the local mountain range.

Children’s homes in South Korea typically have a lot of greenery which adds to the beauty of the grounds.

Luis noticed how picturesque the landscapes in and around the home were, and observed how the infrastructure of the home had been updated and modernized.

“Many upgrades have been made to the buildings, making them much nicer since my last visit. Each had solar water heaters and new protection systems like sprinklers, new windows and doors and heated floors. Overall, this is a wonderful place for children to grow up,” said Luis.

In total, 36 children live in the home and are well taken care of by 17 staff members. Children Incorporated sponsorship support provides for the children’s educational expenses not covered by the government.

“Additional gifts from sponsors are used to buy the children clothes and shoes, as well as anything special they may need to make their stay at the home more pleasurable,” said Luis.

Zion Children’s Home

The Zion Children’s Home is also located outside of Iksan surrounded by green, rolling hills like those of the Sun Duk Children’s Home.

“The Director of this home, Mrs. Ko, loves playing drums and is teaching the children to play, too. She is a true mother to them,” said Luis.

Luis noticed that in addition to its well-manicured gardens, the Zion Children’s Home had an impressive library, computer room, large auditorium and a swimming pool.

The home also provides dental treatment for children thanks to the support of a local retired dentist and his wife who have taken it upon themselves to remodel one section of a building into a small dental clinic.

With each home he visited, Luis found that sponsored children in our program were growing up in environments surrounded by nature’s beauty. The homes also provided them with safe and comfortable places to play, exercise and develop into young adults.

Iri Children’s Home

The Iri Children’s Home is located in the city of Iksan and is run by the Buddhist Association. The home has three large three-story buildings. In the center of the home is a large sandy play area surrounded by plants and flowers. There, the children can enjoy their free time and stay active when they are not in school.

Children Incorporated supports 27 children who live at the Iri Children’s Home. The local government provides funding for the children’s living expenses as well as for staff salaries. Sponsorship support is used to buy clothes and shoes for the children, as well to cover medical and educational expenses.

Through his visits to these homes, Luis felt confident that the children in our program were having their needs met. He was delighted to see that they were growing up surrounded by the natural beauty that their country has to offer.

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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.

No Distance Too Great

Children Incorporated has affiliated projects, sponsored children and sponsors from all over the world. Most of our sponsors don’t live in the same cities — or even the same states — as the children they support.

For many of our sponsored kids, their sponsors live in entirely different countries.

“I feel that the children are receiving incredible support here thanks to the administration and our sponsors. Last year alone, seven of the eight high school graduates at the school went on to higher education!”

 

– Luis Bourdet

But sponsored kids in South Korea — especially those living at the Kwangju Ae Yuk and the Hyungje Children’s Homes — feel the same amount of comfort and love as if their sponsors were right by their sides.

Kwangju Ae Yuk Children’s Home

Located in the shadow of high-rise apartments in the city of Gwangju, South Korea, the Kwangju Ae Yuk Children’s Home provides children from impoverished backgrounds with a safe place to live, grow and receive a good education — all while instilling the core values of honesty, integrity and compassion for others.

Gwangju is the largest city in the southwestern part of South Korea, with a population of about 1.5 million people. It is the 6th largest city in the country.

The city itself is known for the students’ pro-democracy uprising that occurred in the early 1980s, which is credited for the country’s initial move from military rule to democratic governance, and its economic explosion and development.

Kwangju Ae Yuk Children’s Home is a well-known home for children from impoverished backgrounds due to its ability to care for a large number of orphanages and underprivileged youth. The home has over 50 children residing there currently. Children Incorporated sponsors support 30 of them.

Lots of help for the young

While visiting the home, our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, was pleasantly surprised to see a large staff at Kwangju.

The children at the Kwangju Ae Yuk and the Hyungje Children’s Homes know that their sponsors want the best for them.

“The home has an impressive number of personnel. About 30 people work full-time, most of whom are social workers providing consistent aid and guidance to the children,” said Luis.

During the day, the children attend local schools. In the afternoons, they receive music instructions and participate in art classes.

Support from the local government offers funds for basic needs such as housing costs and food. Sponsorship support provides for additional expenses like school supplies, but it also gives the children a great sense of emotional and psychological support.

“I feel that the children are receiving incredible support here thanks to the administration and our sponsors. Last year alone, seven of the eight high school graduates at the school went on to higher education!” exclaimed Luis.

Hyungje Children’s Home

Hyungje Children’s Home resides within the city limits of Gwangju. With 33 children at the home in our sponsorship program, Hyungje has the largest enrollment of any of our projects in South Korea.

The home consists of two large three-story buildings. With over 70 students in attendance — and more being added each year — the home is running out of usable living space for the kids.

Thankfully, when Luis visited the home, he witnessed new construction already underway so the children will have more room to spread out soon.

Sponsored kids in South Korea, especially those living at the Kwangju Ae Yuk and the Hyungje Children’s Homes, feel the same amount of comfort and love as if their sponsors were right by their sides.

Sponsors at the Hyungje Children’s Home provide almost all basic needs for the children outside of housing cost. Funds from sponsorship support buy the children schools supplies, clothes, shoes and food regularly.

The administration at the home also makes sure that the children understand what it means to have a sponsor beyond just the items they receive.

“The children know that their sponsors want the best for them, and in return, it is a special feeling for the children to know that someone from afar cares for their well-being,” said 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.

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 with the drive they need to achieve their goals.

Thanks to their Children Incorporated sponsors, children in our program receive basic needs throughout the year.

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 students are motivated by adults to do well in school.

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.