“You have to pay a monthly rent. It is one of the biggest things to handle when you live alone. I don’t want you to learn by trial and error just as I‘ve done,” said Lee Hui at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Gyeonggi Children's Advocacy Center of ChildFund Korea.
Starting living in a foster home at the age of 16 when his parents passed away, Lee shared his childhood experience in front of the camera lens in a calm tone. As he turned 24 in January, Lee moved out to stand on his own feet. As many as 2,500 young people on a yearly basis start their own life alone when they reach an age for independence after being raised in childcare facilities without their family.
“Monthly rent payment is one of the heaviest burdens on my shoulders when I live alone. Working part time all month long, I only get by after paying my room. I used to live in cheap stuffed rooms here and there,” he said. “No one told me where I can get a loan for jeonse deposit. I hope you to be fully ready before you make your own way out.”
ChildFund Korea has since Saturday produced video clips on YouTube to teach what grown-up children raised in foster care are supposed to prepare. Lee is part of this project to share his own experiences.
Mo Yoo-jin, 26, came up with this content for foster kids who have just come out of foster homes. She started living alone in 2018. As she asked the children’s advocacy group if she can share helpful tips and knowhow on living alone after coming out of the foster care system, the organization accepted her offer willingly.
Shooting a footage with Lee on Saturday, Mo recommended getting a loan for jeonse deposit from the Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH). “I didn’t know what to do at first because I had no one to lean on,” Mo said, adding that she would love to be a nice sister for those who make their own way out alone. Hyun Jin said, “I only do a part here but hopefully, my contributions will turn out to be helpful to someone else,” promising to make candid confession about a series of failures.
ChildFund Korea plans to produce not only YouTube content but also an essay book, which describes stories of foster kids after aging out of foster care including Mo. Joining in writing an essay book, Lee emphasized, “Many who have just stood alone suffer financial hardship. They are likely to give up on their dreams and work for their livelihoods.” “I am struggling financially but I want to keep my dreams of being an actor intact. I hope that my story will give others the courage to believe that they can dream.”
“My first sentence of an essay will be ‘I am not alone,’” Lee said. “Throughout the first year of living on my own, I felt abandoned out there. One day, I realized how many young people around me are in the same position as I am. As you have someone to rely on, you can whenever you want to.”