Go to contents

Foreign workers touched by children`s donations

Posted December. 18, 2000 19:49,   


"My hope is to become a police officer. When I grow up, I will catch the people who beat up and stole the wages of foreign workers." (Choi Jung-Un)

Christmas cards sent by 45 fifth-grade students at Kumbit Elementary School in Sungnam city touched the hearts of adults at Sungnam Foreign Workers Home.

The cards were not merely consolation cards. The students apologized for the wrongdoing done to them by adults and expressed their desire to rectify the situation.

The children and their homeroom teacher visited the Foreign Workers Home, only 800m away from their school, to deliver 43,200 won, 3 bags of rice and the cards.

The children's 'small donation' was raised after some of them read in the newspaper that foreign workers would have a difficult time surviving the cold winter. The group of children went to the Foreign Workers Home in early December to get a first-hand impression of the conditions. After their visit, they told their classmates about the situation and then started to raise funds.

Because of their desire not to burden their parents, the children decided to raise funds using their own pocket money.

A child who visited the Home remarked with disappointment, "I was able to raise only 500 won as I used my pocket money in a PC room."

The children looked around the Foreign Workers Home and heard explanations of the discriminatory situation there.

Their teacher said, "The love of the foreign workers for the neighborhood was strong, as every one of the students participated, despite the lower-middle class backgrounds of the children's families. I felt the children were more adult-like when observing their cooperative spirit."

Rev. Kim Hae-Sung, who runs the Sungnam Foreign Workers Home stated, "Due to the coming of the second IMF, corporate donations have been drying up while small donations by students have been increasing."

Ha Jong-Dae orionha@donga.com