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Thorny Life Dedicated to Young Scholars

Posted September. 25, 2001 08:51,   


A scholarship foundation was established by an 80-year-old woman. She saved her money working in the factory, despite the fact that she had been paralyzed waist down while serving as a nurse officer during the Korea War.

Ms. Cho Keum-Im (82, Shindaebang-Dong, Dongjan-Gu, Seoul, photo) recently contributed her fortune of 200 million won in establishing `the Yeosan Scholarship Foundation`. Born in Kunsan, Chonbuk, she was a `new woman` graduating the Nursing College from Japan and became the physically-challenged by a shrapnel of a bomb during the Korean War. Living alone since she retired as a major from the army, Ms. Cho has worked in the socks factory run by the wounded veterans.

Ms. Cho has saved the 200 million won for establishing the foundation from the salary and the relief annuity throughout her life. She has been helping the needy, and she wanted to keep her name anonymous in this foundation establishment.

Ms. Cho entrusted her whole fortune to her nephew-in-law Mr. Gook Joong-Ha (65, president of the Woshin Industrial Co., Chonju City, Chonbuk), and Mr. Gook instituted the scholarship foundation to cherish the precious intent of Ms. Cho.

Despite her limited mobility with the wheelchair, Ms. Cho has shown her will to overcome the handicap, winning the gold medals in the 1967 England Table Tennis Championship for the Physically-Challenged Persons, and in the women`s archery of the 1972 Munchen Paralympics.

The Yeosan Scholarship Foundation plans to support the scholarship to the unfortunate students in Chonbuk Province with the interest of the fund from next year.

Kim Kwang-Oh kokim@donga.com