Children’s needs, just like children themselves, come in all shapes and sizes. Some kids here in Ulsan have no parents and their needs are met through orphanages. Some kids, however, live with grandparents or live in broken homes where their parents are no longer together. Some are even homeless or runaways. Other children may have social or emotional disorders or even mild developmental issues. They don’t qualify to live in an orphanage, but these children have special needs. With the strictly regimented education system in Korea, it’s easy to envision children that might fall through the cracks. Who takes care of kids that aren’t orphans but have serious needs? Where can kids with special needs go to get help? The Good Children Foundation.
The Good Children Foundation is an organization set up to help meet the needs of children in Ulsan. The Banolrim Community Children Center is one of 60 centers spread across Ulsan. The Centers help children with various activities including after school/vacation care – including dinner, music, sports, arts and crafts, etc. If you’re familiar with the once-a-month visits to the Eonyang Orphanage sponsored by T-Hope, then you’re probably familiar with the kinds of things the centers need volunteers for.
Late last November, the Ulsan Expats Ladies Club represented by Christine Mellon and Gemma Knowles gave a donation of 7,209,790won to Ulsan’s Good Children Foundation. The ladies organized a fundraiser centered around the Melbourne Cup, an annual horse race in Australia. The events in Ulsan were at the Sea Sketch in Dong Gu where over 100 ladies participated. On hand to accept the donation was Lee Soyoung, President of the Good Children Foundation and two Foundation board members, Kevin Pope and Lee Seoknam. Mr. Pope, pastor of the Ulsan English Fellowship in Mugeodong, said the enormous donation will go along ways towards help the Foundation’s goals. “But now we need volunteers to help out at the centers,” he said.
Earlier this month, Mr. Pope was elected to the Board of Directors of the Good Children Foundation. Having been involved in volunteer activities in Ulsan for years, Mr. Pope is an ideal candidate to help The Foundation hopes to match volunteers around Ulsan by location, needs and the volunteers’ skill sets. Mr. Pope will initially handle coordination of volunteers of those who wish to help out kids here in Ulsan. “In order to help, volunteers need only their ARC (alien registration card), a valid visa, and a minimum 3 month commitment. With those documents, the Foundation is satisfied that all the required security checks have been done.”
The Good Children Foundation, the slogan for which is “Nurturing the Possibilities in all Children,” has big plans for the city. On March 1st, the Foundation plans on opening the Banolrim “Drop In” Center. This will be for kids to just drop in and get advice, get counseling, or if need be, food, clothes, even a place to sleep. “The center will target runaways and homeless but statistics are limited.” said Mr. Pope. Later on, a dentist that operates a clinic below the center is trying to organize a fund to provide dental care for the kids.
If you’d like to volunteer to help children at one of the many Good Children Foundation centers, contact Kevin Pope (010-2452-1355 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
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