In Gunsan city in South Korea there are approximately 200 unmarried mothers who live in non-tax apartments, made available by the local government. Even now, there still are prejudices in society about unmarried mothers for whom it appears very difficult to support their children. Our colleagues from Pulp and Performance Chemicals in Gunsan took these women’s fate to heart and decided to make a major contribution to improve their living conditions.
They contacted the Social service agency of the municipality and learned that the apartments in a home for single mothers were very old and lacked proper maintenance. A plan of action was designed and support from the Community Program was granted. An appeal for help was made on the bulletin boards and via email and in no less than one month 35 volunteering employees managed to turn a home for single mothers and their children into a comfortable, clean place to live.
Under the slogan to deliver ‘Love and Delight’ to unmarried mothers’ families, various tasks were divided among the volunteers. Apart from relatively small jobs like replacing toilets and light bulbs, a shanty where the children can play and spend time with each other was built. Also a small flower garden was created and flowers were planted to give the residents emotional stability. Major maintenance jobs were performed like cleaning the water tank and easier ones like sweeping the floors and mowing the grass around the home. Each time our dedicated volunteers came to perform their tasks they prepared lunch for the residents and spent memorable time with them.
The goal, our volunteering employees in Gunsan had set for 2013 ‘to give happiness and help those people who are socially weak’, has certainly been reached. All tasks put together resulted in a clean and safe place to live. Many hands made life for these poor women and their children a lot more comfortable and made them feel that they are not alone. Our volunteers were quite happy having performed the jobs from simple ones like sweeping the floors (‘it’s not so very exciting work but it’s pretty rewarding’) to cleaning a contaminated water tank (‘it took some sweat but I was delighted to be able to help’).
Initiator of the project, Kim Soo-Ook summed up the feeling of all involved: 'it may seem little but our efforts and good spirits have a huge effect on people who are socially weak. With the support from the Community Program, we will certainly continue supporting our community'<