At any given time, Sung Ae Won is home to 70+ children from ages 1 to 8 years old. Approximately 85% of these children were abandoned by their birth parents – most found on the streets, parks, bus terminals and other locations. Many single Korean women face the difficult decision of choosing between an illegal abortion, giving up their child for adoption or raising their child as an unwed mother. Sadly, in 2009, only 5 children from Sung Ae Won were adopted. This low adoption rate can be attributed to the importance placed on family bloodline. While conditions at local orphanages have improved over the years, volunteer help from the community is still incredibly important.
Upon meeting them you will find that the children are incredibly lovable and crave your hugs and attention, especially you men out there since the children don’t have much contact with male role models.
Most of the Busan orphanages are supported by the Korean government as well as local, caring Korean and expat volunteers and charitable contributions. As Sung Ae Won Chairman, Mr. Kim Taek Soo says, FAMILY stands for – Father And Mother, I Love You. You can help be a family member to these wonderful children by visiting them on a regular basis. Trust me, they will truly love you for it.
In an effort to help improve the lives of these wonderful children, the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command Korea, along with the Busan Foreign School (BFS) are sponsoring a huge fundraiser on March 5th at the Novotel Ambassador Hotel in Haeundae Beach. Can you say toga party?
The festivities will raise funds and awareness for the Sung Ae Won Orphanage and Habitat For Humanity. BFS has been supporting Habitat For Humanity for years and continues to make a major impact by building homes for those less fortunate.
So, come on out for what’s sure to be a memorable event while also helping out two great causes. The fundraiser portion goes like this: 10,000 won cover charge if you’re wearing a toga and 20,000 won if you’re not wearing one. Drinks are only 1,000 or 2,000 won. Can’t beat it. There will also be lots of dancing, food, raffle prizes and games. Hope to see you there!
To get there: Novotel is located right on Haeundae Beach at about the center point. When you walk in the front door with a Toga, the receptionist will surely tell you where to go. To find out more, check out the Facebook event listing.
Christoper Cruz was born in San Fernando, Philippines, and raised in Virginia Beach, Va. He now serves as the U.S. Navy's Commanding Officer, Military Sealift Command Korea. You can check out his blog here.