Interracial Family? Miss Korea Feels Your Pain

June 27th, 2009 · Foreigners · 0 comments

You know, I’m having a hard time thinking of a Korean news article about interracial (“multicultural”) families that didn’t emphasize how poor and helpless they are. Well. Perhaps it’s better than being ignored. Original article.

“Immigrant women have nowhere to turn when their husbands beat them or their cancer relapses, so if no one reaches out a helping hand there is nothing they can do.”

On April 26th in the city of Icheon in Gyeonggi-do, 28-year old Kim So-yeong, the 2004 Miss Korea, visited the home of a woman from The Philippines — where she was unable to control the tears rolling down her cheeks. She had come as a volunteer with Happy 21st Century, a group dedicated to helping multicultural families.

Ms. Kim, a successful model, first felt tears for multicultural families at the end of 2007, when she became an ambassador for “happy culture”. Her part-time volunteer activities became a regular activity this year.

Beginning with an event in which photographer Yang Hyeon-mo took family portraits of multicultural families, Konyang University (건양대학교)’s Kim Ahn and Konyang University Hospital’s Kim Seong-ju worked to provide free medical care and products to 150 people who were either isolated elderly people or members of multicultural families.

“According to research, by 2010 our country’s population will be 10% multicultural families. Most of their children face unhappy futures, stuck in a lower socioeconomic class, and that means we cannot be happy either. So we began the campaign to help them.”

She said that “I wanted to be Miss Korea so that I could do more good than I could as regular woman.” Her strongest volunteering memory was a visit to Han Love (한사랑 마을), a facility for disabled children, when she was a Miss Korea candidate.

“After I was chosen to be Miss Korea I went back to meet a 13-year old girl I had met there and when she smiled so happily I realized that what I could give her was much less than the happiness that she gave to me.”

Miss Korea Kim So-yeong is continuing to work for her dream through volunteer activity.

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