The city of Daegu (formerly Taegu) is in the south-east of South Korea, and a bustling metropolis. It is the third largest city in the country, partly due to a population boom in the second half of the twentieth century.
However, due to the economy stagnating, the population started to reduce after 2003 as people sought better opportunities elsewhere. This economic situation has caused many families in the region to struggle to find work, cover their expenses, and care for their children.
Care for children after the Korean war
After the Korean war, which ended in 1953, thousands of children were left orphaned and alone. Hermann Gmeiner, founder of SOS Children's Villages, visited South Korea ten years later and witnessed the devastation still lived by Korean families and children.
Daegu was especially affected by the conflict, and was chosen as the site for the first Children's Village in South Korea. It was also the first Children's Village outside of Europe, and the very first in Asia. The foundation stone was laid in 1963, and the official opening of the Village was in May 1965.
What we do in Daegu today
When a child has lost the care of their biological family, they can find a new loving home in our Children's Village. Located on the outskirts of the city, the Village is surrounded by suburbs and neighbourhoods. This means that children living there are well-integrated into the wider community, and make friends with local children.
Children who have been orphaned or abandoned are welcomed into an SOS family, and are cared for by an SOS mother. There are 13 SOS family homes at SOS Children's Village Daegu, as well as houses for the Village Director's house and SOS aunties (family helpers). Like all children, those in our care in Daegu are full of energy, which they expend at the Village's sport complex and playground.
Holistic support from nursery to adulthood
Education is important for children to reach their potential. That is why we established an SOS Nursery in Daegu, known locally as "Dongchon Kindergarten". Here children from SOS families and from the neighbourhoods receive quality pre-school education and daycare. On reaching school age, children attend local primary and secondary schools.
Upon reaching adolescence, young people are supported on their journey towards independence. Many will live in the SOS Youth Home, which provides shared accommodation close to the Village where they grew up. These young people complete vocational training or higher education courses.
To provide vulnerable families with support, an SOS Social Centre was built in 1999 in Daegu. Here, children with special needs can attend the educational therapy centre, which offers expert help regarding psychological and behavioural problems.
Fortunately, all children at this Children's Village are fully sponsored. Have you considered sponsoring a child in another Asian country?