Children, The Family and Health: What it Takes to Give Children Long Life
The Hawaii Workshop: IMF and it’s influence on children’s health in Korea
Korea is going through a very tough financial crisis as most south east countries The economic effects on the population is felt not only in business but also in the homes Most allention has been given to the public and business sectors but very littel is been said about the human suffering in the families. Between January 1998 and August approximately 1.5 million people lost their jobs. This sudden drop of income in those families created chaos within family units resulting in seperation and divorces, not to mention the disappreance of the main wage eamer in search of another job elsewhere. The affected families often have to leave their children by themselves at home without sufficient food or money to obtain food. Since korean life style usually provides for a caretaker at home, children feel deserted helpless and depressed. This unfortunate situation reaches down to the youngest age level with older children having to look after them. The only meal many will have is at school - estimated to affect about 11,000 children in Seoul area alone. Weekend these families are left to themselves. In spite of many private institution alleviate the impact on children at and around the poverty level, it cannot be counted as the only solution. Children who were well looked after until recently have now to face the facts that their parent can no longer provide for them and the parents(or caretaker) have to real life that the government and society are helpless to uphold their family values. Desertion, lack of security and lack of future opportunity breeds violence in the homes where small children quickly become the victims of family stress. These problems are being carried into the classroom and teachers confronted with undernourished, stressed out children who cannot concentrate to study and see education as additional burden to their already disrupted life. Also the teachers find themselves in fund raising efforts to assist the ministry of education to provide better care. The opportunity I see for Korea in this crisis will come from learning to become self sufficient and to cope with scarce resources. The changes resulting from these challenges will be a good teaching tool for our next generation growing up and hopefully not having to put their children through times like ours. Nationwide the efforts of creating a new nation outlook resulted in recognizing folk heros as role models for young people. This will bring new teaching opportunities to help our young people realize that the country will be able to put this crisis behind it. This campaign to rally around the Korean national strength to survive is also supported by the mass media. As a community work I am willing to contribute to this goal of regaining Korea’s ideals and values, protecting our right to shelter and take care of our children, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Last Modified: June 05, 2010