- News & Info
Gangdong-gu Forms ‘Valuable Connection’ with Children in Childcare Facilities$-Childcare facilities establish one-on-one relationship between children and volunteers, offering ‘Valuable Connection Bridge’ program-Construction of long-term support system for child psychological and emotional stability
Gangdong-gu (mayor Lee Jung-hun), a child-friendly city, will offer the ‘Valuable Connection Bridge’ program beginning in August to support the psychological and emotional stability of children living in childcare facilities due to issues of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.
In this program, the child of the childcare facility and volunteer worker will partner up to meet twice a month until the child leaves the facility to help them experience various cultural leisure activities. These activities are meant to instill a sense of confidence and self-esteem in the children while expanding their social network.
To construct a long-term support system for children in the childcare facilities, Gangdong-gu has consistently consulted with two childcare facilities within its jurisdiction since last year. Representatives met for consultation with Professor Hong Gang-ui of the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital Neuropsychiatry Department, Professor Ahn Dong-hyun of the Hanyang University Seoul Hospital Department of Mental Health, Director Chae Hye-jeong of the Korea HARP Psychology Institute, and other child psychology experts, and added depth to this project through meetings with the Gangdong-gu Child Welfare Deliberation Committee.
A total of 19 volunteers will become valuable mentors to children. The volunteer group consists of 9 members of the youth life course mentoring group ‘Idea Foster Volunteer Group’ and 10 graduate students of the Hanyang University Department of Child Psychotherapy ‘Together with Hanyang University Volunteer Group.’
The volunteers received training for two days on the 23rd and 24th before meeting the children. Training included 1) understanding the minds of children, 2) mentoring activity effects, 3) techniques of relationship sharing, 4) understanding children in institutions, and more. At the opening ceremony on the 24th following training, the volunteers received letters of appointment and recited their pledges for future activities.
Mayor Lee Jung-hun of Gangdong-gu stated, “It is our hope that volunteers and children with painful experiences will form a valuable connection with each other, communicate emotionally, and grow together. I would also like to thank the volunteers who will overcome the burden of long-term volunteer work as they embark on these meaningful activities,” and offered a word of encouragement for future activities.
The participating children and volunteers will have their first meeting mid-August to begin the ‘Valuable Connection Bridge’ activities.