South Korea – Nanum House 30th Anniversary: an innovative type of youth care system

26 September 2016

(ANS – Seoul) – Nanum House's (Nanum means sharing) 30th anniversary celebration was opened in a joyful atmosphere with 300 people (Salesian Family members, benefactors, youngsters of Nanum houses, collaborators, and volunteers) in Shinwoldong Salesian Education Center in Seoul on Sunday, 25 September. The 30 years history of Nanum House was the result of an accurate discernment on the youth and family situation in that era, and on what was the most effective solution for the children who are the most poorest and in the most needy situations.

The events of the day consisted of a Holy Mass and an academic performance from the children of Nanum House. “It is a happy and joyful day that we have been able to share God’s love through the provision of home and protection for the last 30 years” Fr Peter Kim, Rector of Nanum House, said in his homily.

Nanum House was established in the 1980s when nuclear families were forming rapidly due to the dismantling of the large family system. The aim was to provide children at risk with a nurturing family environment. In January 1988, the Salesians in Korea discerned that the Nanum House system was a typical initiative and an effective solution to help youth in need because of broken families.  A confrere was appointed full time to develop this new service. In the Nanum House, one or two adult leaders (Salesian or lay collaborator) become the head of the household, and under them, 4-5 youngsters who have lost their families come together to create a new family. It was a very new type of youth care system in the society.

“I started to see my future here. I found my dream of becoming a chef, and this place, Nanum House, enabled me to achieve that dream. I am very sad that it is time to leave now. I thank everyone that has been part of my upbringing and I promise that I will be earnest, kind, and helpful to children like me that need help.” As a young bird leaves its nest and flies in the sky with poor flapping wings, Park Jihoon’s words of thanks as he left the Sinwoldong Nanum House made a very deep impression on everyone at the 30th anniversary celebration. He lived six years in Nanum House, graduated from high school there, and is now employed in the food service team of a large corporation. 


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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