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Improving the Lives of Korean Youth Through Outreach and Education

[Day #11] The Benefits of KKOOM’s Enrichment Activities

Despite navigating another year of the pandemic, KKOOM was able to still provide activities and events to the children’s homes we support in the Gyeongsangbuk-do region. We believe that these activities enrich the lives of Korean children in three ways: 

1 – Boosts confidence (through learning like the English Winter Camp. At least 90% of all of the children made an A on their vocabulary test). 

2 – Teaches life skills (by doing house chores and studying well for a rewards program).

3 – Builds community (through special meals and summer activities).

Here are a list of a few of the activities from 2021 that we have not yet shared in our 12 Days of KKOOM posts: 

The toddlers and elementary students were learning the ABCs from KKOOM’s Executive Director. Korean children start learning English at school in the 3rd grade.

Virtual English Winter Camp – January ($1,200) 

This was KKOOM’s first time hosting a virtual English camp. The children were very engaged in the lessons and games! KKOOM’s Executive Director, a Board member, and a KKOOM volunteer taught all of the children based on school levels at a KKOOM-supported children’s home. We provided a gift certificate for every child’s participation and provided a meal and snacks for the camp. 

Cooking Class for Oak Tree Scholars – March ($420)

Oak Tree Project (OTP) is one of KKOOM’s partner organizations located in Seoul. They provide scholarships and mentorship opportunities for those who have aged out of the welfare system and are currently studying to pursue a college degree. A number of young adults who grew up in KKOOM-supported children’s homes are former OTP scholars. We funded a cooking class that the young adults got to take with a local celebrity in South Korea. 

Some of the girls at a KKOOM-supported children’s home enjoying Baskin Robbins!

Ice Cream Parties at Samsungwon and Emmanuel – Summer ($600)

To celebrate the first week of summer in South Korea, KKOOM provided ice cream to 135 people at two children’s homes. With government restrictions still in place where the children could not leave the premises besides going to school or for medical emergencies, this was a refreshing opportunity for the children to wind down. They headed into their vacation enjoying a summer favorite we all love!

Got lobster?!

Lobster Party at Emmanuel – Summer ($1,450) 

Seventy-nine children at Emmanuel ate a delicious seafood meal during the summer months having a lobster party! For one of the high school students, it was her first time trying the seafood. With a thumbs up and bright big smile, she said, “Gooood!” to the house mother who asked for her reaction. 

Group photo of the children and staff. It’s been an annual tradition for KKOOM to fund the matching t-shirts.

One of the high school girls enjoying a swim at the WhiteWater Camp

Thanks to you, we funded the inflatable pool for the children to enjoy for five days

KKOOM WhiteWater Camp – Summer ($2,000)

Every summer, Samsungwon takes an annual trip going camping with the children, young adults who have aged out, house mothers, and staff. For the second year in a row, the children enjoyed the summer traditions at the children’s home thanks to you! KKOOM funded five days of swimming in inflatable pools and slides, t-shirts for all of the children and staff, dinner for 70 people, and five days worth of snacks. 

KKOOM’s former preschool scholar enjoyed her prize from the monthly rewards program – the dress and her snacks!

Some of the gifts at the KKOOM Marketplace for a children’s home.

Sticker Reward Program – May to August; will resume in spring 2022 after taking a fall/winter hiatus ($600) 

To help motivate the children to do well in their studies and to complete their house chores, a KKOOM-supported children’s home created a monthly rewards program. This gave one child at each house (7 houses total) an opportunity to get a prize of their choice, approximately $20 each. In August, the children’s home created a marketplace with a variety of prizes for all of the children, from toddlers to high school students. This gave them a chance to collect all of their stickers and buy special prizes. 

Through English conversations, enjoying special meals, and encouraging children to practice good study and life habits, we are transforming lives together. Community is built through activities like this. Our global community of friends and supporters help us sustain long-lasting relationships and programs at Korean children’s homes so every child can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. 

With gratitude,

-Grace Lee, Executive Director

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