What makes KKOOM unique? We got to better understand this perspective when a third party organization reached out to us in February 2022. They were doing research on different nonprofits serving vulnerable children in South Korea and thanks to the SEO (search engine optimization) of our website, they found out about KKOOM.
After three months of several emails, zoom calls, and presentation documents about our organization, KKOOM is proud to say that we were chosen to receive the $10,000 donation. It came from an anonymous couple through the support of the third party organization who connects high profile donors with charitable organizations.
The feedback from the third party organization was so encouraging on why KKOOM’s mission is unique and set apart from similar organizations. Foremost, they appreciated the language we use when we talk about the children we serve. We do not refer to the children’s homes as “orphanages” or the children we serve as “orphans” because it perpetuates the stigma they face in Korean culture. We see the child as a human being first who should be treated with dignity and respect, instead of allowing their circumstances define who they are.
Second, they were impressed about how we partner with Oak Tree Project and provide our own college scholarships. This helps remove the barriers for aged out youth to achieve success. They see KKOOM as an organization that is trying to resolve the problems youth growing up in the welfare system face, instead of just providing enrichment opportunities.
And finally, the thing that is most distinctive to KKOOM, in the eyes of the anonymous couple, is how we support toddlers to receive an education. Toddlers who live in children’s homes are not afforded access to start preschool until they are four-years-old, which is when the government provides financial assistance. Most children in Korea are starting school at two-years-old. We believe in providing an equal playing field so every child in South Korea has a chance to thrive and flourish with an education.
It is always refreshing to get the perspective of our stakeholders. In 2022, it is evident that our mission, our programs, and our focus on serving youth in South Korea is making an impact. We are grateful to the anonymous couple and to everyone who stands alongside us to make this work meaningful for the children and young adults we serve.
Grace resides in Georgia and first volunteered with KKOOM in 2015 when she was a Fulbright English Teacher in Sejong. After volunteering at the Samsungwon Christmas party, she became a Board member in 2016, the Chief Administrator in 2017, and the organization’s first Executive Director in 2020. While at Georgia State University, she obtained a Public Policy degree, with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership. As the Executive Director, she oversees all social media marketing, manages donor relations, email communications, and supervises our KKOOM interns and executive assistant. You can read more about Grace here.