Korean soup kitchen in the Philippines
Jun 8, 2017
By Korea.net Honorary Reporter Nadine Postigo
Korea.net has launched a new collaborative project with its honorary reporters around the world. Each honorary reporter will write a story on the same topic, but from each of their own home cities or countries. The stories will then be shared with our community of Korea.net readers.
For the first subject in the series, Korea.net asked our honorary reporters to send in a touching story from their home communities. Here's our 17th story in this series, this time from the Philippines.
Starting out by helping his fellow countrymen to reaching out to Filipinos, Seo Young-nam (서영남) has become a symbol of hope for those in need. He treats those who he helps whole-heartedly, just like his family.
I first learned about the touching deeds of Mr. Seo when a local TV show featured his soup kitchen, the Mindeule Guksujib, or "Dandelion Noodle House." Upon learning a bit more about him, as I was interested in what he was doing, I discovered that different shows had already featured him and his charitable work, including the KBS show "Screening Humanity," the TV station Arirang, and local networks in the Philippines.
Seo Young-nam started his soup kitchen in 2003 in a neighborhood in Incheon to feed people who were struggling. It was reported that he received about 500 visitors every day. Volunteers and donations helped him expand the Dandelion Noodle House so that he could provide meals to those who were in need at any time of the day.
When asked why he named his soup kitchen after the dandelion, Seo said that it was because the dandelion is a symbol of hope. "The flower grows and blossoms even in very dirty areas, through seeds blown by the wind. Like the dandelion, I also like to spread hope through my soup kitchens.”
In 2013, Seo opened his heart even more and established three soup kitchens in the Philippines. Not only do they serve hearty meals to children, but they also act like a daycare center and teach or tutor the kids that go there. They also welcome parents and grandparents of the children, which in turn inspires them to return the favor and volunteer at the center. He's fondly called "Sir Peter" by the people there.
Donations from Korean nationals and Philippine volunteers have also poured in, which just shows that compassion and love for others goes beyond nationality, race or language. Seo reportedly doesn't accept donations from governments or from people that he thinks would use his works for self-promotion.
Seo Young-nam, who was a Roman Catholic monk for 25 years and is now a layman, said in an interview that he first fell in love with the Philippines and its people when he first visited the country in the 1990s. He saw how Filipinos were optimistic, despite having tough living conditions. “Other people are rich, but they lack the spirit that Filipinos have.”
According to a report, Seo stated that he was determined to help the poor but hopeful people, following the proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Seo explained his philosophy more by saying, “I say, give the man and woman fish first so they will have the energy to find their own fish. It’s hard to work when a person is hungry. How can children effectively participate in class if they have nothing in their stomach? If people spend the whole day looking for food, how can they do other productive things?”
I even saw on the charity's Facebook profile that they held a Christmas party for the benefit and happiness of others. Even those who learned about Seo and his Dandelion Noodle House through the TV shows left heartfelt and grateful messages on the social networking site.
As Seo himself has said, “There’s humility in giving.” I feel that those are inspiring words by which to live. I would love to personally meet Seo and thank him for the kindness and generosity that he continuous to show to those in need. His soup kitchen in the Philippines closed earlier this year because of some situation, but his love and generosity will always be remembered in the hearts of Filipinos and many people around the world.
참조 : 필리핀 사람이 쓴 2017년 6월 8일자 기사입니다. 필리핀 민들레국수집은 칼로오칸의 건물을 사정상 그곳 교구로 반환하고 아이들을 위한 장학금 지원만 남기고 철수했습니다. 그러다가 2017년 6월부터 GMA 카비테에 조그맣게 민들레국수집을 마련하고 장학금 지원과 작은 도서관과 무료급식을 다시 시작했습니다. 이어서 나보타스의 Tangos 마을에도 작은 민들레국수집을 마련하여 아이들 장학금을 지원하다가 올해 3월에 작은 도서관과 무료급식을 시작했습니다. 앞으로는 작은 공부방도 열 수 있도록 준비하고 있습니다.
[이 게시물은 관리자님에 의해 2018-06-06 22:22:19 민들레후원현황에서 이동 됨]