Monday, April 6, 2009

A trip highlight from Dr. Boas

From Rick Boas:

What a delight it has been to know and work with Dr. Mitchell! She has vast knowledge, experience and expertise in planning, setting up and running parent/child centers in Vermont, also served for ten years as the state’s Deputy Secretary, Agency of Human Services. So it was significant that she could join us—as presenter, discussant, and advisor.

On February 26, Dr. Mitchell presented an all-day workshop, attended by 100 (including social workers, unwed moms, representatives of adoption agencies), Supporting Unwed Mothers and Their Children: Challenges, Strategies, and Benefits to Mother, Child and Community.KWDI

It was a great opportunity for the attendees to hear from someone who understands the situation of unwed mothers and their children, and has set up successful programs to serve them (a model now used in other states). The workshop provided a springboard for those in attendance to improve services for unwed moms and their children, in ways that will work in a Korean context.

On March 4, the Korean Women’s Development Institute (KWDI) held its 52nd Women’s Policy Forum, Improving Attitudes Toward Unwed Mothers and Promoting Support,
at the National Assembly, sponsored by KUMSN. The room was full, approximately 20 legislators attended, and proceedings were broadcast live on TV. Moderated by Prof. Nam Soon Huh, Hallym University, presenters included Drs. Hyeyoung Kim and Mijeong Lee of KWDI, Prof.Yunkyu Ryu, Seoul Theological University, and
Dr. Mitchell. One of the discussants was Dr. Hyeseon Kim, Ministry of Health and Welfare, who is taking an increasing interest in the situation of unwed moms. I was very moved to know that the issue of unwed mothers and their children is gaining visibility, and is being taken more seriously.

In addition to seeing him at several meetings (including the Forum), it was a real pleasure to have dinner with Rev. Do Hyun Kim, director of KoRoot (which provides housing and assistance to returned adoptees). Rev. Kim, who is passionate, articulate, candid and unafraid, is one of the only men in Korea speaking strongly on behalf of unwed mothers and their children (and openly critical of adoption agency practices). He is a man of integrity, truly inspiring. He is a supporter, friend, and a real asset to the cause of the moms.

No comments: