Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day Two of the Study Tour

Day Two of the Study Tour
Today we spent the whole day at the Addison County Parent Child Center . We had a chance to experience the family atmosphere of the place, from breakfast through dinner, we were enfolded in the warmth and caring of staff and participants. It is clear that this becomes a family place, quite literally, for participants and also staff.

We met with moms and one dad, who shared their stories of how the PC/C helped them finish school, make good decisions in their lives, find housing, get job training, learn about parenting and even learn Taikwando. We talked with staff about how they work with moms to co create programs. We could hear, see and feel how the program works to support moms in addressing all the issues in their lives. We even noticed the condoms in a basket in the bathroom – making it easy to access birth control without even having to ask!

We were honored to have a panel of highly skilled journalists share their experiences with us and brainstorm together about how the story of unwed moms in Korea, might get told. We learned a lot from them.

And we ended the day with a celebratory dinner with many of the families involved in the center, and other friends and family. It was a typical family gathering – children running around, adults holding babies so moms could get a bite of dinner, everyone admiring everyone else’s child, sharing stories, feeling at home.

While a similar Korean program would of course have many differences, we all had visions of various aspects of this program we would like to see in Korea. And of course there are already programs such as Aeranwon’s “Me, You, Us” program and the the new Hambumo Centers run by the government, that have started to offer some of these programs and which could be expanded. So much to learn.

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