Thanks to the generosity of the GlobalGiving community, KKOOM has acheived full funding for this project.Throughout the two and a half years of active fundraising for this project, we have funded small programs like volunteer stays at orphanages in Korea, which have helped orphanage children learn English in an immersion environment without leaving Korea. We've also helped send young children to preschool and older children to English academy classes.
However, our aim from the beginning was also to help orphanage children gain an international perspective through travel and immersion, and this winter, we will do just that.
The International Education Program will culminate this February when we bring over five young adults (ages 12 - 22) from a Korean orphanage to participate in KKOOM's first ChicagoStay, a homestay and educational program designed specifically for Korean orphans. The kids will stay with American families and learn everyday English and experience American culture firsthand. We hope that this is the first of many successful American homestays for children from Korean orphanages.
We also hope that you will support other KKOOM projects on GlobalGiving so we can continue making a difference in the lives of Korean orphans. Thank you very much.
Thanks to funding made possible by generous donors, like you, KKOOM is going to be able to send Jisoo (20 months old) to preschool in March, when the Korean school year starts. He's a smart little kid who already enjoys nursery rhymes, blocks, and all things spicy (kimchi!). Typically, Korean kids in orphanages are allowed to go to preschool starting in the year that they turn four, but KKOOM will send him to preschool two years early. We believe that this jump start will help Jisoo build the social, creative, and intellectual skills he needs to build a solid foundation for his future success.
Additionally, Gaeun, a little girl we sent to preschool a year early, will get to go to an after-preschool English academy in March because of your incredible support. Gaeun will be four next year, and hence eligible for government funding for preschool, so we'll use the funds we had used to send her to preschool to send her to English lessons instead. Thanks to an iPad2 donated by a supporter in California, Gaeun learned her ABCs inside and out at age 2 and is now reading and writing in Korean as well.
We're very proud of both Jisoo and Gaeun, and we're humbled to be able support their educational success because of this successful GlobalGiving project.
As part of KKOOM's International Education Program, we were honored to host our third volunteer stay program at Emmanuel Children's Home in Gimcheon, South Korea. During this 10-day program this August, ten volunteers from the US, Canada, and Australia visited and lived at Emmanuel and helped teach the 100+ children English. The daily activities included English classes, team games, and group projects. At the end of the program, the children presented what that had learned about the volunteers' hometowns and also sang songs and danced. Additionally, the ten-day program included an overnight visit to a nearby water park and amusement park with the volunteers. A great time was had by all, and we look forward to the next volunteer stay program at an orphanage in Korea!
Since the last update, we've been busy on the ground here in South Korea creating more opportunities for Korean orphans to have English immersion opportunities right here at orphanages in South Korea. For instance, in June, we'll have to English summer carnivals at two orphanages in Gyeongbuk Province, and in August, we'll have a 10-day immersion program for English-speaking volunteers to come live and serve at an orphanage. These programs are making it possible for Korean orphans who may never otherwise have the opportunity to travel abroad to interact firsthand with English speakers from around the world and learn about world cultures. Having conducted these carnival and volunteer stay programs numerous times over the past year or so, we've found that the kids at orphanages are being inspired to learn English and apply what they are learning at school in English class. Inspiring the kids to like learning English is a first step in helping them see a future outside of the orphanages that are raising them. With your continued support, KKOOM intends to continue opening doors and creating paths for kids in orphanages to have opportunities for global encounters and, eventually, travels abroad.
This week, KKOOM is hosting the second volunteer stay program at Emmanuel Children's Home, an orphanage in Gimcheon, South Korea. We hosted the first stay program here last August.
The reality of children living in orphanages is that many of them will never get to experience international travel firsthand. However, we believe that these children deserve opportunities to gain a global perspective and spur their interest in developing their own educational passions.
To that end, we have assembled a great team of volunteers to spend the week living with the 110 kids here at Emmanuel. These volunteers are teaching the kids English, encouraging them to think critically, and helping them to articulate their personal dreams and goals. The theme of this week is "dream," which is what "kkoom" means in Korean.
Your gifts and investment in KKOOM's International Education initiative via GlobalGiving are helping to make this week possible. You can read updates from the stay program at Emmanuel on our volunteer blog here: http://www.kkoom.org/category/blog
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