ChildFund Korea has been a living history of child welfare of Korea. In the beginning, ChildFund Korea was an infant organization relying on support from CCF. After several decades, it has grown into the oldest yet largest child welfare organization in Korea.
Initial period - missionaries from America
The Korean branch of CCF established by Pastor Clark, an expert on raising donations for refugee relief project, was the original form of ChildFund Korea. At the time, Pastor Clark was in China to help the hinese children.
However,he realized that the situation in Korea was just as critical, and decided to help the children in Korea.In October 1948, the Korean Branch of CCF started to provide financial support to some 400 children through three organizations: the Salvation Army Hoosang School, Hyecheonwon and Jeolje Girl’s House.
There was no specific policy about child welfare in Korea until 1960, and the activities of CCF stood out in terms of quality and quantity among the activities of numerous other foreign relief agencies in Korea.
The role as the leader and representative of child welfare programs
The need for relief of children suffering from the Korean War dissipated somewhat. However the number of children living in the welfare facilities continued to rise.
At the time, the CCF proposed family-focused child welfare programs under the motto of ‘children shall be at homes.’
The CCF believed that if the children in facilities had relatives or could be adopted or cared by foster families, they should be raised in the arms of families.
Appenzeller Children Center was founded at this time and revitalized the at-home care project, as it matched the American supporters with Korean children on one-on-one basis.
ChildFund Korea directly operated the Social Welfare Centers, and directly and indirectly supported the nurseries and local social welfare organizations that provided daycare services.
They became the original form of Social Welfare Center that comprehensively supported the low-income class in local areas.
Period of preparing for independence
Since Korea had achieved remarkable economic growth, the CCF finalized its support for Korea to focus on helping children in Africa. Instead, the CCF placed a 10 year buffer period to make sure the programs will be successfully continued.
ChildFund Korea speed up its efforts to develop more supporters, so that it can become an independent private social welfare organization. The general public in Korea expected that the economy would grow strong and believed that ‘we should be the ones to take care of our children.’ Under such backdrop, ChildFund Korea focused on developing the supporters and creating the fund, such as: being entrusted with the sponsorship program from the government; starting the sponsorship service; organizing the Supporters Associations throughout Korea and in overseas; and actively cooperating with the media.
It was this period when ChildFund Korea started the ‘find the missing children’ program. ChildFund Korea implemented the ‘find the missing children’ campaign in 1983, and the Korean government officially entrusted its ‘missing child search’ project to ChildFund Korea in 1986.
In 1986, the CCF suspended its support after having provided such a generous support equaling to approximately 100 million U.S. dollars to some 100,000 children, and Korea Children’s Foundation, the former ChildFund Korea, was born.
Growth of domestic programs
To strengthen the foundation for independence and respond to new needs for welfare, ChildFund Korea added children of broken families, the young heads of households, the elderly 65 and older and the disabled to its list of program beneficiaries.
To reflect such direction of programs, we changed the name of organization to Korea Welfare Foundation.
At that time, even the government was having a hard time promoting the foster care service, but ChildFund Korea decided to go ahead and engage in the foster care service in 1993.
In the process of organizing the child abuse prevention programs, ChildFund Korea made a clear trace in the history of child protection programs, such as influencing the revision of the Child Welfare Act and establishing the organizations dedicated to child protection.
We also promoted the search for missing children, using live broadcasts and advertisements on cigarette packs.
It was this period of time when we also took part in a full-scale overseas child support programs. Starting with the provision of support programs in three Asian countries, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, we expanded our business overseas and started to become a professional social welfare organization.
Full-scale participation in overseas programs
In order to solve the problems caused by the Foreign Exchange Crisis, ChildFund Korea diversified its social welfare programs.
We integrated Children & Family Consulting Center to Social Welfare Center and broadened the scope of our welfare programs by opening Guro Community Welfare Center, Hansarang Residential Homes for Infants with Disabilities and Hansarang Special School.
Also, we opened 8 Child Protection Agencies. In 2003, the number of Foster Care Centers was increased to 10. In 2005, we opened an organization dedicated to finding the missing children after being entrusted the role by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Meanwhile, in 2002, we became a member of the ChildFund Alliance to carry out our overseas programs more actively and supported children in China, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Uganda.
Since 2001, we have been providing humanitarian and development assistance to North Korea, which included provision of nutrition and health programs.
Under the motto of "children are our future", ChildFund Korea become the representative of child advocacy.
on the Rights of the Child, ChildFund Korea set children as the target of our welfare programs and changed our name to ChildFund Korea in January 2008.
In order to prevent and protect children from violence and abuse, we introduced the CAP, the practical program for violence against children in 2009, and we also campaigned for the support of child victims of sexual abuse and passed a bill for repeal of the statute of limitations on the sexual violence against children.
ChildFund Korea continues to work with organizations and citizens from all walks of life to promote the culture of giving.
We create a world where children are happy by collaborating with various organizations and citizens. ChildFund Korea has become the global NGO for child advocacy which helps children in Korea, as well as around the world.