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September 17, 1953

Dr. J. Calvitt Clarke,
Christian Children's Fund, Inc.,
China Building
Richmond 4, Va.,

Dear Dr. Clarke,

            Mr. Mills has asked me to reply to a portion of your letter of September 4 in which you ask for information on Dr. Oh's Home.  I'll answer this in detail as best I can and get it off to you today as I note a conference is in the offing.  Mr. Mills' promise to have it in the mail on the 14th was difficult because of rushing the No. 2 forms, pictures, and No. 1 form of the Okinawa Airin En.  I sincerely hope this Home meets with your satisfaction.  A full report will be in the mail in a day or two.

            About Dr. Oh's Home, I say without fear of exaggeration that this is the high spot-the hope-the bright future of child welfare work in Korea.  I have been involved very closely with most of the various grandiose welfare agencies in Korea for a long time, and have listened to the loud vocal and hair tearing complaints of those in control, that the Koreans don't know how to take care of children.  The plaintiffs are right, dead right!  By what's to be done about it?  Perhaps I should ask, what has been done about it?  One thing is already being done; Christian Children's Fund is building the first cottage or family plan Home in Korea.  It is the first project built around the idea that an orphaned child is a human being that requires love and affection by a substitute "mother" in addition to the basic necessities of rice and shelter.

            Mrs. Ellis O. Briggs gave her unqualified praise to the Cottage plan project, five units of which have been completed (of a total of seven planned); her words were: "The Superintendents of other Homes in Korea must be told of this work.  They must come here to see what can be done.  The Christian Children's Home should serve as the model for child welfare institutions all over Korea."

            We have invested (or will have by the time the two additional units are completed), a total of $15,000 in these seven cottages.  Mr. Mills has forwarded a few pictures of these Homes that I took when I visited An Yang the middle of August.  At that time the interiors were not completed (they will have been at this writing.)  Dedication was slated for September 14 in the presence of many Church and U.N. dignitaries.

            There are several features of these cottages that are noteworthy.  One, of course, is the price.  Our investment comes to about $2,100 per cottage.  This is not the actual cost, however, because KCAC (the Korean Civil Assistance Command, formerly called the UN Civil Assistance Command) has donated some cement and some lumber.  Nevertheless, the completed units will cost less than $3,000 apiece which is something of a record.  This includes wiring, plumbing, roofing, flooring and all.

            Another noteworthy aspect of Korea's first child welfare institution (the other Homes are largely institutions with the word "welfare" difficult to include) is the fact that they utilize local architectural features.  The use of these features (namely, the "ondol" or radiant heating floors and tile Korean-style roofs which give the cottages an Oriental appearance) provide the children with the feeling that they live in Korea.  They will grow up in their own culture, adjusting themselves to the ways of their own people.  Too often in the grand plans made by some of the huge official agencies, there is the feeling that the children should live in the best Western traditions with carpeted floors and television sets and chicken every Sunday.  The children, however, when on their own, will not have any such luxuries.  Korea is hundreds of years behind the times as far as basic scientific improvements are concerned, let alone luxuries.  I don't mean to imply that our children will be living under hardship conditions.  A glance at the cottages should persuade anyone who has the slightest glimmer that Korea 1953 is all about that the children who live here are very, very fortunate indeed.  It is safe to say that the children who occupy-16 to a cottage-these family units will have a higher standard of living and better care than 95 per cent of Korean children with mothers and fathers.

            Every attempt will be made to develop individuality among the children.  Some of your listeners in the committee at the N.C.C. will doubtless have been to Korea.  They will have seen children literally herded into single rooms.  They will have gasped at scores of children using a single towel thus passing along all communicable diseases during each morning's toilet.  I saw with my own eyes a Home at Kusan-one which had applied for our support-where 120 children were jammed into two rooms with a total floor space of not more than 400 square feet.  They lived here not unlike the UN prisoners of war (whom I also saw) who complained of Communist tortures that included being put in a box too low to stand in and too narrow to sit in.  These 120 children, 60 to a single room, were almost in that plight as it was winter when I was there and they couldn't play outside.

            It is such treatment, born of ignorance, of children in orphanages that caused the first Rusk Commission (later to become America-Korea Foundation) investigating committee to write "there are not 50 orphanages in all of Korea that would meet the minimum requirements of orphanages in the United States."  It seems hardly necessary to point out that Korea is not the United States.  Also, I say with confidence that the 50 Homes implied by Rusk and company as meeting minimum U.S. requirements would include the 42 C.C.F. Homes.

            Contrast the children in the Kunsan Home with those who will occupy our model Christian Children's Home at An Yang!  No wonder Mrs. Briggs said with such emphasis that "this was the hope for the future of child welfare in Korea."  (Mrs. Briggs speaks with a good deal of knowledge because, as you can well-imagine, everyone with an axe to grind in raising orphanage money has asked her to visit this Home or that one.)  This "home" has been built right on top of the ruined Chrisitian Children's Home of 1950 where all of Dr. Oh's 150 children were killed by bombs.

            As soon as the cottage plan at the Chrisitian Children's Home is in operation (which will be by October 1 at the latest) we plan to start a training institute at the Home.  This will mean bringing together our 42 superintendents and the leading members of their staffs.  The details of this training program are yet to be worked out by, I might say that, this July Mr. Roe and Dr. Appenzeller conducted a two-day conference of C.C.F. superintendents in which the ground-work was laid for the actual setting up of the institute at An Yang.  Courses of at least six weeks length will be set up to give all members of the staffs of each Home a chance to study.  It may well be possible to include staffs and superintendents of other Homes in the future but with something over 5,150 children and more than 500 teachers and superintendents in our affiliated C.C.F. Homes charity will begin at Home and we will give instruction to our own first.

            As a sidelight to the development by C.C.F. of this first cottage plan Home in Korea I would like to quote from a letter to President Rhee.  The largest item among the first donations of the America-Korea Foundation announced August 27 in Seoul was the following, numbered 33 in the Foundation's report to the ROK President:

"Project for Training of Orphanage Directors and Workers -- $35,000

            To establish a personnel training program in orphanages, other institutions and selected colleges and universities by providing experienced foreign child welfare experts to work with the Ministry of Social Affairs, voluntary organizations and UNKRA (the UN Korean Reconstructions Agency)."

Immediately following this item are the following two, numbered 34 and 35:

"Improvement of Standards of Care in Orphanages -- $5,000.

            To provide two experienced Korean child welfare workers to the Ministry of Social Affairs work toward improvement of the standards of care in orphanages and other child welfare institutions."

"Establishment of Model Child Welfare Institution -- $15,000.

            To provide personnel, training and supplies to create a model demonstration program in a selected orphanage."

            It is most interesting to me that C.C.F. has already constructed a new project that will provide opportunities for the accomplishment of each of these three items that the America-Korea Foundation considered priority matters.  In No. 33, the project for the training of Orphanage Directors and Workers, another amount of $35,000 has been set aside for 1954.  It would be most desirable if the National Council of Churches of Christ in America could make proper contact with the America-Korea Foundation and let them know that C.C.F. has already set-up (and this from plans two years old) a model Home, a place and plans for training institute and is, through its regular giving to 42 Homes and more than 5,000 children, seeking to raise the standards of all Korea's orphanages.

            Perhaps you'll need a few more details on Dr. Oh's project.  Dr. Oh's full name is K.S. Oh.  He is a medical doctor and was president of the medical college connected with Severance Hospital in Seoul for many years.  He is a graduate of the University of Louisville in Kentucky.  He is one of Korea's outstanding men in every way.  One son, who died two years ago, was the Minister of Health of the ROK government.

            We have 140 acres of lovely farm and hillside forest land at the Home.  The children learn agricultural vocations (if they desire), as well as tailoring, leather-working and animal husbandry.  These 140 acres are all paid for, by the way, and produce grapes, rice, barley, vegetables of all kinds, chestnuts and melons in ample quantity for the children with enough left over for sale, thus providing a regular income in addition to the C.C.F. subsidy.

            We are giving our $4 per month per child support to 143 children in the Home.  We ask Dr. Oh, as we ask all our superintendents, to use our money for these priority items for the children: food (especially protein and mineral foods in addition to the rice ration provided by KCAC), clothing (especially school uniforms that Dr. Oh and his staff could not provide without our money), school tuition and school books and supplies, medicine and medical attention.  Though KCAC provides vaccinations and immunizations, regular medical attention just could not be afforded for our Homes prior to C.C.F. subsidization.  Medicine, all having to be purchased at black market prices, was another impossibility.  Dr. Oh being an MD obviated the No. 4 requirements but he and the superintendent, Dr. Yum Dong Ha, of the Dong Sung Orphanage (Babies' Home) in Pusan are the only two of our superintendents who are so qualified.  For any who think C.C.F. simply gives without thought to supervision it should be said that we demand official receipts plus financial statements from each Home each month.  Mr. Roe and/or I have visited each of our Homes (sometimes several times) during the past year.  We have a stipulation that no more than 10 percent of the C.C.F. subsidy can be spent for any one item without the approval of the Korea office in Pusan which, if in doubt, can present the matter to the Korea advisory committee.

            The fact that C.C.F. has an office in Korea with an efficient staff is a matter of importance.  Our executive secretary for Korea is Mr. Roe Chin Bak, the former Deputy Minister of Education for the ROK government.  He is a man of a great deal of integrity and an interest and experience in child welfare commensurate to his responsibility for the "feeding of the 5,000."  Four young men and women, all college graduates, assist Mr. Roe in clerical and administrative work which, under the still prevailing war conditions, are extremely difficult and often just plain impossible.

            Christian Children's Fund has its own property in Korea in addition to the investment at An Yang.  I refer to our home for Mr. Roe and the attached three offices and conference rooms.  Our property is equal to any mission property I have seen in Korea, and superior to most.  The upstairs is a two-room Western-style apartment (sans water and other facilities at the moment) but suitable for quarters for foreign guests or permanent bachelor's quarters.  This property is across the street from the guests or permanent bachelor's quarters and across the street from the French Embassy and next door to three American Embassy residences.  (Its view of Pusan City and bay is lovely, indeed.)  Our investment here is HW 1,400,000, or, about $6,000.  The property is registered under the juridical person of Christian Children's Fund, Inc. in Korea.  Also, under new regulations by the Korean government, each of our Homes must be registered as juridical persons.  This requires property holdings of about $4,500 and money or negotiable securities in the amount of $1,500.  If the Homes desire, the government will allow them to register under the organizational person of the Chrisitian Children's Fund with a waiver of the money or negotiable securities' requirement.  Several of our Homes are doing this in return for which we require that they insert the following three articles in their constitutions:

1. In the case of disposing of foundation property when there is absolute necessity for achieving the object of this person, the consent of all members of the Board of Directors and the written permission of the Christian Children's Fund, Incorporated, must first be obtained.

2. This juridical person shall be affiliated with the Christian Children's Fund, Incorporated, which organization will appoint three members of the Board of Directors.

3. This constitution may be changed by a resolution of three-fourths of the Board of Directors. This juridical person can be dissolved by the unanimous consent of the Board of Directors but the written permission of Christian Children's Fund, Incorporated, must be obtained.

I have gone into these details of legal functions only to allay the fears of many who have thought C.C.F. and other organizations like us are pumping money into Korea without rhyme or reason and without protections of the investment or assurance that the money won't be misused.  This may be true of other organizations; for the above reasons, it is not true of C.C.F.

Backing up Mr. Roe and his office in Pusan is the Korea Advisory Committee composed of the leaders in missionary welfare work in Korea.  Dr. Henry Appenzeller, director of CWS in Korea, is Chairman.  Vice Chairman is Dr. K. S. Oh.  William Coston of the YMCA, Esther Park of the YWCA, Col. Widdowson of the Salvation Army.  Dr. Anderson of the Australian Presbyterian Mission, Rev. John Underwood of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. A., Dr. Fraser of the United Church of Canada are committee members.  Rev. M. Olin Burkholder of the Methodist Board of Missions is the C.C.F. treasurer who succeeded Rev. Charles A. Sauer, also of the Methodists.  Both these men have done wonderful jobs of handling C.C.F.'s ever-increasing and now more-than-substantial budget.  The members of the committee have been faithful in attending meetings and active in helping administer the work of C.C.F. that has progressed from 1949 with such rapidity as to stagger the imagination.

With this background of statistics and information it may mean more to your listeners when you point out that Christian Children's Fund, Inc. has by far the largest program of direct help to orphaned children of any organization, UN, U.S. missionary or other in Korea.  We have Homes in all provinces but Kang Wan Do (half of which has been so badly infested by guerillas as to make travel extremely dangerous).  Our only competitor to date has been the immense joint U.S. Army and U.N. KCAC which has been providing rice, CARE boxes, clothing and medical aid to all Homes in Korea.  They have provided no financial aid with which the Homes could buy specific requirements.  C.C.F. has sought to co-ordinate its giving with KCAC in requesting superintendents to purchase items not provided by that agency.

Numerically the 5,150 children we are helping is more than 12 percent of all children in institutions in Korea.  At present, according to latest figures released by UNKRA (which agree with those released by the ROK Welfare Ministry) there are slightly fewer than 40,000 children in Homes in South Korea.  Our nearest competitors in sponsorship programs haven't nearly approached what we are already accomplishing.  Foster Parent's Plan hadn't started disbursements, according to Mr. Roe, by the 1st of September.  They are still only a "Plan" in Korea though this plan will eventually help about 1,000 children, some in orphanages, many not.  The Save the Children organization is reported to be getting ready to help something over 600 children.  Their disbursements hadn't started by September 1, this year, either.

Among these huge multi-million dollar agencies, there seem to be so many of them they stumble over each other.  And their administration costs can be seen swarming the streets of Pusan and Seoul in the form of new Dodge sedans and station wagons.  I won't criticize further but will satisfy myself by quoting from the following very official publication, nicely bound in booklet form and entitled "United Nations, Third Addendum to the Report of the Agent General of the United Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency."  Item No. 45 under Health, Sanitation and Welfare states:

"At the present time there are 317 orphanages in South Korea caring for approximately 38,700 children.  As a result of hostilities and of the tremendous increase in child welfare problems it is estimated that there are about 80,000 children in need of some type of care or maintenance, and there is a critical need for additional space for the care of children.  UNKRA has budgeted $25,000 to provide building materials, supplies and equipment; procurement has been started and seven installations have been selected for extension."

Underlines are my own!  The significant fact is this:  UNKRA's original budget was something over $70,000,000.  This was for 1952.  Their current budget is $130,000,000.  And yet, Christians Children's Fund gives to children each month the total of what UNKRA has allocated to care for the 38,700 children in institutions and the 80,000 who are not for, I assume, the period of an entire year.

The America-Korea Foundation under Rusk, Van Fleet and others is slightly more hopeful because it is only semi-official.  15 Homes (6 of which are probably ours) received gifts of $250 in the first Rusk disbursement on August 27 this year.  The Ethel Underwood Memorial Home received $2,500 for building reconstruction in Seoul.  Except for this gift it is significant that our monthly help to each of the other Homes was greater than this gift by Rusk, though we deeply appreciate their assistance and look forward to more according to their letter to President Rhee which states they still hold three million dollars worth of funds.

No report on Korea would be complete without mentioning our $1,600 per month aid to Mrs. O. K. Whang's "Orphan's Home of Korea."  Hers is the largest Home in Korea with nearly 700 children.  Ours is her only regular support.

Also noteworthy is the fact that C.C.F. helps six babies' homes, the most desperately needy institutions in Korea by nature of their care for infants who die from disease and malnutrition most easily.

I submit this with the hope that it will answer the questions of the members of the conference to whom you will be reporting.  In a day or two I shall prepare a more comprehensive report on Korea, giving additional details on others of our 42 Homes.

Yours very truly,


Field Supervisor.                       




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