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Christian Children's Fund

file # CCF-134

Home Name:  Ethel Underwood Home
Project Number:  1500
Country:  Korea 

1.  History

            In August, 1948 when the Korean society was in the state of extreme chaos affected by political unrest, Mrs. Ethel Underwood, wife of the late Dr. Underwood founded this Home for the purpose of providing proper accommodation, protection and education with Christian spirit to those poverty-stricken young girls who came up blindly to Seoul from rural villages and those orphans who were wandering from place to place.

            In October, 1948 Mrs. Ethel Underwood purchased a site of 1,478 pyung in area located at #136, Chungam-dong, Yongsan-ku, Seoul and built a two-story brick building of 75 pyung in floor space on the site.  At the beginning 7 young girls were accommodated and the necessary procedures for the permission of the newly established Korean government were proceeded when Mrs. Ethel Underwood was beaten brutally to death by a young Korean Communist terrorist on March 17, 1949.

            In April, 1949, the Board of Directors of the Home decided to name this Home as Ethel Underwood Girls' Home (in English) in commemoration of her dedicated philanthropical works in Korea and Mrs. Soon Ae Lee was inaugurated as the superintendent of the Home.

            In August, 1949 the Home was authorized officially as an incorporated foundation by the Minister of Social Affairs of our government.  At the time of the strategic retreat of the UN Forces from the capital city, Seoul on January 4, 1951 during the Korean War, 18 inmates were successfully evacuated to Cheju island by the help of the late Dr. Underwood.

            In March, 1951 the Home was admitted to the Christian Children's Fund (CCF) and began to receive subsidy for living of the inmates from CCF every month.

            In May, 1952 Mrs. Kyung Hwa Lee, the then Secretary General of the Foundation in Seoul, accommodated temporarily 24 young girls in the Home of Dr. Ilhan Won, the eldest son of the late Mrs. Ethel Underwood at 111, Kyobok-dong, Suhdaemun-ku, Seoul.  During this period 22 inmates were not get together until May 8, 1953 due to war-destruction of the main Home building at Chogam-dong. 

            This Home placed under direct supervision of CCF after the end of July, 1953 due to financial difficulty of the Foundation was fortunate enough to rehabilitate the war-destructed Home building in March, 1954 with the assistance of CCF, AKF and AFAK through strenuous efforts of Mrs. Adams and other 2 missionary wives.  The 42 inmates moved to the newly rehabilitated Home building on September 15, 1955 and released thereupon from the direct supervision of CCF. 




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