Pacific Stars and Stripes,
Oct. 29, 1952
WITH UNCACK, Oct. 29- The little
boy looked about three years old as he squatted shivering outside
the overseas telephone exchange in downtown Pusan. He has only a pair
of drawers and one rubber shoe with a blackened foot inside.
An American sergeant, about to call home, took
his field jacket and put it snuggly around the small child while an
American officer rubbed the child to warm him.
"SEEMS EVERYBODY has troubles,"
said the sergeant. "I was raised an orphan myself. Wonder what we
should do about him?"
Almost with his words a Korean official appeared.
He squatted to talk with the little child in Korean. "He has no mother
and father," he told the two Americans. "I will take him to the Happy
The Happy Mountain orphanage is only one of many
orphanages in Korea today which are making use of supplies given by
such voluntary organizations as American Relief for Korea (ARK) to
help with the staggering problem of abandoned and parentless children
SUPPLIES BROUGHT in through the Civil Relief in
Korea program are distributed by the United Nations Civil Assistance
Command Korea, (UNCACK) to Republic of Korea welfare agencies on jointly
Seriousness of the problem, obvious to anyone
who walks Korea's streets, together with measures being taken to meet
it was outlined recently by Aage M. Peterson, public welfare officer
"The problem of abandoned children
has existed in Korea ever since the Communists invaded South Korea
in June, 1950," says Peterson.
HE POINTED OUT that when U.N. forces met such
children, especially boys, they took care of them for a long while.
"They soon discovered that
this was quite a pleasant life," Peterson continued. "Other boys who
had their parents became aware of the fact and left their homes in
the south and followed the forces north. In their eyes it sometimes
even became profitable in both financial terms and freedom from discipline
to become an 'orphan' ."
Many such have since been removed from troops
for security reasons as well as the safety of the children.
"THE FACT THAT many of them
have been so attracted to their new adventurous life (and often escape)
has posed a problem for the hard-pressed authorities, who are sometimes
forced to round up the beggar boys again.
In order to overcome this problem, new children's
homes have been established with U.N. help throughout South Korea.
One such was the recent home at Sokok, five miles south of Wonju.
It began operating recently when 113 such boys were collected from
Wonju streets. Many of them were in miserable condition, suffering
from malnutrition and lack of sufficient clothing.
TWO DAYS AFTER its opening, 60 bales of used clothing
arrived in Wonju, part of an ARK donation. Two bales immediately went
to the new home, where the clothing was distributed to those who needed
In September, allocations of ARK clothing included
423 bales of clothing and 82 bags of shoes and clothing-gifts from
hundreds of American homes-while in October allocations totaled 591
bales of ARK clothing and 75 bags and boxes of shoes and clothing.
SO THE BATTLE goes on to care for war's greatest
victims-the orphans. It is a gigantic operation that requires heavy
commitments not only from governments but private organizations like
ARK, whose pointed slogan is:
"Him that hath two coats let
him give to him that hath none."