Pacific Stars & Stripes, Nov. 17, 1953
SEOUL, Nov. 17 (Pac. S&S)- One hundred forty
orphans in this city are suffering in bitter cold, unheated rooms
these frigid nights-members of the Belgian Orphanage and Hospital
who may even find themselves without a roof over their heads if the
orphanage does not get financial support from someone within less
than a month. Moreover, there are 75 patients in the heated but still
cold hospital-25 of them suffering with tuberculosis.
Unless someone comes to help Director Andre Motte
de Falisse, he will definitely have to give up the hospital and perhaps
the orphanage. That would mean that most of his TB patients
would have nowhere to go, because, he says, facilities for treating
TB in Korea are packed.
It takes at least $1,000 a month to run the hospital
and orphanage properly, says Falisse. But he is squeezing by
The young patients aren't getting enough to eat
and because he can not afford to buy enough fuel for his two space
heaters, they are suffering in the late autumn cold.
The children literally do not know where their
next meal is coming from. But, somehow, Falisse and his small
staff of Koreans manage to keep them from starving.
The orphans range in age from less than a month
to 18. Some of the hospital patients are babies; some ancient Koreans
who have been there many months, quietly suffering from a variety
In the rooms where the smaller children live, they
sleep two in an Army cot. Their two to three blankets are not
enough in the unheated rooms.
One of the prized possessions in both hospital
and orphanage is a sleeping bag and there are very few.
Most of the kids go to school, but those who don't
have to stay in the cold rooms during the day.
The hospital patients, many of them bedridden for
years, are cared for by two Korean doctors, one a man and the other
a woman, and two nurses.
The director, who drives himself day and night,
explained the 2-year-old orphanage had seen better days when it got
help from military units and other organizations. But for various
reasons, this help was withdrawn. Nor has he had any recent offers.
A chaplain from the 25th Div. visited him not long
ago with some ideas about a Christmas party, but that is all.
Falisse said that if he does not get help soon
there will not be any children left there to have any Christmas party.
He is hoping that some U.N. military unit will
"adopt" his establishment. Under the Armed Forces
Assistance Program, he believes there is a chance that some unit will
give him support.
By S/Sgt. Bob McNeill