3 April 1953
Children of Widowed Mothers
Also in Serious Situation-
Private Gifts Here Urged
The desperate situation of thousands of children
in South Korea is being eased as best it may be by efforts of
the Korean people, the United States military forces, United Nations
agencies and church-sponsored organizations. Nevertheless, if
these children are to get anything like the care they need, American
families must realize their plight and support voluntary efforts
to help them. Leonard W. Mayo, who returned last week from Korea,
expressed this opinion in an interview yesterday.
Mr. Mayo, director of the Association for
the Aid of Crippled Children and vice president of the Child Welfare
League of America, went to Korea as a member of a group representing
the new American Korean Foundation.
Of 100,000 orphaned children, Mr. Mayo said
40,000 are in 350 to 400 "orphanages" in the cities and provinces.
However he said, it is doubtful if 500 of these youngsters are
receiving care equal to that which would be tolerated under the
lowest standards existing in the United States today.
"The American G.I. and
his officers," Mr. Mayo said, "have, as usual taken unfortunate
children to their hearts. Individual youngsters are often cared
for by groups of men. Some excellent centers have been set up
for others, organized and financed by military men. Unfortunately,
however, such efforts too often fall flat when the men primarily
responsible are transferred elsewhere. Plans and support are needed
for more stable and continuing facilities."
Although the situation of orphaned children
is desperate, he went on, the young of widowed mothers are also
in urgent need of help. A hundred fifty thousand women have lost
their husbands in the war. Some homes have been provided for them
and their children and in some places modest programs of trade-training
are under way in an effort to help the mothers become self-supporting.
Such efforts require large sums of money,
Mr. Mayo pointed out. Private contributions are needed to supplement
whatever public funds are made available. Such voluntary agencies
as church groups, the Salvation Army and the Committee for American
Remittances to Everywhere, Inc., would put to excellent use any
contributions earmarked for aid of Korean children, he said. Contributions
to the American Korean Foundation, 303 Lexington Avenue, specified
for child welfare, would be similarly applied, he added.