On June 29th, 9th Giving Knowledge Network Co-Planned Forum was held under the theme of “The Role of Private Non-profit Organizations for Youth Preparing for Independence(YPI).” Introducing cases organized by each institution, related to YPI, the presenters delivered suggestions to non-profit organizations, enterprises, and policy makers.
Keynote Presentation: Professor Jung, Sun Wook at the Department of Social Welfare at Duksung Women’s University, ‘Towards Making New Self-Reliance “Together“ with Youth Preparing for Independence’
Professor Jung Sun-wook provided an understanding of interdependence as the basis of human interaction through the theory of recognition. She argued that the only way to be strong-willed to live is to be recognized (love, respect, and value) by others, and those acts drive force for the social justice rules. Professor Jung said it is necessary to look at whether equal decision-making and sufficient recognition appear in the relationship or this environment is being created.
Professor Jung also pointed out to support self-reliance, so YPI can make self-determination with responsibility as an adult, by changing the term to “Youth Preparing for Independence” from the current passive term “Orphange graduates.”
Professor mentioned joint production, not just about advocacy and capacity building, but about working together to find practical ways. It is necessary to design and produce together in an equal, mutual, and beneficial partnership.
Kim So Young, a researcher at the Community Chest of Korea, ‘The Achievements and Tasks of the Hope Didimdol Project’
Researcher Kim So Young stated that children in care should gradually prepare for the self-reliance, starting from the perspective of children in care. Since the main change during transition period is the change of habitation, housing problems should be solved in the residence conversion’s point of view.
According to the research on the actual condition about the most difficult one happened during the transition period of YPI, the change in housing is the one. The strategy that provides independent residential space tends to deepen the possibility of being isolated in the community, so the research suggests to offer various appropriate housing options. Therefore, Hope-Didimdol project was launched due to the need in “residence turning point” that can be gradually changed.
This project provided preparation and experience for “stable independence,” which is children in care and YPI’s biggest desire. It also showed the effect of supporting YPIs to stand on their feet in a steady state by providing information on financial and career exploration. The project, furthermore, presented a private-led social service governance model with the local government as the central figure.
Last but not least, all efforts need to be focused on strengthening the self-reliance capabilities of children in care and YPI, emphasizing the importance of the social relationship, which helps to prevent the alienation.
Hong Na Mi, a professor of social welfare at Suwon Science College, “A Photovoice Study on the Experience of Self-help Groups for Youth Preparing for Emancipation: Focusing on Family Foster Care”
When ChildFund Korea providing emotional and economic support for YPI. it found out social support system can help to strengthen YPI’s self-reliance capabilities. Therefore, a photo-voice study was conducted on the role of self-help groups that are for fostering the supportive system.
* Photovoice Study: Participatory behavioral research methods that promote social change by revealing the implications of photographic images and experiences and emotions in selected photos after participants take pictures of research topics and select photos to discuss within the group (Wang & Burris, 1997; Li, Wang, Wu, Zhang et al., 2001).
Using the photovoice method, the experiences and voices of the isolated people are recorded in the community, participants can clearly understand their situation by discussing about, and reflecting on the subject of photography. In this way, it may affect policy makers, which leads to a better condition, and develop their lives on their own.
As a result of collecting photovoice of seven people, it turned out self-help groups are the asset for a continuous and healthy relationship, and the informal self-reliance support that supplements official system.
In addition, she stated that in order to form self-help groups and spread its need, the manager should be allocated, so support must be actively carried out. To form sense of kinship and a solid social supportive system, it is recommended for children in care to participate in self-help group during adolescence.
Kim Seong Sik, a manager at the Beautiful Foundation Youth Project Team, “The Subjecthood of Supporting Youth Preparing Independence: Focusing on The Beautiful Foundation’s 18 Years Old Adult Campaign.”
The Beautiful Foundation launched the “18 Years Old Adult Campaign” in 2019 to raise the public’s awareness of YPI and to change what’s happening around YPI in public.
The campaigners played an autonomous role by directly opening their names and faces, delivering their own stories. They revealed that they participated in the campaign with a responsibility to prevent risks that YPI will encounter, to promote changes in welfare policies with awareness of the problems. As they showed up their faces and names by themselves, they tried to escape the typical frame in the video, going against the form of poverty porn that induces intentional and sadistic sympathy.
Until now, 13 campaigners and 17 subjects have been proceeding the campaign, and introduced the projects as follows, based on the campaigners’ awareness of problems.
Example 1) Ahn Yeon Joo Project: [Fairy tale book] To my young whale
Example 2) Joo Kyung Min Project: [Illustration] In Desert, Somehow
Example 3) Son Ja-young Project: [‘Orphan’ character in the media] Media parody illustration
Through this forum, the participants learned about each institution’s YPI support project, and how they discuss to deal with the issue of YPI from various points of view.