Continuing Pearl Buck’s Legacy in Korea
Pearl S. Buck Foundation Korea (PSBFK) was founded as the first South Korean institution specializing in caring for Korean American biracial children born as a result of the Korean War.
Multicultural families formed by marriages between Koreans and immigrants are becoming increasingly common in South Korea and experience numerous difficulties caused by economic responsibilities, roles for child-rearing, and the blending of diverse cultures. This is the population served by PSBFK.
COVID’s Impact on Multicultural Families
The spread of COVID-19 in 2020 added to these difficulties. COVID-19 shrank economic activities in most sectors and low-income families among the multicultural community experienced difficulties in making ends meet. Foreign members of multicultural families are the first to be let go from jobs or denied work opportunities. In rural and fishing areas, Multicultural Family Support Centers were closed, leaving those served vulnerable to isolation and without COVID-19 safety measures.
How PSBFK Helped Make Life Better for Those in Need
In the face of these challenges, PSBFK’s main projects were focused on measures to prevent at-risk multicultural families from being even more isolated in society.
•PSBFK conducted seven projects supporting about 770 households(2,300 people), including providing emergency COVID-19livelihood support, providing daily necessities and groceries for national feasts such as the Lunar New Year and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day), and distributing winter clothes for the Christmas season.
•As the transition to online classes for students and the reduction of educational support for children in vulnerable communities persisted, PSBFK implemented scholarship support, literature and Korean traditional music classes through Pearl S. Buck AfterschoolAcademy as well as on-line and off-line multicultural understanding education forstudents.•Annual scholarships were offered to more than 900 children from multicultural families.
•PSBIK signed a project cooperation agreement with governmental institutions to establish close networks of support. Also, an active effort was made to promote Pearl Buck’s legacy, by playing a key role as adviser for diverse projects organized by Bucheon City, where the Foundation is located.
•PSBFK took part in support projects for Amerasian youth and helped to prepare a translation of the autobiography of JulieHenning, an Amerasian who was raised as Pearl S. Buck’sdaughter. PSBFK also assisted with the operation of the KoreaPearl S. Buck ResearchAssociation and activities of the steering committee of PearlS. Buck Memorial Hall.
The staff of PSBFK know they are able to carry out their mission thanks to loyal sponsors, sponsoring companies, and devoted staff members. 2021 is the 90th anniversary of the publication of Pearl S. Buck’s famous novel, The Good Earth, which PSBFK is commemorating through the continued work to promote the legacy of Pearl Buck’s philanthropic spirit.
PSBFK extends its deepest gratitude and blessing to all those accompanying them in this important mission.