By Feature Editor Lee Sam-sun
“Ladies and gentlemen, and the boys and girls of all the countries of the world, I am very proud of all of you, and especially those living in Korea!”
So said Chairman Shin Kwang-yul of the International Conference on Foreigners Welfare (ICFW) in the forward on his Internet.
On May 1 this year, Chairman Shin invited this writer together with his editor (Mr. Kevin Lee) to a friendly luncheon in Seoul, where discussion and exchange of views took place, predominantly on ways to further improve the relations, cooperation and friendship between Korea and the all the countries of the world through the members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps (SDC), an organization of the ambassadors and their spouses in Korea.
The ICFW, which he led, was dedicated to the promotion of welfare and relations between all the countries diplomatically represented in Korea with their countries in all areas.
Chairman Shin and The Korea Post media representatives discussed a wide range of topics with a view to further promoting the ties and cooperation between Korea and all the countries of the world through the members of the SDC in Korea.
His point of view learned at this meeting could be summarized as follows:
All the ladies and gentlemen living in Korea from various countries of the world, your children, boys and girls.
I am very proud of the accreditation and presence of all the members of the SDC together with the National Flags of all the countries you represent in Korea.
I hope you will all have a wonderful time throughout the entire span of your tour of duty in Korea and after the tour is over, and take home good memories and nothing but fond recollections.
God bless you, your family and your country and people!
Here is an introduction of the International Conference on Foreigners Welfare:
We are home leavers, and therefore we are foreigners.
In this era of rising globalization, every passing day is very important to each and every one. But not every person is fortunate to live and enjoy the bountiful of life together with their family.
Unconsciously, there are some people who choose to spend half of their entire life without their families. But do people know who these people are? Who are these people who feel very lonely, empty, clueless and suffering a lot of sacrifices?
They are the foreigners. And sometimes they are also referred to as ‘aliens’ in the society. Regrettably, they are the ones who sometimes are abused and discriminated by others. Even, sometimes, they are not fully accepted in the society.
According to statistics, currently about two million foreigners live in Korea. And several other millions of people are visiting Korea every year.
And so, gradually, the number of foreigners in Korea are increasing every year. The conditions of some foreigners here are grave and the situations are very painful. Sometimes they still have doubt as to what they really want to do--due to lack of knowledge about the new environment and lack of companion.
Korea is admired around the world for her great achievements and accomplishments. More and more international business companies are coming to do business in Korea.
More and more foreigners are becoming aware of Korea's long history and become curious about the culture and people of Korea.
Increased contacts between Koreans and foreigners in Korea is thought to have somewhat created a measure of pressure on the Korean society that has long lived in relative isolation from other peoples of the world.
We have a mission.
And the mission is to promote the welfare and well-being of the multicultural society and protect the rights of the foreigners living in Korea. We are making efforts to make ourselves (ICFW) a place which could be considered the ‘Second Home of Foreigners’ in Korea.
We believe that this could be possible. To make this happen we conduct researches, survey and try to acquire answers to a wide variety of questionnaire based on which we could undertake action at all possible levels for the purpose of improvement of conditions in Korea for the benefit of all the foreign residents in Korea.
We are focusing our efforts on preventing possible abuse of the rights and benefits of all the foreigners living in Korea through the use all means available at the ICFW.
We want to build a strong channel of communication with all the members of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, as well as the ambassadors, counselors, secretaries and other representative personnel from all different embassies in Korea. We try to find ways to find a solution to all the exiting issues faced by some foreigners living here in the Republic of Korea—in order to insure the best and most comfortable living while in Korea.
We are the ICFW believe in the creation of a society where all human beings are protected and preserved--politically conscious, socially responsive and economically empowered.
--Serve and support all the foreigners to insure a graceful, dignified and satisfied living.
--Try to create a healthy and hassle-free society for them in Korea.
--Try to safeguard the rights of every member of the international community in Korea, and find solutions to all the issues that might arise in connection with the members with a view to securing good bonding between the foreign residents and visitors to Korea and the Korean people.
--Try to offer support and assistance for the successful hosting of International Conferences on Foreigners Welfare with an aim to promoting the convenience and welfare of all the people, either local or foreign, in this country regardless of their cast, religion or color of skin with an aim to seeking happy bonding together among all of them, freedom and a life of true joy and happiness.
Aims and objectives of the ICFW:
--To provide appropriate programs such as educational and social programs for the people who desire and deserve them.
--To study social and cultural issues in the interest of promoting the benefits of foreigners such as the multicultural society in Korea.
--To offer all foreigners legal advice and protections from possible instances of undue social abuses against them.
--ICFW wants to serve the citizens of the countries of the world living in this country to motivate them to adopt a positive and constructive approach and mobilize their creative energies to build a proper means of communication among all the foreign residents in Korea and between them and the Korean society.
Message of the ICFW to all the foreign residents in Korea and Korean society:
The ICFW wants to encourage all of the people and organizations to join hands together to work and live together with foreign residents in Korea who are an integral part of the Korean society.
This organization hopes that foreigners will gladly appreciate the motivation and support of ICFW. We hope that all the foreign nationals in Korea will consider the ICFW organization as if it were one of their own. The ICFW is all their own in case they need a shelter or a family while visiting and/or living in Korea.
ICFW believes that the local residents in Korea will cooperate and participate in all the activities of this Multicultural Society because if all local and foreign residents’ bond together and help each other, then they and we all become one—with the result the Republic of Korea, together with them, will become better and better!