Seoul International Womenâ€™s Association Seoul Finance Center Level 21, 136 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea 04520 www.siwakorea.com Stay connected:
eoul International Women’s Association experienced another banner year of friendship, enrichment and charity in 2017-2018. We selected All Love School (ALS), an alternative multicultural middle school, as SIWA Philanthropy Project grant recipient. ALS received KRW 20 milllion to initiate and implement programs at the school that are making a difference on the lives of their students. Two additional rounds of funding will be awarded to ALS in the next two years. Philanthropy Initiative was launched with the goal and vision of funding organizations that can deliver measurable, scalable and enduring impact in the community. SIWA is investing in solutions. And we are proud to be part of such solution at All Love School as they equalize the educational playing field for the disadvantaged multicultural students. Run by 100% volunteers, SIWA continues to maintain her strong ties with the host country. Our members planned and executed two flagship fundraising events, 55th SIWA & Diplomatic Community Bazaar and Annual Charity Gala, benefiting organizations that support children and adults with intellectual/physical disabilities, orphans, multicultural students and homeless youth. It is a privilege and honor to be in great company of women who have hearts for others. Our members’ commitment to service is second to none. Our Core Values define our character and ethos, and to further enhance our vision for SIWA, we now have the SIWA Inclusive Statement that explicitly expresses our commitment to the fundamental principles of inclusion. Our members hail from over 40 different countries and the convergence of varied life experiences and perspectives adds significant value to our community and reinforces the concept of inclusivity. I am excited that a new team of leaders is navigating SIWA. On May 1st, I proudly, and with great confidence, passed on the baton to Robin Carney. Under her leadership, SIWA will continue to successfully enhance lives through friendship, enrichment and charity. I hope you’ll enjoy our second publication of A Year in Review. Sincerely, Anne K. Choe President Emerita
SEOUL INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION MEMBERS
hail from 40 different countries with diverse experiences. Our differences make us unique, and for more than six decades SIWA has championed this very idea in Seoul by bringing together women from around the world for friendship, enrichment and charity. We embrace cultural variables—ethnicity, age, beliefs, experience, linguistic background, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, political and ideological viewpoints, and socioeconomic status—and it is the inclusion of these diverse experiences and perspectives that makes our interactions rich and vibrant. SIWA’s programs and activities foster cultural competence and
seek to provide ways for members to learn about different cultures, traditions, customs, and practices. SIWA is committed to the fundamental principles of inclusion
and equality; therefore, we focus on building an inclusive environment which enables us to perform at our best, ensuring the differences work for the benefit of both the individual and the association. The principles by which we operate are clearly reflected in SIWA Core Values. It is the policy of Seoul International Women’s Association not to discriminate based on age, disability, race, religion, marital status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation. SIWA takes inclusion and diversity seriously. We are open to
opportunities that are inclusive of the entire SIWA membership base and therefore do not participate in activities and events that exclude, intentionally or otherwise, any segment of the association’s membership.
서울국제여성협회(이하 SIWA)는 전세계 약 40
개국에서 온 다양한 경험을 가진 회원들이 함께 하 고 있습니다.
SIWA는 서울에서 세계 여성이 함
께 우정을 나누고 서로의 삶을 풍요롭게 하며 자 선행사 등의 후원활동을 통해 60년 이상 그 남다
른 면모를 이어오고 있습니다. 우리는 민족성, 나 이, 신념, 경험, 언어, 국적, 종교, 성적성향, 정치적
이념과 관점, 사회 경제적 지위 등의 문화적 다양성 을 포용합니다.
그리고 이런 다양성과 이념적인 관점들의 포용이
회원들의 상호관계를 더욱 풍요롭고 활기차게 하 고 있습니다.
SIWA의 프로그램과 활동들은 각각의 문화적 역
량을 발전시키고 회원들이 다른 문화와 전통, 풍습,
포용성과 개방성의 원칙
관례 등을 배우는 방법들을 모색합니다. SIWA는 포용과 평등이라는 기본적인 원칙을 약속 합니다. 우리는 회원들이 최고의 성취를 이룰 수 있
는 포용적인 환경을 만드는데 초점을 두고, 개인과 협회 모두의 이익을 위해 노력합니다.
서울국제여성협회는 나이, 능력, 장애, 인종, 종교, 혼인여부, 국적, 민족, 성적성향에 기반하여 차별을
두지 않으며 이것은 SIWA의 핵심가치이며 명백 한 원칙입니다.
SIWA는 포용성과 개방성을 중요하게 생각합니
다. 우리는 모든 회원을 포괄적으로 아우르는 기회 는 적극 수용하지만 의도적이든 그렇지 않든, 협회 원칙을 한 부분이라도 거스르는 활동이나 행사에 는 참여하지 않는 원칙을 고수합니다.
In March 2017, the SIWA Nominating Committee announced the yearâ€™s Executive Committee. All of the officers, with the exception of Laura Engerman, renewed their terms. Anne Choe / President email@example.com Anne currently serves as President of SIWA. An American citizen from the Washington, DC, area, she has been an active member of the association since joining in January 2014. Anne served as President from 2015 to the spring of 2018, Chair of the 2015 Annual Charity Gala, vendor manager for Coffee Mornings and has been closely involved in the activities of the Welfare Committee. As a former education management consultant, she is passionate about serving underrepresented students. She is currently mentoring multicultural middle school students in Seoul.
Robin Carney / Vice President, Brand Communications firstname.lastname@example.org Robin joined SIWA in August 2015 and served as Newsletter Manager from 2015 to 2016. A dual AmericanPortuguese citizen, after finishing her MBA, she worked for Deloitte as a management consultant in New York and Lisbon. She then moved into the nonprofit sector, managing fundraising and communications projects for breast cancer charities in Portugal and Belgium. After 15 years in Europe, Robin and her family moved to Seoul and are excited to explore Asia.
Laura Engerman / Board Administrator email@example.com Laura joined SIWA in August 2016 upon her arrival in Seoul and has actively participated in a wide spectrum of SIWA events. Prior to her move, she worked as a healthcare management consultant in Chicago and continues to work remotely part-time from Seoul. During university, Laura lived in Shanghai to study Chinese and is thrilled to be back in Asia. She enjoys traveling, playing sports and learning Korean.
Sandhya Ramabadran / Treasurer; firstname.lastname@example.org Sandhya is a native of India and has worked for over eight years in the banking and financial services industry. She has held the position of Treasurer since 2016. Prior to that, she served with SIWA as a planning team member for the 2015 SIWA & Diplomatic Community Bazaar and as Website Content Manager. She spends her time these days with Korean language classes and taking in the sights and sounds of Seoul. She enjoys traveling, music and reading.
Linda Lee / Treasurer; email@example.com Linda spent years working in Los Angeles and New York museums, cultural centers and a charitable foundation before relocating to Seoul. Formerly the leader of Moms & Tots, Linda has been on the Treasury Team since 2014. When she is not helping at a SIWA event, Linda and her sons can be found playing at local parks and riding bikes along the Han River.
Mhyla Borkowski / Vice President, Operations firstname.lastname@example.org Mhyla currently serves as Vice President of Operations of SIWA, a position she has held since 2015. An American who grew up in California, she relocated to Seoul in June 2013. Mhyla previously served on the SIWA Executive Committee as Board Adminstrator and as VP Communications. She leads SIWAâ€™s Moms & Tots interest group. Prior to coming to Seoul, she made a career change from engineering to working in a nonprofit hospital system in Las Vegas. Mhyla keeps busy with photography, Zumba and cooking. Amy Lee / Vice President, Fundraising email@example.com Amy Lee played an integral role in the 2015-16 SIWA & Diplomatic Community Bazaars and the 2016 SIWA Annual Charity Gala. A native of Seoul, she lived in the United States during her primary years and currently works in a textile manfacturing and exporting company. Amy loves cooking, sewing and making crafts. She is passionate about helping vulnerable populations, especially children and animals.
All Love School
(Philanthropy Project grant recipient)
SOYF Sunshine Drop-In Center Annaâ€™s House Asia Community School
Seongnam Shelter Ebenezer New Light Community Community Center
We planned and managed including:
August - September 2017
• An Artistic Oasis in Northern Seoul • Seoul’s Overpass Turned Green Space • Add Color to Your Korean
The final year of SIWA’s Discovery magazine welcomed a new art director and a new look. The following pages have a selection of significant articles from the 2017-18 year.
S E O U L I N T E R N AT I O N A L W O M E N ’ S A S S O C I AT I O N Enhancing lives through Friendship, Enrichment and Charity
December 2017 / January 2018
June - July 2017
Stay Warm at Escape Seoul’s Best Saunas to Miami
in Your Wallet? Money What’s Dream “Jobs” Your Kids & for Rich Experiences Finance in Seoul
Philanthropy Project: The Two Finalists
S E O U L I N T E R N AT I O N A L W O M E N ’ S A S S O C I AT I O N Enhancing lives through Friendship, Enrichment and Charity
The Dynamic Duo at the Gala February - March 2018
S E O U L I N T E R N AT I O N A L W O M E N ’ S A S S O C I AT I O N Enhancing lives through friendship, Empowerment and Charity
October - November 2017
Technology Results from the 2017 Bazaar
Korean Lesson: Take Control of the Remote The Best Apps for Navigating Korea Philanthropy Project: Our Winning School
The Bazaar: How You Can Help
S E O U L I N T E R N AT I O N A L W O M E N ’ S A S S O C I AT I O N Enhancing lives through Friendship, Enrichment and Charity
April / May 2018
Yoga for Kids Krav Maga: Is it For You? SIWA Gears Up for 2018 Olympics
S E O U L i n t E r n at i O n a L w O m E n ’ S a S S O c i at i O n Enhancing lives through Friendship, Enrichment and Charity
FROM OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2017
SIWA Team Heads to PyeongChang By Monica Williams SIWA members who are volunteering for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics were treated to a site tour of Games facilities in PyeongChang and nearby Gangneung in September, courtesy of the local Olympics committee. The 20 women left Seoul bright and early for a bus ride west to Gangwon-do. Our first stop was the top of the Ski Jumping Center at Alpensia, a facility perched high in the Taebaek Mountains, and the site of the ski jumping, Nordic and snowboard competitions. Sochi was the inaugural Olympic site for women’s ski jumping. After a lunch of regional fare, we visited the ice, speed skating and hockey arenas in Gangneung. Our guide, Jinsoo Lim, told us about the varied temperature and facility requirements for figure skating, short track, speed skating and ice hockey. The Gangneung Ice Arena, the 12,000-seat venue for short track and figure skating, keeps the spectators’ area at a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahr-
enheit). The two-story Gangneung Oval, which will host 14 speed skating events, has more than 8,000 seats, with one level for training. The ice temperature and thickness vary by venue and sport. A dozen of the SIWA members will return to PyeongChang in March to work as volunteers at the Paralympic Games. Half of them were on the team of 20 members
who conducted video interviews of prospective foreign volunteers for both Games last winter. In February and March, SIWA members interviewed more than 600 potential workers from around the world; now they’ll join the 600 on site soon as Korea hosts its first Winter Games.
Photos by Bockhee Lee and Lisa Panopoulos
FROM JUNE -JULY 2017 SIWA Spotlight
Courtney Dunn-Snede, Project leader for SIWA’s new website By Neeti Virmani What inspired you to join the SIWA leadership team? Honestly, I was inspired by the fear of being bored! When I moved to Seoul I did not know a single person in Korea. My kids had just started fulltime school for the first time so I was alone most of the day. I worried that I would have nothing to do but watch Netflix by myself. I looked online for expat clubs, discovered SIWA, and decided to go to a coffee morning. I remember feeling intimidated when I arrived because I didn’t have anyone to sit with, but I ended up next to another new person and we had a good time. By coincidence, on the table was a list of open volunteer positions, most of which were related to my field of business. I took it as a sign and checked everything I thought I could do. Shortly afterward, I met Mhyla & Robbie and the rest is history! Which SIWA project were you most passionate about and still remains close to your heart? I enjoyed every role I had within SIWA but the Bazaar is the one closest to my heart. It was a huge commitment but also rewarding. Organizing that event is how I really made strong connections with people and I truly enjoyed doing something challenging. It was a great opportunity to learn more about SIWA and different organizations in Seoul, and give something meaningful back to Korea. Who taught you the most during your career? I’m lucky to have a lot of role models in my life but I‘d say that my mom taught me the most. When
she went to college she was only given the choice of two majors (teaching and nursing) because those were the only ones available for women. Over time more opportunities became available and she worked hard to switch fields, even earning a PhD in the process. Before she retired she became a leader in a male-dominated field. When she attended conferences she was often the only female and it was quite difficult. Seeing her persevere through was inspiring. She taught me about not being discouraged, and to stay focused on your goals. What is the biggest challenge facing leaders? It’s difficult to inspire others to share your vision. You have to have a certain amount of knowledge and skill to even have a good vision for a company or project, but in order to achieve that vision everyone needs to understand it and believe in it too. It takes motivational, communication and managerial skills to lead successfully and that’s hard. Factor in how busy people are and how fast things change, etc. and I think it can be overwhelming. What advice would you give to someone going into a SIWA leadership position for the first time? Speak up! Even if you just joined SIWA or recently moved to Seoul, your opinion is valid and appreciated. Don’t wait for another volunteer to ask you what you think, or set boundaries for you. Take charge of the role you accepted, and let others know what you need to accomplish your goals within SIWA. And have fun!
FROM OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2017 Welfare
SIWA’s Philanthropy Project By Anne Choe
Dear SIWA Members, I am excited to share with you that the Philanthropy Project is well under way. One final winning recipient school will be announced at the 55th SIWA & Diplomatic Community Bazaar on Monday, Nov. 13. The SIWA Philanthropy Project was launched to address a specific social issue with the following criteria: • Create philanthropic approach to giving • Proactive attempt to change systems and solve problems by addressing their root causes • Less reactive giving to being proactive; and less emotionally based to strategically based giving • Provide financial support that will deliver measurable impact
Spring 2016 Special subcommittee formed within Welfare Committee to select a social issue Grant Proposal drafted Multicultural Students’ Education in Korea selected as the social condition to be funded by SIWA
Welfare Committee members attended Multicultural Students’ Education Expo at KINTEX sponsored by the Ministry of Education Six exceptional multicultural schools recognized by the Ministry of Education were selected to go through the process for the Philanthropy Project. 1. Asia Community School (아시아공동체학교): grades 1-12 2. All Love School (다애 다문화학교): grades 7-9 3. Hanuri Multicultural School (초중고 통합 다문화학교, 공립 인천한누리학교): grades 1-12 4. Chadong Elementary School (차동 초등학교): grades 1-6 5. Miwon Elementary School (충북 미원초등학교): grades 1-6 6. Dasom School (서울 다솜학교): grades 10-12
Special Coffee Morning: panel discussion about multicultural students in Korea; read JoongAng Daily article here Crafted a set of qualifying questions with metrics Translated the set of questions from English to Korean
Jan. April 2017
Coffee Morning presentation â€˘ Funds disbursement
May Nov. 2017
WC members conducted interviews in Korean with the six schools
MaySept 2018 Progress and Impact Report from the school
Transcribed interviews Korean to English translations Select top three schools then conduct additional interviews and site visits WC selects one exceptional school Take the selection to the SIWA Board of Directors for final approval Announcement of the winning recipient school will be made at the 55th SIWA & Diplomatic Community Bazaar on Nov. 13
For more information, please contact Neeti Virmani at firstname.lastname@example.org or Anne Choe email@example.com
FROM DECEMBER 2017-JANUARY 2018
SIWAâ€™s Philanthropy Project In 2015, SIWA launched a Philanthropy Project to take a more proactive approach to giving. We picked multicultural education as the social issue to address, with a goal to donate 20 million won to one school. We started the process with six top performing
innovation and creativity
schools selected by the Ministry of Education. Over the course of the project, the Welfare Committee interviewed school leaders, conducted site visits and evaluated each school. It asked hard questions and made an assessment of the following criteria:
social change model
potential growth; scalability
focus on priorities
clarity on how funds will be spent
vision for the future
organizational stability fiscal stability
The Asia Community School and the All Love School were the two finalists for the Philanthropy Project. Members will have the chance to hear from the headmaster of the winning school -- All Love School -- at the Feb. 28 Coffee Morning. Read more about the finalists:
Asia Community School
By Neeti Virmani Multicultural families are rising steadily. According to recent statistics, international unions account for 10 percent of marriages a year in Korea. The number of children from multicultural families in elementary, middle and high school amounts to 43,000, of which 36,000 attend public schools. The remaining 7,000, or 17 percent, stay out of school for diverse reasons. Even those children who attend school face difficulties adapting there because they lack Korean language ability or basic learning skills, or are bullied because of their appearance. Â Governmental and civic groups are jointly offering customized education programs or one-on-one mentoring for children of multicultural families. The government is supporting education in Korean language and other subjects at about 60 elementary schools across the country, with many children from multicultural families. This year, SIWA decided to support multicultural student education as a social cause. Among many other schools on our list, our journey took us to a school in Busan, Asia Community. On Oct. 13, four of us boarded the KTX train to Busan
from Seoul to visit this school. While I was on the train at 9 a.m., I had anxiety along with many thoughts running in my mind. I was looking forward to visiting and knowing about a school that is imparting education to about 73 multicultural students from all over the world. Once we reached the school, Mr. Park Hyo Seok, along with his two students, took us through each aspect of the school including showing us through every corner of his school and making us meet his students. The school building not only reflected the strength of the infrastructure supporting the education but also held many stories. My favourite place in the school was the art room where I saw children from different countries making art work in
their own creativity and language. The students were happy to see us, especially one of the Indian students who was 9 years old. He was particularly excited to see me, someone from his country who could speak his language. He also was fluent in Korean. We saw series of classes focusing on educating Korean students so that they could coexist not only with Koreans but also students from other countries. They were all connected through Korean and English. The best thing I liked was the fact that they were encouraged to learn their native language so that they wouldnâ€™t forget it. There were children from Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Nepal, Russia, China and India. Programs that have helped them create a high impact on the students include Art Therapy, the World Ghost Festival, computer classes, urban agriculture, music classes and various field trips. They not only have helped them develop skills but they also have been an important catalyst Continued on page 21
All Love School
By Sunghwa Han Love is the answer, and you know that for sure; Love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow… John Lennon There is something special about All Love School (ALS). The building is not large or fancy, however there is a strong feeling of warmth and brightness that emanates from every corner. There is a beautiful spirit of diversity and multiculturalism everywhere, and it is easy to spot the colorful multilingual welcome banner near the entrance of the hallway. The walls are decorated with students’ art work, poems and written pieces. There are displays of handmade pottery in different shapes and forms that seem to tell the unique stories of their students. The classrooms and hallway are kept orderly, and students are respectful, well-mannered and polite – every student greeted us with friendly “hello” (spoken in Korean “ahn-nyung-hahsae-yo”). Peeking into the classrooms, I saw students immersed in their studies, having lively conversations with their teacher. At times, I heard quiet laughter escaping the classroom into the hallway. It made me smile. Mr. Heeyong Lee, an edu-
cator and a formal geography teacher, founded ALS in 2011 with one mission in mind: He wanted to establish an alternative middle school for underserved students from multicultural families, where they could receive a proper education without prejudice and be nurtured to make a successful transition into Korean high school as competent and confident individuals. ALS is a tuition-free, accredited middle school that is recognized by the Ministry of Education. It serves multicultural students who have difficulty adapting to Korean schools due to language barriers and different cultural backgrounds. Mr. Lee recognizes the importance of proper academic education and emo-
tional support for these children who often struggle with isolation, distress, bullying and low self-esteem. Most of the students are from less developed countries with not much financial or educational resources, and live in poor conditions with their parents (or a single parent) who work around the clock to make a living in Korea. Currently, there are 39 middle school students, mostly from Seoul and Kyunggi province, and the school has 19 teachers – 5 full-time and 14 part-time. Their comprehensive curriculum is designed to incorporate intellectual, practical and artistic education into their students’ daily lives; there’s also equal emphasis placed on the emotional well-being and growth of their students. ALS’s academic subjects are in alignment with Korean middle schools. The primary academic subjects being taught are Korean, English, math, sciContinued on page 21
Asia Community School Continued from page 19 in the students’ overall personal development. The aspect that caught our attention is that the events were planned by the students. They create an itinerary, solve problems and make decisions together, which helps them build life skills and become more independent. Some of their students have moved from high school to college and been admitted to universities like Silla University and Pusan National University. They’ve even gone into professions like modeling, tourism and hospitality. Thirty students in the last five years not only went to college but also picked up jobs in various professions. Mr. Park not only has a vision but also extreme passion. His son went into journalism and was well supported by his father to pursue his dream. More important than his 12 years of experience in multicultural student education, is his passion, which is what I would always remember whenever I would think about Asia Community. Mr. Park wishes to build on that vision. He plans to make these programmes larger in size. He would like to establish a translation center and also renovate the school building. He is also looking at building help to obtain more part-time jobs for his students and more job opportunities post-college. Later in the evening, as we were traveling back to Seoul, I
was feeling thankful for people like Mr. Park Hyo Seok, who are impacting underprivileged children’s development and providing for such an important cause like education, something I took for granted as a kid. Neeti Virmani is chair of SIWA’s Welfare Committee.
All Love School Continued from page 20
ence, social studies and physical education. There are extra support lessons and classes to help them accelerate in their Korean language skills, and to acquire a better understanding of Korean culture. However, students are also encouraged to keep up with their mother tongue and learn about the culture of their home country. Students often take field trips to companies and organizations to experience what working in different environments would feel like. Guest speakers are invited from various professional fields to give students opportunities for career counseling and mentoring. Most importantly, ALS strives to provide strong emotional support for their students and families. The students and their families rarely have opportunities to enjoy vacation or hobbies due to time and/ or money constraints, therefore ALS’s family camps and therapy sessions provide them invalu-
able opportunities for them to build stronger bond and establish closer, more loving and healthy relationships. It is evident that the general intent of ALS education focuses on a school culture that puts the child first and support each student to pursue their interest and dream. Mr. Lee envisions Korea becoming more globalized. He recognizes the growing need for developing global leaders. He believes there is a great potential for his students to become effective leaders to act as the crucial bridge between Korea and other countries, if they overcome their disadvantaged status as immigrants through hard work, effective education, and by building on their multiculturalism with positivity and dignity. Mr. Lee reminded me that planting the seed of education, watered with much love and care, will produce beautiful fruits at the end. Ultimately, that is what he wishes for his students: becoming collaborative and compassionate citizens to share their experiences and love with others. This journey has been very personal and emotional for me, because I was 11 years old when I left Korea with my family. It is my hope that the students and graduates of ALS will become change makers, who will continuously grow and become more resilient, and bring positive influences to others and the communities through leadership, service to others and collaboration.
SIWA Philanthropy Project Winner
All Love School: The Great Equalizer In 2015, SIWA launched a Philanthropy Project to take a more proactive approach to giving. We picked multicultural education as the social issue to address, with a goal to donate 20 million won to one school. We started the process with six top performing schools selected by the Ministry of Education. Over the course of the project, the Welfare Committee interviewed school leaders, conducted site visits and evaluated each school. It asked hard questions and made an assessment of the many criteria. By Anne Choe All Love School was founded in 2011 at the Gangnam YMCA to support the growing need of the “multicultural” student population in Seoul who are from low-income, underprivileged families. Multicultural refers to children of foreign, nonKorean ethnicity and/or foreign-born Koreans. All Love School is currently educating 35 middle-school students. In January 2014, 18 students became the first alumni of the school when they graduated and returned to their local high schools. Students are referred there by their local middle school due to their inadequate or almost non-existing Korean language skills. The main objective of the school is to provide an educational setting to help students acquire and further improve their Korean skills (through a well-established curriculum), and ultimately integrate them back into their local school. The school also offers many enrichment programs that further foster students’ learning experience; for example, Taekwondo and language classes all taught by experienced volunteers. Students receive a completion certificate from their respective middle school upon taking the graduation requirement exam. These students then move
The All Love School was selected for the Philanthropy Project. This article is an edited version of a story that ran in October 2014. Read more about the school here:
on mostly to vocational/technical high schools. All Love is tuition-free. It even subsidizes a few students’ heating bills from December to March; many of these students come from countries with very warm climates and have difficulties with the cold winters in Seoul. Headmaster Hee Yong Lee, and the four other certified teachers, are passionate about the students. The school not only provides an educationally conducive environment but also advocates for better nutrition and the overall well-being of its students. As many of its students come from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds with other familial conflicts, it also provides simple breakfast, mainly consisting of toast. It also provides dinner to two-dozen students who participate in the after-school tutoring program; the school has secured funding from Export-Import Bank of Korea for the dinner plan. Although lunch is provided for free by the Seoul City government, All Love School does not have the critical mass to actually supply a decent, nutritional meal. Seoul City government prohibits the school from collecting any money from students to improve the lunch program. All Love School had been piggybacking on the YMCA’s preschool caterer for its lunches. The
school made an initial funding request to SIWA in 2014 to fill the gap so that items other than toast could be provided for breakfast and to improve the quality of lunch. The successful framework of All Love School has become an ideal model for a school of its kind; consequently, the Seoul City government is keeping a close watch on the school for possible replication
elsewhere. The United States advocates education as the great equalizer; here in Korea, All Love School has utilized its compassion for the underrepresented and the underserved to affect change in education as the great equalizer for many of these multicultural students. www.allloveschool.or.kr Photos by Neeti Virmani
A look back at the accomplishments of Seoul International Women's Association (SIWA) in the 2017-18 Membership Year.