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Posted : 2013-01-24 17:41
Updated : 2013-01-24 17:41

Seoul, Hyundai to help multiracial families

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, right, shakes hands with Hyundai Motor Chung Mong-koo Foundation Chairman Yoo Young-hak after signing an agreement at City Hall, central Seoul, Thursday, to make a joint effort to help multiracial families. / Courtesy of Seoul Metropolitan Government

By Kim Rahn


Seoul City and Hyundai Motor Chung Mong-koo Foundation will make a joint effort to provide education and medical services to interracial families in the capital and improve public understanding about them.

The city government said Thursday that it has reached an agreement with the foundation to work together for the promotion of a multicultural society.

Mayor Park Won-soon, the foundation's Chairman Yoo Young-hak and the city's honorary vice mayor for foreigners, Magsarjav Undrakh, participated in the signing ceremony at City Hall.

"About 70,000 interracial family members live in Seoul, the nation's second largest number following Gyeonggi Province. But they face many difficulties such as language problems, low financial status and cultural differences," Park said.

"Also, quite a lot of children of such families don't get proper education and they face discrimination in many parts of their daily lives," he added.

Through the agreement, the city and the foundation will provide medical services to low-income interracial families as well as distributing fairytale books to children of multicultural families.

They will also co-organize projects to make the public more open-minded toward multiculturalism, including holding events where interracial and Korean families can mingle and enhance understanding about each other.

"With the agreement as a momentum, I hope multicultural families will be fully recognized as members of society and Seoul citizens," the mayor said.

Yoo said, "I wish this project will help interracial families settle down in Korean society stably and their children become physically and mentally sound."

Besides the agreement with the foundation, the city government has adopted a set of supportive measures for interracial families, including Korean language classes for children and a special admissions quota at the University of Seoul for immigrant spouses and their children.

To listen to the voices of multicultural families better, the city also appointed Magsarjav, an immigrant wife from Mongolia, as honorary vice mayor last July.

The foundation has been promoting various activities to contribute to society, including scholarship programs for collegians, medical services for those within the low-income brackets and job training for young jobseekers.


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