It is always a joy to meet a person with goodwill. Whenever I go to see my mother at a senior care house for the elderly run by a religious congregation, I drop by the public library nearby.
One day, I noticed so many books in large fonts are displayed in the reading room. Some of them were either "not for sale" or a "special edition," probably for publicity. Appreciating the covers and copyright notices, I found out those books had been published by the social enterprise called "Kngl" which means large fonts.
In consideration of people who have poor vision, the elderly, those suffering from presbyopia, and those who are visually handicapped, the Kngl publisher created the patent fonts to improve readability for the public. Han Jeong-sik, the representative of the publishing house, began this work in 2009 with the dream of getting everybody to read more easily and efficiently.
Undergoing endless trials and errors up to 2015 as he developed large fonts, he even slept and ate in his car, traveling around the country to distribute the large font books to public libraries. He created three kinds of large font and published 30 titles a year in the beginning.
For this initiative, he consulted and collaborated with 120 elderly-related groups and 117 low vision-related groups. At present, he is publishing about 100 titles a year, and about 300 public libraries are purchasing his books.
Believing that the secret to the elderly living actively and positively after retirement is "reading," he has dedicated all his energy and time as well as capital to develop the Kngl publishing business. Besides publishing large font books, he also shares his goodwill through literacy education, a reading therapy program, writing a biography, the formation of a nanny with stories, the large font village school, and so on.
As we know, there is not much profit in publishing, but his other dream is to publish some translations from the Vietnamese language for multi-cultural families in Korea. What a social and multi-cultural adventure this is!
Another surprise is to see the 48th "little wave library" run by LG SERVEONE in the migrant workers center in the Uijeongbu diocese when I recently went for the mission at Paju Exodus migrant group.
All around the wall on the second floor of the multi-purpose hall in the migrant center called "The Lighthouse of Asia" were shelves filled with various books both in English and Korean. I was so glad to see this library, for this initiative truly proves that inner power comes from continuous reading.
The first floor with the ceiling opened to the second floor is used for the celebration of Mass, various gatherings, and a cafe. From the railing on the second floor, we can see the whole grand hall.
I was so touched to see that Paju Exodus migrant group was founded in 2006 in the Uijeongbu diocese, and the former priest worked hard to build the migrant center from 2014 to 2017 with the help of 149 parishes and organizations as well as 6,244 sponsors. After moving into the new center a month ago, he was transferred to another post and another priest was assigned to begin the migrant pastoral service.
Truly, "Blessed are the peacemakers!"(Mt. 5:9)
The author is a member of the Daughters of St. Paul (Figlie di San Paolo) living and giving the Good News to the world by means of social communication. Learn more about the congregation at fsp.pauline.or.kr.