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The Marist Community in Seoul promotes psychological education and assistance

02/05/2019: South Korea

As part of their ministry in Korea, the brothers of the Seoul community (East Asia Province) enrich their educational efforts by promoting the psychological aspect of their vocational accompaniment of the young brothers. Br. Alfredo Herrera, from one of the two communities in Seoul, reports:

At the Children’s Center, the children and young people of the neighborhood spend the afternoons enriching their academic efforts by playing and interacting with others in their age groups, as well as going on occasional fieldtrips to playgrounds, factories and other places of interest. The fierce academic competition in this country “obliges” the parents to send their children to schools that can expand their studies and enable them to compete academically. Low-income families and those in other situations (single parents, immigrants, fragmented families, etc.), find it difficult to meet the extra expense of sending their children to private school. Centers like ours offer these students the chance to see possibilities beyond their present circumstances. University student and adult volunteers offer them the opportunity to excel in and expand their studies.

Our Center has been in existence for 13 years. The number of students has varied, due to changing circumstances in the neighborhood and the mobility of the families who live in this area of the city. Just a few years ago there were some 30 students in attendance among those in primary, secondary and preparatory classes in the afternoon and evening sessions. Presently Br. Pio Yu and his aide (a young lady employed by the Center) continue to serve the few children and youth who live in the area. This year’s group consists of 7 boys and girls in primary and another 7 in secondary.

Also located in our building, along with the Sector offices and the residence of one of the Seoul communities, there is a center for psychological counseling called“BOM-GIL (Springtime Road) where Br. John Vianney provides his services to teens and young adults who request this help. Br. John earned his specialist’s certificate in psychological counseling, from both the Korean Association of Psychological Counseling and Therapy and the Catholic Association of Counselors. Over the year he sees some 45 people for a total of 150 sessions.

In the same building, Br. Alfredo provides vocational accompaniment to young men and women religious in formation and to other religious and priests who request it. Last year, because of his health, he only accompanied 6 people for an average of 20 to 30 sessions each.

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