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Orphanage gets help from expats

ULSAN - In September the faces of the underprivileged children will be a little bit brighter, thanks to some hard working English teachers. The members of T-HOPE plan to bring joy and friendship to some orphans by donating their time, energy and kindness.
T-HOPE, which stands for Teachers Helping Other People Everywhere, is an organization that helps people in need. T-HOPE is made up of teachers in Ulsan who are committed to helping a wide range of under-privileged people all over Korea.
The group`s efforts center on helping out a local orphanage in Eonyang, a small city close to Ulsan. They are providing much needed friendship for the children and helping them develop where they might otherwise not have had an opportunity.
The main focus will be in three areas: English, arts, and activities. "It`s not just about teaching them English," Dan Gauthier said, "it`s about companionship."
Gauthier is the founding member of T-HOPE.
Sept. 12 will be the start of the program for the children and Dan hopes it will be a success. It is a big commitment, but Dan seems confident that everyone will pull together for the opening day.
Gauthier, originally from Canada, is a long-term member of the Ulsan expat community. He is committed to improving the lives of not only foreigners, but the citizens of Ulsan as well. "I`ve been here for 10 years and I want to give something back," Gauthier said, speaking about why he started T-HOPE.
Over the past summer, Gauthier and his group have put on events that have benefited various charities and have pulled the foreign residents together alongside local Koreans in a spirit of giving.
T-HOPE is getting ready to expand to other cities around the country.
There are close to 80 teachers signed up to help with T-HOPE`s current program. The teachers will head out to the orphanage the second and fourth Saturdays of every month, starting in September.
Gauthier said the program`s success rests on the regular participation of the volunteers.
Like children everywhere, these children need role models and someone to be there for them. T-HOPE plans to provide them with exactly that. "It`s more than just helping them, it is about being there for them," Gauthier says.
T-HOPE is preparing the formalities of trying to become a registered organization, but faces problems related to being a foreign-run organization. Gauthier is set to return to Canada to register T-HOPE as an international non-profit organization.
The city of Ulsan has been a key figure in helping T-HOPE. The city has been a positive force for the efforts of teachers who try to help others. They have provided funds and locations for events that have helped a great many people over the years and they continue to support organizations like T-HOPE.

By Jason Teale