Veteran actress Kim Hye-ja had reason to be proud earlier this month as one of her sponsored children from Bangladesh began graduate studies in Korea.
James Rana Baidaya, a 26-year-old Bangladeshi whom Kim has been supporting since 1997, entered the Graduate School of Pan-Pacific International Studies at Kyunghee University in Seoul on March 5. He will study at the school’s international development cooperation division, to fulfill his dreams of helping children in need by launching an international relief agency in Bangladesh, World Vision Korea said.
“James, one of Kim’s sponsored children, with World Vision prepared for his graduate studies in Korea starting last year and he finally got the admission (from the university),” said an official at the international relief agency in Seoul.
Fifteen years ago, Kim started to support Baidaya who was then a 12-year-old boy who couldn’t afford to get schooling beyond elementary level. Under Kim’s sponsorship, Baidaya was able to attend middle high schools and four years later entered Khulna University. He studied sociology at the university located in Khulna, the third-largest city in Bangladesh.
Baidaya said he wanted to study the Korean model of development cooperation to help children in his country have better education and more opportunities.
Kim and Baidaya met in Seoul in November for the first time after he left a message on Kim’s Facebook page saying that he missed his “Korean mother.”
The 71-year-old actress encouraged Baidaya during their first meeting, saying she hoped to see him to learn the virtue of returning the love and attention that he received from others.
World Vision Korea said it supported his first term tuition at the university while Kim presented him with a laptop.
Kim, who has been serving as goodwill ambassador for World Vision since 1991, has visited many developing countries around the world including Uganda, Afghanistan, Liberia and Pakistan to raise public awareness in humanitarian services. Kim also financially supports a total of 103 children around the world, the organization said.
World Vision Korea is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization which has a partnership with World Vision International based in London. The Korean NGO was founded in 1950 to support the then war-torn country and made a historic transition to a donor country in 1991.