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Samsung picks 51 non-profits for W10b fund

From welfare charities to cultural programs for socially disadvantaged groups, Samsung Group last week selected 51 organizations for a 10 billion won ($8.43 million) project to contribute to society.

As part of joint efforts with Community Chest of Korea, Samsung Group announced its list of fund recipients for the project named “Sharing and Dream” on Wednesday. The group will fund nonprofit organizations to support those in need and provide opportunities for them to support themselves.

The project will support the selected organizations for a maximum of three years. Each organization will be given up to 500 million won. More than 1,000 institutions had applied for Samsung’s funding program in August. A group of 70 panels participated in the five-month screening and interview process, evaluating the practicality of the projects.

About 60 percent of selected organizations were welfare-related, along with institutions working on environment, culture and global projects. Eighty percent were institutions with under 30 members and half of them were working for communities outside of Seoul.

“The projects selected were innovative in terms of ideas and methods, and they are expected to contribute in tackling social problems,” said professor Hwang Chang-soon of Soonchunhyang University, who interviewed the finalists for the project.

Hwang Chang-soon (third from left, front row), professor at Soonchunhyang University, Yoon Ju-hwa (fourth from left), president of Samsung Corporate Citizenship, and Park Chan-bong (fifth from left), secretary-general of Community Chest of Korea, pose with recipients of Samsung’s “Sharing and Dream” project Wednesday in Seoul. (Samsung Group)
Hwang Chang-soon (third from left, front row), professor at Soonchunhyang University, Yoon Ju-hwa (fourth from left), president of Samsung Corporate Citizenship, and Park Chan-bong (fifth from left), secretary-general of Community Chest of Korea, pose with recipients of Samsung’s “Sharing and Dream” project Wednesday in Seoul. (Samsung Group)


The recipients this year had mainly focused on discovering new social problems that have been relatively neglected, the group added.

The list includes Cheong-eum Center, a welfare organization that specializes in supporting the hearing impaired. It suggested building an online portal named “Hi Learn!!” for people with hearing problems and provide them with lifelong education programs online.

International Korean Adoptee Service Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Koreans adopted by families overseas, also submitted a project aimed at teaching English and different cultures around the world to teenagers of low-income households in Korea.

The project received attention as it viewed Korean adoptees not as people to support, but as volunteers willing to help children from their motherland. The project is expected to elevate adoptees’ pride for the country where they were born, the group said.

A welfare community center in Beon-dong, northern Seoul, also won funding by submitting an idea on helping community members who hoard compulsively.

An organization for actors also suggested teaching theatrical drama to children and teenagers who defected from North Korea. The project is expected to help young defectors better settle in South Korea and create jobs for struggling stage actors.

At the announcement ceremony, Yoon Ju-hwa, head of Samsung Corporate Citizenship, vowed to continue to support nonprofit organizations.

“We thank the organizations who participated in the project despite (how) we only started the project this year, and will continue to make efforts to (find) innovative ways to promote social contributions,” he said.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)
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