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Top prize for overseas service goes to late missionary

Lim Yeon-sim poses with African theological students. (KOICA)
Lim Yeon-sim poses with African theological students. (KOICA)
The presidential prize of this year’s 7th Korea Overseas Service Awards will go to the late missionary Lim Yeon-sim who devoted her last 28 years to community service in Turkana in northern Kenya before dying of an endemic in August.

The Korea International Cooperation Agency said Wednesday that it would present the awards to eight overeas volunteers at its headquarters in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, on Nov. 23.

Lim was dispatched to Kenya by the Yeouido Full Gospel Church in 1984 with the mission to set up churches and provide childcare there.

Prime minister’s prizes will be given to two doctors ― Yu Deok-jong, a KOICA advisor who worked in Mulago Hospital in Uganda for 17 years from 1992, and Park Myung-cheol, an Ajou University professor who has led facial plastic surgeries on about 1,000 Vietnam and Laotian children free of charge since 1997.

Award winners are selected from candidates recommended by overseas Korean missions, 46 KOICA offices in 44 foreign countries and NGOs.

The awards ceremony will be held as part of the event to commemorate the third Development Assistance Day. The day was established on Nov. 25, 2009, to celebrate the transformation of Korea from an aid recipient to an aid giver by joining the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

By Chun Sung-woo (
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Korea Herald daum