At 80, the YWCA remains vital

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At 80, the YWCA remains vital

This year marks the 80th anniversary of Korea's Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) and the organization held several events this week to commemorate the milestone.

On Monday morning, nearly 350 members gathered for a commemorative prayer service at the main auditorium of the YWCA hall. In the afternoon, the YWCA held a publishing exhibition for their commemorative book "Eighty Years of the Seoul YWCA." The book is a compilation of historical events and photographs that relate to the various activities of the organization.

The Y's main lobby also held a special photo exhibition on historical photographs from the early period to the current day on the YWCA's movement.

On Tuesday afternoon, Chang Pil-wha, dean of the graduate school at Ewha Womans University, lectured at a special seminar held at the YWCA hall. The theme of the seminar was "Towards a centennial, the past and future of YWCA," which encompassed topics such as women's involvement in social issues, family structures in an aging society and women's rights.

The Y also held a special member's exhibition on the third floor of the YWCA building.

"This year, we're displaying clothes, traditional wedding gifts, culinary dishes, sweets, flower arrangements, quilts and other things,"said Yang Seon-hee, executive secretary of the organization.

On Thursday evening, a singing competition was held with entrants from regional branches and other related groups.

Founded in 1922 by Helen Kim, Yoo Gak-gyeong and Esther Hong among others, the YWCA served as a focal point of the women's enlightenment movement in Korea. Rooted in the Christian faith, this women's group has led social campaigns in issues such as women's rights, the environment, disabled policies and pacifist movements.

It has also organized volunteer events, peace camps and educational programs for children. There are more than 15,000 members affiliated with the local YWCA, and the current president, Lee Haing-ja, has served on the board since 1999.

by Choi Jie-ho

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