Samyook ‘Gives Dreams’ to two Cambodian boys

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Samyook ‘Gives Dreams’ to two Cambodian boys

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Yong Pav, left, and Soun Sokgy arrived in Korea on July 3. Both have cerebral palsy. Provided by Samyook Rehabilitation Center


Soun Sokgy and Yong Pav from Cambodia, who have cerebral palsy, are the first children to benefit from Samyook Rehabilitation Center’s “Give Dreams” project to provide treatment and education to disabled children from overseas.

The children will spend six months in Korea for treatment and activities, including swimming and learning Korean.

They were accompanied by their rehabilitation teacher, Han Sopeap, who will improve his skills in physical therapy.

A day before leaving for Korea, Pav said, “Nan gi ppeo yo,” which means “I am happy.” He attends Lavalla School, a facility for disabled children on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and was inspired by the 60 members of the SRC medical team who treated children at the school in April. “I want to be a doctor who cures sick patients,” he said.

Sokgy, who can’t use the lower half of his body, wants to be a singer. “I will overcome my homesickness by singing in Korea whenever I miss Cambodia,” he said, before breaking out in song.

“The children will be able to expand their vision in Korea,” said Nimul Ouch, principal of Lavalla School. “I hope more children get treatment and education from Korea.”

The children arrived July 3 and stayed at the rehabilitation center. The next day they played bocce ball with other handicapped children and won.

SRC began as orphanage that cared for disabled children during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Today, there is a rehabilitation hospital, school, vocational training institute, gym, convalescent hospital, sanatorium and other facilities.

Although it lost property worth more than 10 billion won ($8.7 million) in the flood last July, the center is back to full operation and new initiatives, such as “Give Dreams.” The new program will bring five handicapped children and two teachers from Cambodia to Korea and help to establish a rehabilitation center and hospital in Cambodia.

“Foreign aid was a great support when the facility was first established to accommodate and protect handicapped children from the Korean War, so now SRC wants to support disabled children from less-developed countries,” said SRC Chairman Min Oh-sik.

“We will pass down the 60 years of accumulated special skills and teach them how to overcome their difficulties.”

By Park Yu-mi [enational@joongang.co.kr]

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