Drones lift spirits at Mokpo home

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Drones lift spirits at Mokpo home


Kim Won-joo, secretary general of the Korea Drone Industry Association’s South Jeolla office, back row, third from left, poses with children and disabled people at a home in Mokpo on April 7. [OH JONG-CHAN]

MOKPO, South Jeolla - As three drones soared above a welfare home in Mokpo on April 7, a group of 30 spectators watched with captivated expressions, letting out whoops of joy and clapping ecstatically as the drones cut through the sky.

This was the first day of community service for Kim Won-joo, 43, secretary general of the Korea Drone Industry Association’s South Jeolla office.

Kim said they plan to visit more homes like this one, where disabled people and children who have been abandoned following their parents’ divorce, now live. Once a month in the Mokpo area, he will teach residents how to control the unmanned aerial vehicles.

The reason that the association decided to use drones in their community service was mainly because the device is so easy for people to learn how to use. Also, of course, they’re a joy to use.

“I expect children and disabled people here can have a lot of fun with drones,” Kim said.

“It was my first time watching a drone fly,” said Yoo Seong-yoon, 41, who lives at the home. “I really wanted to learn how to control it so I can try it by myself.”

Jeong Seung-kwon, head of the welfare facility, said, “Many of our residents lack confidence, but with activities like this, they can rebuild their spirits.”

Kim said his ultimate dream is to help children and disabled people become drone experts so that they can take part in events such as drone racing and drone aerial photography. Kim added that it has recently become possible to realize that dream since the government designated the drone industry as South Jeolla’s strategic business for special attention.

“I think it would give a chance to the residents of this home to become more active members of society,” Kim said.

BY KIM HO [kwon.sangsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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