SEOUL – Burmese refugees and Sri Lankans still recovering from a long civil war will be the principal beneficiaries of a 100 million won (S$114,000) fund raised by the Gwangju Human Rights Peace Foundation.
Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-jung, the foundation director, announced the assistance plan on May 16 during a Mass to mark the 31st anniversary of the Gwangju Democratisation Movement.
The foundation also intends to help tribal women in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and dalit people in Nepal. Dalit are the former “untouchables” in the caste system.
The money was raised through donations from Catholics in Kwangju archdiocese as well as from other Gwangju residents.
“The foundation decided to support them as they are the most in need,” said Fr Raphael Kim Jae-hak, executive director of the foundation.
Kwangju archdiocese set up the foundation in October to commemorate a pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju in 1980, which ended in a massacre of protesters by government militia.
“The foundation commemorates the suffering of the Gwangju people in 1980 by supporting people around the world who are enduring similar experiences today,” Archbishop Kim had said at the foundation’s inauguration ceremony in October. n UCANEWS.COM