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Dream community in Seoul

By Fr. Gregory Park, SDB

Seoul, Korea 19 October 2017 -- Since last 2011 the Salesians in Korea are in charge of the first comprehensive Youth 'One-Stop-Service' Center in Seoul. Every year some 180.000 youth and children, including their parents. For the EAO Salesians this 'Dream Center' may look like the "Youth Outreach" in Hong Kong (CIN Province) or on the other side like the 'Youth Off The Streets" in Sydney (AUL Province - Australia). Salesian Community of Am Sa Dong (Seoul), Rector Fr. Gregory Park and five confreres are in charge of this special Salesian mission in the city.

Seoul City Dream Centre (2011)

Four SDB and 44 lay mission partners are serving a variety, destinataries (2016): children (5200), youth (126.000) and adults (34.000) with the following services in four sectors: (1) Education team (Alternative schools for the out of school youth), Self-support team (internship, club activities, Oratorio, Café, Play-room, Seoul Movie Festival, Music festival, Youth commission (Weed), Volunteer activity group; (2) Counselling team: personal counselling, youth at risk psychological test, group counselling programs, parents counselling, preventive education, family court personal counselling, family court education, parents education)' (3) Dream Youth Love education Centre: Sex-Love education course, Children-Parents joint education, Diversity group program, Sexual harassment youth transformation club; (4) Temporary Shelter (Youth Outreach, Shelter open 24/7). 

So far the Dream Center is an unique government institution created with ‘One-stop-service’ system philosophy (all youth at risk services under one roof). The idea is a fruit of decades long Salesian involvement with out of school youth and dialogue with the City government officials. (Seoul Dream Center)

Out of School Youth Support Centre (since 2001, SDB since 2011)

One SDB and 9 lay mission partners coordinate and supervise 42 'Institutions for the out of school youth' in Seoul': 30 different alternative schools and 12 bridge-institutions for out-of-school youth (total of 1062 students). Three of this institutions are run by the Salesians of Don Bosco. (Seoul Teens Out of School Support Center)

Due to the low natality in South Korea also the number of young people (teenagers) is sharply diminishing, however the number of out of school youth, young people in need (family or social issues) or youth at risk (conflict with law) is the same or even increasing. In this situation the Salesians try to be present among the more vulnerable youth working hand in hand with many government insitutions or programs.

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