In 2001, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd opened Friendship House at the request of the Archdiocese of Seoul, as a shelter for women and girls who had been trafficked from other countries, especially from Russia.
With the changes in immigration laws of the country and prostitution being illegal, the number of girls who come to Korea for entertainment and forced into prostitution has decreased. However, in recent years international marriages are on the increase. In some cases the women, mostly from the South East Asian countries, become victims of family violence.
As this is a new problem in the Korean society, our Friendship House is helping these women and children at present.
Women are admitted to the shelter for many reasons, including:
Language problems. The women are not given enough time to learn the Korean language.
Age gap. Often there is an age gap of 15-30 years.
The Shelter continues to be under the Catholic Labor Commission of the Archdiocese of Seoul.
The women and children receive shelter, counselling, medical and legal support.
Counselling in Korean or with translation.
Visa and Legislation process, Consulting lawyers.
Korean Language studies.
Art therapy and Yoga.
Cultural Educational programmes.
Advocacy program on the rights of immigrant women.
While they work towards some solution to their problems they have the opportunity to participate in some programmes for inner healing and personal growth.
One person is more precious than the whole world.