The SMG to Expand Benefits for Mothers in Seoul

The Seoul Metropolitan Government provides mothers in the city with benefits associated with their pregnancy, childbirth, and child rearing with the goal of making Seoul a good city for child-bearing/rearing mothers. These benefits help alleviate the economic burden of couples associated with childbirth, including the payment of expenses for artificial insemination, postpartum care, and medical checkups, as follows:

Pre-pregnancy: provision of support for couples having problems getting pregnant

It is reported that there is an increase in the number of couples having problems getting pregnant in the age of first marriage. The SMG provides financial support (up to 7.5 million won) for in vitro fertilization operations or artificial insemination operations (up to 500,000 won on each occasion, up to three occasions). In 2015, a total of 9,049 couples with problems getting pregnant received support from the SMG, and about half (55%) succeeded in having a baby. Those eligible for financial support are married women aged 44 or lower diagnosed with problems getting pregnant from a household whose average monthly income comes to 150% or less of the national average.

Post-pregnancy

Those registered with the local health office as an expectant mother can receive a pre-natal test, along with folic acid and gentle iron, free of charge. In addition, bag rings announcing the women’s pregnancy are provided to women in the early stage of pregnancy to encourage other citizens to take care of them. Young expectant mothers who may be in a poor state of pre-natal management can receive up to 1.2 million won for their pregnancy and childbirth, and can use the expectant mother voucher regardless of their income level.

Expectant mothers suffering from high-risk pregnancy complications like preterm labor, postpartum hemorrhage, and pregnancy toxaemia can receive up to 3 million won per person.

Post-partum

Those from a low-income household (earning 80% or less than average middle-level income) can receive home visit services provided by a health expert, with preparation of meals, laundry management, and taking care of new-born babies included) for up to ten days. Starting in 2016, handicapped individuals from a household earning 100% or less than average middle-level income who have given birth to the second baby or a twin can also receive benefits.

Newborn babies

All newborn babies born in Seoul can go through free health checkups, including congenital metabolic abnormalities inspections, on a total of seven occasions until they are six. Premature babies weighing less than 2.5kg from a low-income household and infants suffering from heart disease are covered for up to 1.5 million won of treatment. Expenses for early diagnosis of congenital hearing loss through neonatal hearing screening tests are also paid for.

Infants up to two years old

Low-income households (earning 40% or less than the average middle-level income) with an infant aged up to 12 months can receive financial support for diapers and modified milk powder. Starting in early 2016, such households can receive a sum twice as high as last year (64,000 won per month for diapers and 86,000 won per month for modified milk powder).

The service of having nurses specializing in infants pay visits to households with expectant mothers and infants (those aged two or less) for their health management is provided in 19 autonomous districts of Seoul. The number of nurses engaging in this service has increased by 60 this year. The SMG plans to provide the service in all 25 autonomous districts by 2017. Those registered as expectant mothers can receive this service.

In addition, the public health centers in autonomous districts of Seoul are making preparations for programs like lectures on how to be ready for childbirth, lessons on prenatal care of an unborn child, and breastfeeding classes.

Commenting on the programs provided for expectant mothers and infants, Director General Kim Chang-bo in charge of People’s Health said, “It is very important for us to inform people of the importance of pregnancy and childbirth, particularly in this era of low-birth rates, and foster a social atmosphere for taking care of expectant mothers. We will strive to make Seoul an ideal city for giving birth to children and raising them by taking a wide variety of support measures for the children, their mothers, and their households.”

For inquiries, please contact the Health Promotion Division ☎ 02-2133-7579.




MOU Between the SMG and the PyeongChang Organizing Committee

At 4 pm on April 7, the SMG and the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games (“the Organizing Committee”) signed an MOU for collaboration towards the successful opening of the landmark event at a ceremony held at the New Seoul City Hall, with relevant officials in attendance including Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and Chairman Lee Hui-beom of the Organizing Committee.

Under the MOU, the SMG will work together with the Organizing Committee through working-level discussions for the following: ① publicizing the winter Olympics, using SMG-owned media and public facilities, ② special events held to create a favorable atmosphere for the Olympics and collaboration for the Olympic Torch relay, ③ provision of personnel and materials for the Olympics, and ④ the sharing of Olympic-related information and materials.

Commenting on the MOU, Mayor Park Won-soon said, “I sincerely wish to see us Koreans united as one again at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics as in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. We at the SMG will do what we can to help the Organizing Committee make preparations to carry out the monumental event successfully.”




Support measures for the 50+ Generation

The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to lay the groundwork gradually to provide comprehensive supportive measures for the 50+ generation (those aged 50 to 64) by 2020, the first of its kind set up by a local government in Korea.

First, the SMG will establish a small but dedicated network for providing support operating on the axis of ▲50+ Foundation, ▲50+ Campus, and ▲50+ Center.

The 50+ Foundation will serve as a control tower and think tank in charge of planning and developing the content. The 50+ Campus will serve as the local platform providing specific education and training. The 50+ Center will serve as a foothold for the establishment of the network in local communities.

The SMG will establish six 50+ campuses by 2018 and nineteen 50+ centers by 2020.

The 50+ Generation feels uneasy about their future, wishes to continue working, and has no particular goal in mind regarding their careers and aspirations. These support facilities will start providing support for them in three sectors: ▲ Learning and exploration, ▲ Work and participation, and ▲ Culture and infrastructure.

① Learning and exploration

First, the following programs will be provided to a total of 350,000 people over the next five years to help them design their second life after retirement: ▲50+ life schools, ▲ customized advanced courses, ▲50+ consultants (diverse customized educational/consulting programs.)

“50+ life schools” is a session designed to help citizens set up a new life vision with a focus on time, relationship, residence, gender/lover, future society, travel, economy, work, and other aspects of life. It could be said to be a free semester system for the aged. Those selected from the “50+ consultants” course will be trained as consultants for life redesign.

“50+ campuses” aim to produce 200,000 graduates from its 4,000 lectures and “50+ centers,” with 14,000 graduates from its 11,000 courses over the next five years.

“50+ consultants”

② Work and participation

The jobs proposed by the SMG for the 50+ Generation are called “encore careers,” designed to help them attain individual accomplishments based on their past experience as well as assist them in making valuable social contributions. The jobs will be divided into those in the public sector, where the SMG’s fund is invested, and those in the private sector carried out in cooperation with businesses.

The jobs in the public sector will be divided into: ▲ those associated with welfare for senior citizens (coordinators for community lounges for senior citizens and for jobs suited for senior citizens) ▲ those focusing on past experience (job/career consultants, those teaching how to share with others, etc.) ▲ those specializing in settlement of local issues (e.g. safety guardians). The SMG expects that 12,000-plus jobs will be created by 2020.

As for the jobs in the private sector, a leading type is the Seoul-type Encore Fellowship, targeting retirees from large-sized businesses and financial institutions. These are new job models launched by benchmarking the Encore Fellowship launched by big-name businesses like IBM and Intel. Retirees who have gone through a job-transfer education course are able to work in sectors like information technology, accounting, and financial consulting at non-profit organizations. The SMG will provide job-transfer education and explore avenues for them to work again.

The SMG will also explore jobs with new concepts, like homestay businesses for those with assets and foreign language proficiency, docents, local food managers, and operators of cooperatives providing helping hands to SMEs usually suffering from shortages of employees.

The SMG will also increase the spaces for development dedicated to retirees from the present 11 to 50 by 2020 and provide support for the establishment of social enterprises and cooperatives.

Jobs in the public sector for the 50+ Generation

③ Culture and infrastructure

The SMG will strive to expand the potential of people of the 50+ Generation remaining inactive by hosting exciting meetings to explore their possibilities with them. The SMG will also encourage them to engage in research activities, while developing such programs on an open competition basis.

The SMG will also hold international conferences and forums associated with such ideas, while striving to find role models among the 50+ Generation.

The SMG plans to invest a total of 195.6 billion won in the 50+ comprehensive supportive measures over the next five years and establish a web-like support network in cooperation with the National Pension Service (NPS), the Seoul Business Agency (SBA), and the private sector.

On the morning of June 1, the SMG held an event celebrating the launch of the 50+ Foundation and a ceremony for signing agreements with relevant institutions at Seoul City Hall. That afternoon, the ceremony for the opening of the first 50+ campus was held at the Seoul Innovation Park in Eunpyeong-gu.

Commenting on the SMG’s plan for provision of comprehensive supportive measures for the 50+ Generation, Mayor Park Won-soon said, “Failure to use the experience and wisdom accumulated by those of the the 50+ Generation is a great loss at the national level. It is high time to launch measures designed for them. With the 50+ Generation becoming active, the result will provide benefits to both young people and senior citizens. It is hoped that those belonging to this age group will take part in the program designed to provide them with a second life and breathe life into the entire city.”

For inquiries, please call the Second Life Support Division ☎ 02-2133-7798.




Sejong-daero Turns Into a Street of National Flags

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will provide a variety of activities and events designed to attract children’s interest in Taegukgi (National Flag of South Korea) at the 550m-long pedestrian street of Sejong-daero on June 5, 2016. The events include a session for learning how to draw the Taegukgi.

The SMG will also hold programs for families in Gwanghwamun Square until October as shown in the following table:

Date
(All on Sundays)
Concept
Programs
June5thCultural Activities for Young People∘ Hands-on experience events and exhibitions based on themes associated with Taegukgi
– Taekwondo performances, making Taegukgi-themed umbrellas, etc.
19thGwanghwamun Hope-Sharing Flea Market∘ One-day flea market
Aug.7thSummer Water Activities∘ A downtown waterpark
21stGwanghwamun Hope-Sharing Flea Market∘ One-day flea market
Sept.4thMerrymaking Traditional/Cultural Activities∘ Hands-on experience of traditional culture on the occasion of Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving)
– An event for families
18thGwanghwamun Hope-Sharing Flea Market∘ One-day flea market
Oct.2ndLet’s Enjoy Fall Together∘ An event designed to get to know one another under the pleasant fall weather
– With the participation of families and undergraduate clubs and open cafes for book lovers
∘ Costume plays and walking events
16thGwanghwamun Hope-Sharing Flea Market∘ One-day flea market



100 Guardians of the Rights of Young People Recruited

Part-time work is usually the first job done by most young people in their life. Thus, part-time work often leaves people with precious memories of their youth. In consideration of this, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to help part-time workers not receive unreasonable treatment from their employers, and thus has recruited 100 guardians, who will watch to ensure that young part-time workers’ rights are protected properly.

The guardians will undergo 40 hours of job-related education about labor laws and counseling skills, check the status of the workplaces where the young people work, and help them receive reasonable treatment. They will also distribute standard employment contract forms for the part-timers to refer to that explain their rights as employees.

Where it is judged that professional consulting is required, the guardians will advise part-time workers to call the Seoul Labor Center or SMG officials in charge of protection of workers’ rights.

The SMG will also launch a community where young part-time workers can share information and communicate with each other, while helping them gain their rights through seminars on labor laws and workers’ rights.

The SMG will provide educational sessions on workers’ rights in order to prevent young people from suffering disadvantages due to ignorance. It also plans to develop programs within the year designed to heal the mind of young people hurt from their emotional labor.

▶ For inquiries, please call the Job Policy Division (☎02-2133-5438).




1st Seoul Job Café Opens near Hongik Univ. Station

The very first SMG-run job café has opened near Hongik University Station. It provides young people with general services associated with preparations for landing a job.

The job café, which was announced in February, is part of the support system provided to young job seekers. Private institutions will work together with the SMG to provide updated job information. It is drawing attention as the first of its kind attempted by a public institution.

Those interested can look up the following information from the large smartphone-shaped kiosk placed within the café: ▲public/private institutions recruiting people, ▲ a calendar marking institutions recruiting people through open competition, ▲ job application strategy, ▲ people’s introduction of the businesses they are working for, ▲ samples of self-introduction, etc.

The job café also plans to provide the following: consulting for those looking for jobs, how to draw up a resume and cover letter, special lectures given by those in charge of recruitment of employees for businesses, and dialogues with business CEOs.

▶ Name and location of the job cafe: Media Cafe {Hu:} near Exit 2, Hongik University Station




SMG to Increase Women Protection Facilities

The SMG disclosed a plan to increase the number of women protection facilities, particularly those returning home late at night, from the present 673 to 1,000. The new plan will use big data Seoul Policy Map regarding spatial information that analyzed the following: ▲ areas where there are many women living alone, ▲ sex crime-prone areas and ▲ areas where there are many bars and nightlife spots.

The plan includes the use of 24-hour convenience stores to offer protection to women returning home late at night and help women in danger. Emergency bells and the no-dialing system (When the phone is put off, it is automatically linked to the police) in those locations enables for the police to be dispatched to the scene.

The SMG also provides wireless emergency bells to convenience stores. In an emergency situation, these bells kept in the pocket are used to call the police to rush to the scene with a simple push of a button.

According to the SMG, 673 24-hour convenience stores in the city have helped women in need of emergency aid at night in a total of 171 cases since February 2014. The system is the first of its kind adopted by a local government.

Women Protection Facility sign at 7-ELEVENWomen Protection Facility sign at GS25
Women Protection Facility sign at C-SPACEWomen Protection Facility sign at MINISTOP



SMG and Rotary International to Hold “3K Walk for Peace”

Gwanghwamun Plaza, Seoul where “3K Walk for Peace” will start

The Seoul Metropolitan Government, together with Rotary International, will host the “3K Walk for Peace” event, which will start at 9:00 am on May 28, 2016 with 5,000-plus people from 160 countries in attendance. Participants will walk the total distance of 3km from the Seoul Plaza to the Gwanghwamun Plaza and then back to the Seoul Plaza in their traditional clothes, praying for world peace.

The event is the first official international event held by Rotary International from May 28 to June 1 to express the desire for peace of the people the world over.

Celebrities taking part in the event will include Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, and American, German, and Irish Ambassadors. Mr. K.R. Ravindran is known for stopping the Sri Lankan War to conduct polio vaccinations.

Ancillary events will include the Rotary International Photos Exhibition at the Gwanghwamun Plaza; Ganggangsuwolrae (a traditional Korean dance performed by a group of women that was first held to pray for a bountiful harvest and has developed into a cultural symbol for the country), and a large-scale Flash Mob designed for world peace and reconciliation at Seoul Plaza.
Rotary International was established the world’s first organization assembled to carry out volunteer services. It has 1.23 million members worldwide. At present, it engages in programs to get rid of polio, eradicate illiteracy, train next-generation leaders, and provide medical services.

The Rotary International Convention is held annually, in a different country every year. The event is attended by about 50,000 people (including 25,000 people from 160 countries). It is expected that this year’s event in Seoul will produce 292.5 billion won worth of economic ripple effects, including the occupation of 5,288 guestrooms in 56 hotels and the use of 1,500 chartered buses.

The SMG launched a special team for providing support for the international event in April in the safety, transportation, and tourism sectors.

Commenting on the event, Director General Kim Eui-seung of the Tourism and Sports Bureau of the SMG said, “We are providing full support for the success of this international event, which will be the largest ever event of its kind. We expect the event to go a long way towards the enhancement of the image of Seoul and the invigoration of the local economy.”




SMG to Improve Pedestrian Crossing Sign System

보행시차제_thumb

The Seoul Metropolitan Government intends to improve the pedestrian crossing sign system as part of the comprehensive plan Walk, Seoul designed to make Seoul a city striving for pedestrians’ safety and convenience. The SMG plans to adopt a staggering system for pedestrian crossings in cooperation with the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. Under the plan, the pedestrian crossing time will be lengthened during rush hour or on specific days of the week.

At present, the pedestrian crossing time is the same around the clock, with no consideration given to changing traffic volume or pedestrian characteristics. By improving the system, it is expected that pedestrians will be able to cross streets more conveniently during rush hours and lunch hours.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency has been testing the system in five areas including Dongnimmun Station Crossing since April 2014 and is gradually expanding the areas based on an analysis of the results.

The SMG will increase the areas where the new system is applied to 124 pedestrian crossings in the city. It will continue to improve the system by analyzing pedestrian characteristics by days of the week and hours of the day at 50 selected pedestrian crossings or where the number of pedestrians is increased sharply on weekends or public holidays in association with leisure activities or shopping.




Four Delivery Centers to Hire Developmentally Disabled

일자리거점

The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to provide career support services in four major centers within the city for people with developmental disabilities by allocating them for door-to-door delivery services in order to help them stand on their own through vocational rehabilitation.

The plan is an enlarged version of the good-quality job model established by the Municipal Job Support Center for the Disabled of Nowon District, where 23 people with developmental disabilities earn 60 million won a year by engaging in door-to-door delivery service for 5,000 households in neighboring apartments.

The SMG plans to expand such a service carried out by people with developmental disabilities and provide them with additional support.

There are a total of 121 vocational rehabilitation facilities for the disabled in Seoul. Using these facilities as footholds, it is not necessary to provide separate spaces. The SMG will expand the right of the disabled for job selection by expanding their jobs from the currently concentrated on secondary industries like simple manufacturing or processing to farming, service, and culture/arts sectors.




30-hour Passionate Hackathon for Settlement of Urban Issues

The Seoul Metropolitan Government is holding a hackathon, where 400-plus people are gathered for discussion about how to settle urban issues associated with welfare, environment, culture/environment, and transportation faced by Seoul. Hackathon (hacker + marathon) refers to a lengthy discussion to reach a result about a specific subject.

The SMG is holding an I·Hackathon·U (Make Seoul Better) session in an effort to settle urban issues of Seoul together with people on June 25. Anyone interested in these issues can take part.
The SMG intends to use the event as an opportunity to explore realizable technological proposals and link it with its efforts to produce innovative products, policies, and programs.

Those interested in taking part in the 30 hour-long session need to apply through http://hackatseoul.com/ no later than June 3.

For inquiries, please call the Seoul Business Agency (SBA) (02-2222-3839).




I•SEOUL•U Ready to Move Forward with Seoul Brand Committee

On May 20, 2016, the Seoul Metropolitan Government designated a total of 26 experts specializing in brand, marketing, and communication as members of the Seoul Brand Committee at a ceremony held at Seoul City Hall.

The committee is a legal committee based on the Seoul City Symbol-related Ordinance, promulgated and implemented on the day preceding the day of the designation.

The SMG set up the lineup that will work on the solid establishment of    as a brand representing people in Seoul by calling up members of the Seoul Brand Promotion Committee, celebrities known for their skills in marketing, management, advertisers, and councilors.

For the application and the spread of brand led by the citiznes, as a leader of public-private governance, the committee will play various roles including consulting and coordinating concerning the publicizing of the Seoul City Brand  , making strategies to push ahead with relevant collaboration in the public/private sectors, and promote Seoul City brand-related policies