Opening address at the Hope Ondol Project Launching Ceremony
Date: November 30, 2011
Venue: Daehanmun Gate, Deoksugung Palace
Participants of the Hope Ondol Project Launching Ceremony, it is a pleasure to see you all, and I thank you for coming! I had hoped for better weather today, but they do say its good luck if it rains when you are moving or getting married, so perhaps this bodes well for the Hope Ondol Project. Regardless, I believe that any success the project achieves will be because of you.
Today is, in fact, a culmination of the aspiration and conviction that no one under Seoul’s sky goes hungry or sleeps out in the freezing cold. It is a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to initiate this meaningful project with those who share this aspiration, including the members of the local volunteers’ association and members of the Citizen Planning Council.
The Hope Ondol Project targets welfare blind spots. They say that the key to success in businesses and sales is to target niche markets, and this applies to welfare as well. We have to target those in such “niches”. The public and private sectors must cooperate to identify our welfare blind spots, consisting of those who are not beneficiaries of government support but direly need help. And by using public resources and securing private sponsorship, we will be able to provide them with practical assistance.
One of the notable features of this project is community participation. This means that it will be the citizens themselves who find out which of their neighbors are having difficulties, and provide volunteer services and sponsorship to those in need. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will simply contribute to the effort, such as by providing necessary information and other public resources. We hope this will help rekindle compassion in the communities of Seoul.
Today’s heroes and heroines are the volunteer workers and sharing associations. Take heart, everyone! The Seoul Metropolitan Government and I will do our best to assist you in your endeavors. Thank you