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Mayor's Hope Journal

  • Seoul New Start Support Center for Senior Citizens
    [Mayor Park Won Soon’s Administrative Journal 74]

  • Mayor's Hope Journal SMG 1407

    Screen capture of the Seoul New Start Support Center website for senior citizens

    Last year, Seoul Metropolitan City revealed its plans for senior citizens. We wanted to support our senior citizens the hardworking generation that made Korea what it is today in overcoming the hardships and challenges of modern Korean society. Each senior citizen has unique circumstances. Some may need assistance for food; others may need to kick-start their second career. Our new policies and support program are best embodied by the Seoul New Start Support Center.

    The numbers of senior citizens have skyrocketed as the baby boomers transitioned into the older age group. Given how average citizens live much longer, there is a pending need to find an alternative solution for life after retirement. The Seoul New Start Support Center will be offering educational courses, job information, and cultural exchange for senior citizens.

    Seoul’s ambitious plan is to have 15 local welfare centers for senior citizens by 2015 and 1 center per district as a long-term goal. The first New Start Support Center will open on January 31 at the former National Institute of Health in Nokbeon-dong, Eunpyeong-gu. Here is the schedule for January and February.

    1. Social Contribution Academy: from January 15
    2. Life Consulting Academy: from February 19
    3. Startup Academy: from January 16
    4. Barista Course: from January 21

    The course on “Beginning a New Life After Retirement” involves preparing for a new start and managing change as well as philosophy, world culture, literature, and other humanities classes, work, finance, hobbies, health, living, and planning the future. “Social contributions, sharing skills” teaches students about social work and areas and reviews examples of retired social contributors. This course includes classes on volunteering for welfare facilities, coordinator for senior homes, NPO, dance and movement program instructors, etc. Startup classes start from beginner’s courses, seminars on model examples, selection of good startup ideas, financial administration, promotion, marketing, and other classes that will be useful for those who are interested in starting a new business. There are also courses on social enterprise, cooperative unions, urban agriculture, and more. Job training courses include classes to become baristas, gardeners, physical education teachers, and more.

    I believe such is a good selection of interesting classes. Just introducing them has gotten me all excited about them. Please spread the word to the other senior citizens around you. Seoul will come up with more practical policies and schemes to enrich our citizen’s lives. For more information, visit http://seoulsenior.or.kr.