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Korea’s Saemaul Undong becomes a global model for poverty eradication
Date : 2018.02.28 Read : 2199
Saemaul Undong (SMU), based on its spirit of diligence, self-help and cooperation, is the Korea’s representative rural development model, which helped the nation transform itself from an aid recipient to a donor country. In 2013, the UNESCO listed the archives of Saemaul Undong as the Memory of the World Register, recognizing Korean people’s experience as a valuable asset for humankind.

With an aim to share Korea’s experiences and know-how on Saemaul Undong, a sustainable rural development model, with Fiji for combating poverty and promoting community development, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety of Korea (MOIS, Minister Kim Boo-kyum) signed an MOU on Cooperation in the Field of Saemaul Undong with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Fiji on February 27 at the Government Complex Seoul.

The signing of MOU was put forward upon the request from the Vice Minister of Youth and Sports of Fiji who attended the Global Saemaul Leaders Forum held in last October.

The MOU provides the scope and areas of cooperation as follows:
1) Share Korean experience in rural agricultural development through the exchange of Saemaul Undong officers and/or volunteers;
2) Support for the fostering of Saemaul Undong leaders and experts and train youth /women groups and village leaders in Saemaul Undong activities;
3) Cooperation in the field of Community Credit Cooperatives (“Saemaul Geumgo”);
4) Implement Saemaul Undong in selected rural areas of Fiji for accelerating rural development; and
5) Support for carrying out public-private cooperation projects on Saemaul Undong;

MOIS has carried out invitational capacity building training programs for Fiji Saemaul leaders and public officials to lay the foundation for cooperation. In addition, the ministry supported field research for promoting Saemaul Undong tailored to Fiji, rather than one-way sharing of Korean model.

The government of Fiji selected three villages in the main island and Vanua Levu Island as pilot Saemaul Undong villages in 2018. The pilot villages are focused on raising people’s awareness and improve living environment with the government’s own budget and human resources.

As of February 2018, MOIS has signed MOUs on Cooperation in the Field of Saemaul Undong with 9 governments, and conducted 41 village projects for fostering community leaders and building pilot villages, contributing to eradicating rural poverty and improving people’s awareness.

Minister Kim Boo-kyum of the Interior and Safety commented that “The signing of MOU marks a new milestone to foster cooperation on Saemaul Undong. I hope Korea’s Saemaul Undong will be of great help to achieve sustainable rural development of Fiji.”