SEOUL, May 4 (Korea Bizwire) – An increasing number of South Korean retirees are participating in social contribution activities, an experience many find rewarding, through which individuals can share their talents with others and be paid for their contributions.
Kim, who is in her 70s, has found new meaning in life after joining a social contribution program at a senior citizens association in Suwon, through which she educates children and adolescents on forest ecology.
Kim finds it rewarding when students who didn’t have interest in the subject previously develop interest after attending Kim’s lectures. Kim appreciates the opportunity to contribute knowledge to society.
Currently, 126 volunteers in their 70s and 80s are working for the Suwon Volunteer Center, up from last year’s figure of 117.
The Ministry of Employment and Labor has been working with local governments to create an environment where high-skilled retirees with specialized knowledge can make contributions to nonprofit organizations and social enterprises, a practice that is often referred to as social contribution activities in South Korea.
Under the 6 billion won budget proposed for this year, social contribution personnel who work around 40 t0 60 hours per month will receive 220,000 to 340,000 won as compensation, a sum that should be welcome to some retirees struggling on limited financial resources.
“Many elderly people who were staying at home dealing with loneliness have said they are much happier after joining our social contribution program, where they can share their talents and earn a living,” an official at the Suwon Volunteer Center said.
Along with social contribution workers, volunteering is becoming increasingly popular among the elderly, with the number of volunteers aged over 60 at the Suwon Volunteer Center gradually growing since 2013.
Last year, more than 12,500 elderly volunteers were registered, up from 9,721 in 2013.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)