Migrants’ problems are in the hands of migrants

Migrants’ problems are in the hands of migrants

Park Young-geum (Director of Multicultural Education Team)

I will never forget the day my eldest son burst out in tears 7 years ago. One evening when my eldest son was about 6 years old, a child who had been to daycare struggled not to go to daycare again. It was a daycare center where I started going to school from a young age and attended for about 6 years without any problems, but I was surprised when I suddenly brought up such a story. As my little body trembled and struggled, I was even more desperate at what my son said.
“It’s all because of my dad. My friends keep making fun of me because I look like my dad!”
I wondered what it felt like when the sky was falling.
‘Because I resemble my father’… In
other words, ‘I am this way because of my father’s black face’. My heart ached.
It was then that my husband and I felt that something was firmly wrong.
In the midst of the prejudices of Korean society, she and her husband, who is a migrant, were just trying to make a living through difficult but hard work. Because of this, it was even more difficult to accept the wounds of a child because it was a time when I felt that it was a luxury to hug the children with kindness and warmth, and to have time to play hand in hand on holidays.
But I couldn’t just be surprised. And I couldn’t just make money comfortably.
My son was screaming, ‘Please protect me so that other children don’t make fun of me.’ So I found the Korea Migrant Human Rights Center.

And, at the same time, mothers of immigrant spouses, who had the same concerns as husbands, came together to form an international marriage community called ‘Heavenly Heart’. At that time, our concern was the stable residence visa of my husband, who came to Korea as a migrant worker, but the biggest concern for parents before school age was that their children did not have a smooth peer relationship because of their outstanding appearance such as skin color or appearance.
So the parents decided to do something, and they met regularly to build friendships, study, and start educational meetings. ‘Human rights education with a beautiful difference’ was started after a series of contemplations.
‘Human rights education with beautiful differences’ means that although they are different, you can get to know each other and discover the beauty of other things in it. Immigrants, fathers of children, become educators and attend local study rooms, kindergartens, and elementary schools to teach and experience the cultures of each Asian country. Together with the difficulties faced by migrants and migrant workers, human rights and equality, and harmony of diverse cultures We also talked about the beautiful world we are creating.
The effect of education with migrants was beyond imagination. The children were able to nod their heads and have a time to confirm that ‘others are not wrong’ while encountering different unfamiliar cultures and regional characteristics that are inevitably different from other countries. As they emerged, they would come to hug the instructors leaving the classroom after class.
Migrant instructors also met with children of their own age in classrooms and met and taught them what their children could not tell them at the educational site, and the pride of migrants was growing that they were contributing to preventing differences from leading to discrimination in the children’s consciousness. .
At some point since then, my son says he’s the coolest and proudest dad in the world, who works for second-generation immigrants like himself. Also, my father thinks of me as not a foreigner who speaks poor Korean, but another Korean and a global citizen. In the midst of these changes that I have felt, I am working with the belief that it is up to us as migrant families to inform and solve the problems of migrants in our society. ‘Education for understanding multiculturalism’, which started with a few people’s concerns, has now become a bigger issue, and now it is a task that our society as a whole must solve together and the most important thing to prepare for the future of Korean society.

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