A Catholic lay missionary who spent 50 years providing social services in South Korea, will be honored by a secular welfare foundation in October. The Paradise Welfare Foundation announced today that it will confer its Social Welfare Award on Susannah Mary Younger, 74, on 19 October.
“Although she is a foreigner, her lifetime of sacrifice … in South Korea has become a model for our society,” the foundation said.
“Also, in her book, Never Ending Flower, in 1967, she contributed much toward cultural exchange between Great Britain and Korea,” the foundation added.
Younger came to Korea from England in 1959 at the age of 23 and worked for human rights and the welfare of people suffering from poverty and disease.
She established a school for women in Daegu, some 230 kilometres southeast of Seoul, now called the Catholic Green Glade, as well as a shelter for teenage girls. She also provided vocational skills such as hairdressing and embroidery.
She went to France in 1973 and worked as a formator at a centre near Lourdes. While staying in France, she frequently visited Korea and returned in 2004 after her retirement.
Younger is now an adviser to Catholic Green Glade. She also teaches English and gives lectures on culture and philosophy.
“Younger frequently said that ‘charity is a must for a Christian,’” said Veronica Lee Myong-sik, director of Catholic Green Glade.
Younger is currently in Lourdes. The award she will receive includes 50 million won (US$42,000) cash and a certificate.