Grateful Heart

For Refugees 2018.09.04 11:04

We are looking for essay writers who will help promote the awareness of refugee rights in Korea. NANCEN wants to let the voice of refugees heard as they want to be heard in Korea society. We wish Koreans could come to understand that refugees are not to be feared or pitied. If you are interested in this project, please contact to, Ku. 

Grateful Heart


My name is Assumpta, a Ugandan female. I am married to a fellow Ugandan and am a mother of two lovely daughters. My family currently lives in Daecheon, a very beautiful, quiet place with lovely people, hence favourable for raising my daughters.

I came to South Korea in 2011 through Incheon Airport and lived in Seoul for 4 years before moving to Daecheon. In the beginning, life was very tough and trying, but gradually the situation got better. The major problem has always been the language barrier, with communication almost impossible. Since last year, I have been attending Korean language class. Hence, my living condition is much better and easier since I can communicate simply with people .

When I arrived in South Korea, I applied for a refugee visa and had to go through several courts of law before I finally attained valid refugee status. When my refugee application was rejected, I was introduced to NANCEN for help. I was 5 months pregnant with my first baby and life was more than miserable! I had totally lost hope and was very helpless. However, NANCEN was the beginning of the great breakthrough in my life!

NANCEN was an angel that got sent to me from heaven. My life drastically changed from worst to best! NANCEN supported me with food, clothes, baby milk, medical advice about free clinics for check-ups, and Korean language classes. But most importantly, NANCEN fought for me, and I got a refugee visa! Through lawyers offered to me by NANCEN, I managed to get a refugee visa and my life has been more than fine since then. My forever-lasting great gratitude to NANCEN, my savior!

NANCEN introduced me to several volunteers willing to support refugee applicants, one of whom was Ms. Choi Soyeon, director of Take Out Drawing and Museum. She helped me a lot with food and clothes and showed me much love. This made me relaxed and feel at home.

When my family moved to Daecheon, little did I know that we had gone to heaven! My life in Daecheon has been so comfortable, thanks to all the kindhearted, loving, supportive and caring people I meet daily. To begin with, I was introduced to Mr. Lee, my daughter’s social worker from City Hall, and through him, I have met more volunteers. Mr. Lee supports my family with food, clothes, fuel to warm the house in winter, groceries and more, which he gets from the kindhearted volunteers willing to help refugees.

Through Mr. Lee, my family managed to locate a Catholic church, as we are Catholics by faith, and our church, 동대동성당, has been so supportive. Church people help us with food, clothes, groceries and payments of our monthly housing rent. Most of all, our church helped my husband and me to get married! It was so difficult for us to get married since my husband has no visa. But through our church, we managed to accomplish this very important matter in our life. Great thanks to Michael, who tirelessly fights for my family’s well-being.

Again through Mr. Lee, I was introduced to the Boryeong Multicultural Family Support Center. At the center, I met my Korean language teacher, who became a mother and mentor to me. My teacher helped me a lot, and because of her, my daughters’ living condition is very fine. She helped me attain a baby card so my girls enjoy free kindergarten education. She also introduced me to a health center, and my girls were accepted for the nutrition programme, which supports them with baby food. The teacher also helped me to apply for national health insurance, which greatly helps me with medical issues. Thank you, my teacher. I will forever love you!

Mr. Lee introduced me to Dream Start, an organization that offers child support and care. Dream Start helps me with food, clothes and translation services, especially at the kindergarten during counseling. Thank you for all the help!

I was introduced to Seongju Community Center by Mr. Lee, and the center offers help to my family. The office used to give me money for home parenting before my girls went to kindergarten. The office also gives me rice, kimchi, and bed warmers for winter, and takes my family out for barbeque.

This office gave me a job for 3 months as a cleaner and gardener. Thanks to Ms. Kim for all the support. With great contentment, I thus confidently say my refugee life in South Korea is associated with love, care, support, hope and more!

I will forever be grateful to all the organizations and individuals who support my family. I am happy to live in South Korea and hope my family life gets better by the day, especially for my girls. My daughters are Korean by birth, and must live in South Korea and receive equal treatment like other children. God bless the world – Amen!

* Korean version:

Posted by 난민인권센터