Jai Chang LEEPresident of Korea Saemaul UndongCenter
1〇 Launched as a Korean model of rural development〇 Proposed by President Park Chung-Hee to reform Korean rural villages ☞ “Movement for a better life” 1) Mental reform movement of villagers 2) Movement of action & practice, rather than theory 3) “Can-do spirit” and positive thinking through experience
2 ○ Korea was ruined by the Korean war in the 1950s ○ GDP per capita in 1960 was below $100○ Implemented five-year economic development plan twice, from 1962 → Realized economic growth in 1970 → Rural sector remained underdeveloped ○ President Park Chung-Hee : “National development cannot be achieved without rural development” ☞ Wealth accumulated from industrial development was invested in the rural area ☞ Supplied 335 sacks of cement to all rural villages in 1971 ○ Background of Vitalization ☞ Rural villagers gained their own farm land through farm land reformation ☞ Lowered illiteracy rate through education ☞ Korean men learned spirit of cooperation through military service
3○ Government’s Role ☞Motivate spirit of diligence, self-help, cooperation ☞Provide opportunity of spontaneous participation○ Supplied 335 sacks(40kg each) of cement to 33,267 villages in 1971 ☞ Gave the guideline to select and implement necessary projects○ Villagers elected Saemaul leaders through villagers’ meetings○ Villagers made decisions on projects and implementation strategies○ Development of village entry roads ☞ Mobilize necessary labor force for projects ☞ Secure land for road development ☞ Specific scheme to procure gravel and sand required to make cement
○ Evaluation of all villages after one year (1972) ☞ 16,600 villages that had successfully implemented Saemaul projects were specified as outstanding villages ☞ Additional support (500 sacks of cement, 1 ton of iron bar) to outstanding villages○ Evaluation of all villages after one year (1973) ☞ 6,000 additional villages had implemented projects without government support○ Villages were classified into three levels from 1974 ☞ Basic-level village, self-help level village, self-reliant level village ☞ Different projects were implemented according to village level ☞ “Priority support to outstanding village” policy was applied - differentiated government support
○ Government provided support similar to the pumping water in a water pump in order to develop the spirit 4 of diligence, self-help and cooperation ○ Implement visible and feasible projects that can benefit villagers through democratic procedures ○ Apply policy of “priority support to outstanding villages” to induce spirit of self-help and cooperation
4〇 SMU is a mental reformation movement that puts emphasis on its spiritual background ☞ diligence, self-help, cooperation4〇 Diligence ☞ The early bird gets the worm ☞ Big fortune is blessed by heaven, but small fortune comes from hard work〇 Self-help ☞ Heaven helps those who help themselves ☞ Even a country cannot relieve poverty ☞ You may lead a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink〇 Cooperation ☞ Two heads are better than one ☞ 1+1=2+∝
5〇 Initial Projects of SMU ☞ Government support - Basic raw materials(cement, iron bar) and technical guidelines ☞ Environmental improvement projects were implemented by villagers ☞ Basic environmental improvement projects4 - Modernization of kitchens, fences, and sewerages, expansion and pavement of village entry roads - Construction of public laundry facilities, public wells ☞ Leadership building through Saemaul training〇 Step Two☞ Pushed forward production & income increasing projects based on the basic infrastructure of villages☞ Upgraded the saemaul spirit and project experience developed from initial Saemaul projects☞ Village infrastructure projects - Construct bridges, improve streams, pave farming roads, cultivate farming land, develop irrigation facilities☞ Income increasing projects - Livestock farming, floriculture, non-agricultural projects, cooperative production, green houses, specialty products☞ Professional technical training on construction and farming
〇 Step Three ☞ Implemented various projects for common profit based on the spirit of cooperation and self-help accumulated through previous projects ☞ Raising of public funds - Saemaul credit union, village stores, cooperative project committee, 4 selling food during special events ☞ Public village facilities - village libraries, barber shops, public storages, rice mills, workshops, public farm machines〇 Step Four - Expansion Stage☞ SMU expanded from the rural sector to urban areas and developed into a nationwide movement - Urban Saemaul Undong : promoting public order, kindness and cleanliness - Corporate & Factory Saemaul Undong : saving energy, improving product quality☞ Pushed forward a national movement to overcome economic crises - oil shock, IMF economic crisis, win-win movement between labor and management, gold gathering movement☞ Various social voluntary services to help poor neighbors☞ Developed into a new national movement that can adjust to changes in society - Green Korea, Smart Korea, Happy Korea, Global Korea Movement
6〇 Mistakes in the Implementation Process of Saemaul Undong -> Villagers learned to search for methods of improvement in process of time -> Government gave appropriate guidelines at the right time4 ☞ Villagers faced technological boundaries in the process of autonomous implementation ☞ Strong emphasis on competition put a great load on villagers ☞ Projects focusing on visible results resulted in one-off, unsustainable projects - Weakened villagers’ spontaneity ☞ Rapid changes in the community caused confusion in traditional culture and values
7〇 First Success Factor☞ Induced spontaneous participation through efficient support from4 the government at the right time - Villagers became participative as their confidence was ignited through the possibility of economic development and rural advancement found in the government’s effort to industrialize Korea, the poorest country in the world.〇 Second Success Factor☞ Saemaul projects were implemented in a democratic way in which villagers made their own decisions. - The government only provided technical guidelines. Villagers elected Saemaul leaders, and selected the Saemaul projects to implement in their villages.
〇 Third Success Factor ☞ Dedicated Saemaul leaders and Saemaul Training (leadership training) - Saemaul leaders were unpaid voluntary workers who were elected by villagers - Saemaul leaders played the role of a leader based on Saemaul training4 they received at the Saemaul Undong Central Training Institute. - Saemaul awards were given to leaders in accordance with their accomplishments to raise morale.〇 Fourth Success Factor☞ Priority support to outstanding villages induced competition based on self-help spirit. - Differentiated support to villages categorized into three levels – basic level, self-help level, and self-reliant level - Villagers worked harder on their projects to upgrade their village level and receive more government support〇 Fifth Success Factor☞ Saemaul projects were implemented in “village” units - Traditional villages were able to bring about cooperative spirit and common profit that worked for SMU.
8〇 Korea achieved rural development through SMU and succeeded in economic development and democratization4 in a short period of time Government’s adequate leadership & support Villagers’ spontaneous Saemaul leaders’ participation& practice dedicated service = Cooperative work of these three parties is a good model of rural development for any country in the world.
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