Miracle of saemaul undong f

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  • 1. Miracle of Saemaul Undong<br />Introduction <br />It is very different and difficult question how to move toward participatory economics, to be well-established participatory work. Overall strategies for social change are part of strategy for building a participatory economics. In essence, participatory economics include how to mobilize people´s energy for social change, how to lead and to rise consciousness and how to overcome various obstacles as they arise.<br />This article considers participation experiences during Saemaul Undong (New Village Movement), Korea's representative community development program, nowadays well-known as a successful model of rural community development. The aim of this paper is focusing on volume of government role including the political will and government´s guidance, as a very important role for the effective implementation process of community development.<br />Today, Korea is one of the most literate, most developed and most highly advanced economies in our world. This paper has aim to discuss and hear the case of this movement. Primary we are focused on next question, like foreigners who are interested in miracle of Korea´s growth. What were the factors and conditions for the success of the movement? What extent is the movement transferable to other developing countries for rural development?<br />To introduce the topic we would like to show by following five elements what were the key field of the movement:<br />(1) Village as the strategic unit of community action<br />(2) Integrated rural development program<br />(3) Voluntary participation and democratic decision-making<br />(4) Saemaul leadership and training<br />(5) Catalytic and effective support<br />The Saemaul Undong is nationwide movement that has reduced poverty and also a continuing campaign for better life of the people. Eventually, the Saemaul Undong is famous as one of the main contributions of the Korean´s economy. Result of the movement is that Korea being a donor of food and other survivals needs to compare to situation before 1960s – Korea was a state of widespread poverty and hunger. Intelligence of the people and willingness to work as well as to invest in the public welfare are without doubt key factors of the beginning of this economic miracle. Korean development and Korean society have evolved a strong component of the active state with a modernized version of leadership by one person who has gathered political and economic potential behind state-led development.<br />On the one side, wide range of people´s participation and ignitability for maximizing contribution of this movement could be recommendable to others countries, is very significant for us to be interested in this topic. On the other hand, focusing on volume of government role including the political will and government´s guidance, as a very important role for the effective implementation process of community development turns our attention this way, to examine the case as a beautiful example of participatory governance and people.<br />Let ´s look at the very beginning and others historical, political and cultural facts that lead to the series of changes that are the most significant prerequisite of self-reliant development in rural communities.<br />The Birth of Saemaul Undong<br />Nation-wide social movement in Korea was launched by government in 1970 and vigorously implemented during ten years. Aim of this movement was modernize rural villages by introducing changes in the rural community. The rural village was chosen as a strategic and basic unit of community action because it was viewed as conductive to the pursuance of traditionally common interests, physically close interaction and cooperative action among villagers.<br />Until the late 1960´s, the per capita GDP was 85 dollars and the Korean society was uprooted by differences in ideas and faced with poverty problems. The worst situation was in rural area; 70 % of the national population was farming houses but most of them did not have enough to eat their daily meals. In that time, some special programs for rural development were implemented by the government and also special projects for rural income increase. But, there was no expected any progress of the nation. National resources were poor, and the government could not take responsibility of supporting communities. Awakening and participation of people was the only possible way, how to breakthrough this situation and break the gap between urban and rural area. Taking these assumptions into consideration, there was no enthusiasm and will of reformation by the tired farmers. Saemaul Undong Movement was proposed in rural communities by the government to inspire the people and lead them into progress of rural communities. <br />Creating a better community to live in, foster a health society and build a country one can be proud of the basic goals of the movement. Until 1970, 80 % of the rural communities had thatched roofs and the same percentage of communities were living with the help of oil lamps in the place of electricity. But change was knocking on the their door. President Park Chung Hee was born in poor rural family and proposed the Saemaul Undong as a self-help rural development campaign in effort to eradicate rural poverty in Korea – and miracle could began its history.<br />“Saemaul Refurbishment,” it was a limited program of supplying rural communities with construction materials, Saemaul Undong is evolving of this program. 33,000 villages with 335 bags of cement (one bag of cement amounts to 40 kilograms) and iron roads were supplied by the government. What to do with cement was up to villagers, they had to decide how they use the supply. A remarkable result began to emerge they began to cooperate for joint project and this started to bring about changes to their villages suffering from being in stagnation. Villages produced an impressive result amounting to three times the government support. Incentives to help rural villagers to participate voluntary in the movement was the government´s materials support for Saemaul project. They put their labor, land and other resources in the joint projects, when combined with government´s support of material, brought a snowball effect. In 1972 (two years after movement started), the “Saemaul Refurbishment Program” was grown to the full-fledged Saemaul Undong. The change was that the government provide the material support to only about a half or 16,000 villages because of their good performance. Title “the better village the first support” was a stimulate impulse for lagging villages. This approach had a ripple effect of attracting into movement more than 6,000 villages with their own resources with amazing result. Government managed to harvest a result amounting to seven times its investment. Wide range of Saemaul projects for improvement in physical environment such as farm roads, village entrance roads, sanitary water system, rural electrification, village halls, small bridges, marketing system arrangements, etc. Environment projects increased in size as the years progressed, but on the other hand big project such as building roads and sewage systems were done as a joint venture with neighboring villages to reduce costs. Result was that there was rural steadily increasing of income. After four years of project existence, the rural income surpassed the urban income and in 1978, 98% of all villages became economically self-reliant.<br />Process, called a productive Saemaul virtuous cycle consisting of five steps: (1) incentives from government support -> (2) motivating rural villages to improve their infrastructure -> (3) inducing farmers' participation and cooperation -> (4) visible results and tangible benefits from improved infrastructure -> (5) building up the spirit of self-help and cooperation -> (6) expanded reproduction. In this respect, it should be noted that a key factor for its success is participation of rural people. Earlier, the Korean government forced villagers to participate in rural development campaigns, what was the main point of failure previous movements. Role of government was to be only guide to provide technical information relevant to villager´s choices, including supplying each village with a menu of projects appropriate to the category of village. With the menu, each village could focus on their decision from general to specific projects based on majority of the villagers need urgently. To increase rural women´s participation, the government had each village elect a woman Saemaul leader as an integral part of the Saemaul leaders' training programs. It also aggressively supported improving their living environment and women were even more enthusiastic and implemental than men about the movement as they were promoting such programs as rice-saving campaign, raising funds for women, running village consumers’ co-ops and day-care centers.<br />This increasing voluntary participation of farmers led to maximizing investment of their energy and resources with change into rural development and grass-roots democracy in Korea. Democratic decision-making on what to do with the government- supplied cement was based on expanding the voluntary participation of villagers in the movement. . The village development committee - responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing Saemaul projects for the village, consisted of 12 elected delegates headed by a Saemaul leader. Successful villages had devoted Saemaul leaders who were non-paid volunteers. Saemaul leadership is one of the three basic components of the movement, including village participation and government support. The role of the leader was to participate and perform as a planner, implementer of project and a coordinator. The more capable Saemaul leaders were, the more participation they were able to induce from farmers. In view of this, the supporting role of the government in the movement was to motivate farmenrs´ and leaders participation. Reasons for their motivation are following: first, they wanted to develop their villages. Second, the government used effective strategy of "the better village the first support", what in real life mean that farmers were anxious to outrace their neighboring villages. However, there was the self-help principle "God helps those who help themselves" that application stimulated lagging villages to double their efforts to catch up.<br />What is Saemaul Undong?<br />Saemul Undong is not only an action based project, but how was mentioned above, it is a struggle for a better life not only for individual but for society as a whole. The essence of Saemaul Undong are tree main values: diligence, self-help and cooperation as values and ethics for new society and building a prosperous nation.<br />Saemaul Undong did not start off as a major project. After three years of experimentation, the government realized that without self-will of the people, the project would lead to failure. Mental reform of this project means, anything can be done and there is will that we can do it. Diligence leads to sincerity, it is a value that does not allow falseness, hypocrisy and vanity. Self-help defines one´s fate based on one´s effort, one has to be totally independent and must not ask for help from the outside. Cooperation is based on pursuit for community growth, it is a team effort. Therefore, these three values and ethics are cultural and social background of success of Saemaul Undong. The goal of project is building building a united community and nation and storing peace and order to mankind.<br />References<br />Bernard, Rowan. (2010). Korean miracle is work of its people. Retrieved from http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/12/308_74978.html<br />Hahnel, Robin, & Albert, Michael. (1991). Looking forward: participatory economics for the twenty first century. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/pss/4226599<br />Speech, Kevin. (n.d.). Saemaul(new village) undong in korea - factors of the success and their transferability -. SMU 40th Anniversary International Symposium, Retrieved from http://www.mynewsletter.co.kr/harmonykorea/img/201010/eng.pdf<br />whang in-joung community participation in Saemaul movememt year 1983<br />Snow, please check this source – you sent us the paper in .pdf and now I could not to find it back on internet! Thank you<br />