The National Council of Saemaul Undong Movement in Korea
Table of Contents Ⅰ. Modernization through Saemaul Undong 1. Saemaul Undong’ Ideals s 6 2. Saemaul Undong’ Guiding Spirit s 7 3. Goals of Saemaul Undong 8 Ⅱ. Evolution of Saemaul Undong 1. Historical Background and Social Environment 9 2. Stages in the Development of Saemaul Undong 13 Ⅲ. Saemaul Undong’ Main Objectives s 1. Saemaul Undong in Rural Areas 21 2. Saemaul Undong in Urban Areas 25 3. Corporation, Factory, and Library Saemaul Undong 28
Ⅳ. Saemaul Leaders and Saemaul Education: Roles and Functions 1. Saemaul Leaders 31 2. Implementation Process and Results of Saemaul Education 32Ⅴ. Saemaul Undong: Systems and Methods of Implementation 1. Systems of Implementation 37 2. Methods of Implementation 47Ⅵ. Achievements of Saemaul Undong and the Factors behind its Success 1. Achievements 50 2. Factors behind Saemaul Undong’ Success s 55 3. Reflection on Saemaul Undong 63Ⅶ. Implementing Saemaul Undong in the 21st Century 1. Challenging the Future 65 2. Directions of the New Saemaul Undong in the 21st Century 67 3. Strategies to Revitalize the New Saemaul Undong 73
I. Modernization through Saemaul Undong4 We Koreans have always perceived modern- 1. Saemaul Undong’ Ideals sization as a macro-trend in world history andhave naturally striven to modernize our nation. In Saemaul Undong primarily seeks to facilitatethe early 1970s, modernization efforts implement- community development and modernization.ed by the incumbent administration included This ideal is not confined to efforts to improveSaemaul Undong, or the Rural Reconstruction individual lifestyles and living conditions, butCampaign. This government program, however, encompasses the whole community. The ultimateelicited criticisms from some Koreans who argued goal of the campaign is to develop villages wherethat the government at that time appeared to be people can enjoy both physical and spiritualwilling to sacrifice social values, including free- wealth.dom, for the sake of maintaining high efficiency The term“Saemaul”was coined by combin-and rapid economic growth. As the movement ing Sae, which means ‘progressive renewal basedwas initiated and implemented by the govern- on past experiences,’and Maul, which refers toment, Saemaul Undong was criticized as being ‘regional and social communities.’ Thus, Saemaulnothing more than a tool to prolong the rule, and Undong represents a continuous effort towardsimprove the legitimacy of the regime. community renewal and modernization for a bet- Saemaul Undong’primary objective was to s ter future.respond to the basic daily needs of the Korean The development of Saemaul Undong ispeople. The ideal and spirit of Saemaul Undong, characterized as follows:which steered the campaign, were explicitly stated Saemaul Undong emphasizes growth byin the following statements of then President Park manifesting and enacting the people’desire to be sChung-Hee:“Saemaul Undong embodies our free from the shackles of poverty and to join theefforts to improve and modernize our villages by ranks of well-to-do societies. Such an emphasisourselves in the spirit of self-help and indepen- was natural at a time when all developing coun-dence. The government has launched the national tries were supposed to follow, and were actuallycampaign in the firm belief that it would turn following, the western model of modernization.every village in Korea into a prosperous and com- Against this backdrop, Saemaul Undong surfacedfortable place to live in.” as the primary driving force of the nation’mod- s ernization.
5 Saemaul Undong stresses societal welfare mentality of its people. Although different civiliza-and signifies the nation’commitment to egalitari- s tions have developed different mentalities, the willan economic development. As a developing coun- to independently pursue one’future is universal stry, Korea was no stranger to regional, industrial to all cultures.and social disparities that accompany the blind Diligence is the result of activating this willpursuit of economic growth. The raison-d’ of etre and entails the realization of efforts to make theSaemaul Undong is a balanced pursuit of overall most of what is available. Diligence leads to sincer-economic growth and an egalitarian distribution ity, a value that does not allow for falseness,process. hypocrisy, vanity, or indulgence in luxury. A soci- ety whose members sincerely work hard is Saemaul Undong tries to harmonize two con- enabled to develop a sound community proppedflicting values. While accepting the need for mod- up by trust and social justice, and without corrup-ernization, Saemaul Undong also values traditions tion or irregularities.that have endured the test of time. Interpreting Sae On the individual level, the will to indepen-as referring to the pursuit of change and Maul as dently define one’fate based on personal efforts is ssignifying traditional communities, it can be manifested in the spirit of self-help, figurativelyinferred that Saemaul Undong stands for the con- illustrated in the time-honored proverb“Heaventinuation of old values. Common wisdom often helps those who help themselves.”The first stepcriticizes such an approach as unrealistic and towards self-help is to understand oneself andambiguous, but in fact it creates a balance between one’place in the society, live up to one’role, and s sthe two extremes, and opens up the possibility of fulfill ones responsibilities. Such self-understand-combining them. ing means that one neither depends upon others nor transfers one’ responsibilities to others, and s Saemaul Undong employs a holistic approach. instead, tackles any adversities on one’own, tak- sIt never exclusively stresses the enhancement of ing full responsibility for decisions.agricultural productivity in developing remote agri- It should be noted that diligence and self-helpcultural sectors, though this is a top priority. are necessary but insufficient conditions in life.Instead, it also develops physical and social infra- Cooperation is necessary to maximize the resultsstructure such as roads and education. Saemaul of diligence and self-help, and to maximize theUndong believes that economic growth in rural social validity of such efforts. Genuine coopera-communities should be compatible with efforts to tion, or pursuit of community growth based onpreserve conventional cultural traditions and a mutual trust, results only when the members of ahealthy natural environment. society share a common sense of destiny. The suc- cessful realization of cooperation not only gives rise to a tradition of mutual help but also assists2. Saemaul Undong’ Guiding s individual members of the society to improve their Spirit lives by promoting competition and the desire to participate. Saemaul Undong is guided by three central These three values of Saemaul Undong, eachsocial values in Korean society: the spirit of dili- an independent criterion for judging angence, self-help, and cooperation: individual’life worth, exert much more influence s History has illustrated, in East and West, past and have more value when combined and harmo-and present, that a nation’ fate hinges upon the s nized.
6 One who can help oneself and is diligent can As human beings are destined to live togeth-function actively and autonomously through cre- er, society formation and individual integrity can-ative thinking and independent judgment. Clear not be separated from the realization of the integri-understanding of one’social role and its entailing s ty of the whole society. Simply putting individualsduties and responsibilities enhances one’autono- s together does not create a modern and prosperousmy. One who is diligent and cooperative can sym- society. New social demands constantly emerge,pathize with others and appreciate the true mean- requiring harmonized collective approaches. Thising of sacrifice, and can therefore do one’part in s is the rationale behind Saemaul Undong’empha- spursuing overall prosperity by serving others and sis on common virtues or goals. This focus helpsrespecting law and order. One who is diligent, members of society develop a collective identitycooperative and can help oneself can help con- and sharpen their sense of mutual relative signifi-struct a mature and moral society characterized by cance. As a result, the community itself can servenational harmony and social integration. These as a cultivating ground for an indigenous culturethree working principles for social justice - self- pursuing environmental preservation.help, diligence, and cooperation - help our society Within this framework, the basic goals ofmove closer to a rational system based on honesty, Saemaul Undong are: (1) to develop a modern,honor, and justice. comfortable and convenient social community; (2) to establish companies that workers can be proud of and where sustained growth is3. Goals of Saemaul Undong achieved in a cooperative and trusting working environment; (3) to develop and maintain a Saemaul Undong strives to guarantee integri- sound and healthy society whose members arety on both individual and social levels, and able to enjoy pleasant and intimate relationships;believes that integrity can begin only when mini- and (4) to build a continuously improving nationmum physical demands are met. Based on this that everyone will be proud of. Such a society isbelief, the campaign puts improvement of physi- sustained by a mature citizenry, substantial eco-cal living conditions at the top of its list of objec- nomic development, and a culture strengthenedtives. by order and morality.
II. Evolution of Saemaul Undong 71. Historical Background and With the wounds incurred by the nation’ s forced division and the fratricidal Korean War still Social Environment unhealed, politics in South Korea remained marred by confrontation and chaos, alternatingA. Political Background between dictatorship and almost irresponsible The 25 years between 1945, when Korea freedom. The limited experience of party-basedregained her independence from the Imperial politics, lack of political leadership, lack of mod-Japanese Rule, and the end of the 1960s were ern citizenship, lack of trust in democracy, andmarked by unprecedented turbulence and chaos. unsound socio-political system, among otherThis period was highlighted by major events problems, combined to lead to unhealthy gover-including the resumption of independence, the nance, non-productive political activities, andconsequent division of Korea, the temporary occu- widespread corruption, irregularities and bureau-pation by the US military forces, the establishment cracy.of the Korean government, the Korean War (1950- The Military Coup in 1961 marked a histori-53), the dictatorship of first President Rhee Seung- cal turning point for Korea in almost every aspect.Man, the April 19th Student Revolution (1960), the A new group surfaced on the political front, and alaunching of the Chang Myon government (1960), new governing system changed the administra-the May 16th Military Coup, and assumption of tive framework. A drive to eradicate old societalpower by coup leader General Park Chung-Hee patterns and attitudes and establish a new order(1961). and code of ethics was launched and gained firm
8 ing stabilizing the national government, promot- ing new leadership, identifying sources of nation- al competitiveness, enhancing national productiv- ity, offering inspiring visions, and stimulating efforts for self-helpnecessitated a national drive anchored to a new idea or philosophy that could earn the general public’ support and mobilize s their participation. The political needs as well as the demands of the time combined to give rise to Saemaul Undong. Saemaul Undong’ precursors can be found s in the 4-H Movement or Community Develop- ment (CD) Campaign in the 1950s and the 1960s. These movements, however, were limited to cer- tain areas and targeted mainly rural societies.ground. The revolution of the system offered an Saemaul Undong, on the other hand, deepenedopportunity to bring about changes in the mindset efforts along this line, and implemented diverseof the general public. projects and events for the general public in all Despite these positive developments, howev- corners of Korea. The burgeoning stage of Saem-er, the Third Republic that emerged from the Coup aul Undong can be summarized as an effort todid not enjoy enthusiastic political support from create national energy to raise national competi-the Korean people. Saemaul Undong, which was tiveness. Specifically, the campaign sought toinitiated in the early 1970s, was closely embedded improve the general public’awareness and stan- sin its historical context and had far-reaching socio- dards of living by offering new and progressivepolitical implications. One cannot understand the motivations.multiple facets of the campaign without associat-ing one facet with all the others, as these aspectsproduce spiraling effects while interacting with B. Economic Backgroundone another. Extreme poverty and chaos also character- The political origin of Saemaul Undong is ized the period between resumed independencerooted in an attempt by the administration to con- and the end of the 1960s. The per capita GNP,verge and funnel public energy into productive which stood at a meager US$ 50 at the time of thefields. There existed a formidable need to provide independence, recorded a tediously slow increase,the general public with hopes and dreams so that amounting to $65 in the 1950s and $85 in 1960.they could move beyond disparity, frustration, The majority of citizens were unable to supportunder-motivation, and irresponsibility. There was themselves because the persistent effects of bothalso a need to draw out courage and further wis- Japanese plundering during the occupation anddom from the pessimistic public in order for them the Korean War drove them to the brink of starva-to help themselves and cooperate on a daily basis. tion. A substantial portion of the populace livedIt was suggested that awakening the citizens to on flour granted by US grain aid programs, sinceface reality and unite is conducive to enhancing the land was devastated and frequent attacks bynational competitiveness and stabilizing the alternating floods and droughts meant bad har-national foundation. The necessary tasks - includ- vests year after year. These economic difficulties
9left deep and direct marks on the Korean people The Five-Year Economic Development Plan series,and the society as a whole, giving rise to unsound first implemented in 1962, featured export-drivensocial practices and distorted attitudes. The economic growth and development of heavyprospect of democracy blooming in Korea seemed industries. Its effect began to be felt slowly in 1967,just about as likely as“a flower blooming in a during the second Plan, and consequently, perwaste basket.”Social order was threatened by capita GNP jumped to US$ 257 by 1970. Socialwidespread corruption and irregularities, orga- order also began to stabilize, albeit only throughnized crime, legal offences, and other illegal activi- regulations and external forces.ties. On the other hand, city-building and manu- Acutely aware of these problems, the general facturing-oriented policies began to take their tollpublic welcomed the ideas of economic develop- by creating wide disparities in living conditionsment and the establishment of order, two of the poli- between urban and rural communities, andcy goals proclaimed by the military government. between those employed in manufacturing and
10 the ever-growing disparity between urban and rural sectors would trigger mass migration, cre- ating over-crowded cities and deserted rural vil- lages. The economic gap among the different regions would also lead citizens to lose their community awareness, blocking not only the enhancement of social harmony but also the con- struction of an effective system of national secu- rity. In order to prevent such problems from becoming realities, the growing need for eco- nomic development of rural communities was recognized. Against this backdrop, Saemaul Undong was launched as a nationwide modern-agricultural sectors. People from agricultural com- ization campaign.munities increasingly moved to urban areas,resulting in a disproportionally large urban popu-lace. This tendency was most visible in the metro- C. Social Backgroundpolitan area surrounding Seoul, the nation’capi- s The coarse living environments representedtal. by inferior housing, undeveloped roads, and poor The most direct and essential cause for drinking water supply and sewage systems, fellSaemaul Undong involves economic concerns. short of meeting the basic requirements for a com-The strong commitment of late President Park fortable life. Better living conditions were vital toChung-Hee, then head of state, to eradicate pover- curbing the exodus from rural areas as well asty was met by the general public’yearning for a s enhancing the living conditions of those stayinglife free from poverty. This in turn lent energy to on. Since such a project required enormousthe launching of Saemaul Undong, the primary human, financial, and other resources, the govern-goal of which was to increase income. Saemaul ment could not fund it independently. Fortuna-Undong was accepted as a breakthrough based on tely, a consensus emerged between the govern-confidence and optimism in the campaign to ment and rural residents that improving livingescape from despair and frustration. conditions was in the interest of both public and Due to the successful Five-Year Economic private sectors, and that the needed funds shouldPlans, which was started in 1962, the nation’ s be shouldered jointly by the government andeconomy expanded and the average per capita affected residents. Saemaul Undong was imple-GNP rose. The economic gap between urban and mented based on this consensus.agricultural areas, however, widened further as Another social factor that prompted theagricultural areas remained neglected. Chances implementation of Saemaul Undong was theof overcoming such regional disparities became need for new mindsets and attitudes among theincreasingly slim as experts judged that it would general public. The lives of most Koreans in thetake a long time for metropolitan and industrial 1960s were dictated by irrationality, low produc-prosperity to spread to rural areas and rural resi- tivity, and disorder. Few people prepared them-dents. Until then, rural areas would become even selves for the future, out of pessimism or uncer-more remote, creating serious obstacles to com- tainty regarding the future. Many were accus-pleting national development. People feared that tomed to living in despair, frustration and idle-
11ness. It was only natural to try to awaken the Saemaul Undong evolved continuously forgeneral public to face its unhealthy attitudes and almost one generation after its official launch bylifestyles, and help people develop mindsets and late President Park Chung-Hee on April 22, 1970.attitudes that could contribute to the building of The campaign underwent a number of changes ina healthy, strong, and stable society. Such a revo- the course of its development. These changes,lution in attitudes could not be achieved without both positive and negative, contributed to makingdedication and effort from each and every citi- Saemaul Undong a source of the Korean people’ szen. Thus Saemaul Undong was born as a pride and self-confidence.nationwide drive, responding to the need for a With the passage of time, Saemaul Undongrevolutionary change in citizens’attitudes and has gone through different stages emphasizingmindsets. This very need, an essential factor in different developmental criteria. The main repre-the campaign’implementation, became Saemaul s sentative criteria included ideals, supportingUndong’basic goal as well. s philosophies and goals; main agents of implemen- tation and their functions and roles; overall orga- nization, functions and human power; prioritized2. Stages in the Development activities and projects, and their funding; and of Saemaul Undong strategies and tactics employed and effects achieved. The sub-criteria of these five categories varied, reflecting the demands of the time. It isA. Stages of Saemaul Undong’ s therefore possible to classify the overall develop- Implementation ment of the initiative into several stages based on
12 the scope and content of such changes in the government issued working guidelines for“Ten developmental criteria. Admittedly, however, Projects for Constructing Better Villages” a pilot as evaluation results vary depending on which crite- program. To improve living conditions, 335 bags ria are used and how they are weighted. This of cement were allotted to each of over 33,000 vil- necessitates a single powerful model to examine lages. One man and one woman were elected to the various aspects of the movement. One possi- lead each village in planning and implementing ble response to this challenge is to classify the projects needed by the village. developmental stages based on the relationships Projects to improve living environments between the different developmental criteria received the greatest emphasis, followed by pro- employed and their varying significance. The fol- jects to increase household income, and projects to lowing division of the initiative into five develop- reform attitudes. Projects to improve living condi- mental stages is based on such an approach. The tions were focused on expanding road networks first stage, the foundation and groundwork stage inside the village, opening common outdoor laun- (1970-1973), strove to create a foundation for the dry facilities, and replacing traditional roofs, program. In the second, the proliferation stage fences, kitchen facilities and toilets with more (1974-1976), the organization and activities gradu- durable or modern ones. Projects designed to ally grew. The third stage was the energetic imple- increase household income concentrated mainly mentation stage (1977-1979), during which the on raising agricultural income by implementing effects of the program were felt most. The fourth agricultural roads expansion, agricultural land stage is designated as the overhauling stage (1980- amelioration, seed improvement, and labor shar- 1989) when the movement redefined its organiza- ing among farmers. Attitude-reform projects were tional structure and activities as a private-sector geared towards improving undesirable mentality movement. The final autonomous growth stage and attitudes. Specifically, emphasis was placed (1990-1998) was characterized by strengthened on removing decadent social trends, promoting a self-reliance and autonomy (See Table 1). diligent and frugal lifestyle, and forming a cooper- ative environment. Separate organizations and support systems were established on both central B. Development, by Stage and local government levels to actively and effec- tively assist Saemaul Undong, and coordinate and (1) Stage 1: Foundation and Groundwork encourage the implementation of related projects. (1970-1973) The Training Institute for Saemaul Leaders was The launching of Saemaul Undong on April opened to promote qualified and able manpower.22, 1970 signaled the beginning of the nationwide Saemaul Undong began to spread rapidly“Constructing Better Villages”campaign. The across the country as people became enthusiastic <Table 1> Stages of Saemaul Undong Stage Characteristics Period Stage 1 Foundation and Groundwork 1970 ~ 1973 Stage 2 Proliferation 1974 ~ 1976 Stage 3 Energetic Implementation 1977 ~ 1979 Stage 4 Overhaul 1980 ~ 1989 Stage 5 Autonomous Growth 1990 ~ 1998
13about the campaign’tangible results. Rural living s include corporations and factories, and the scopeconditions changed radically, almost beyond and target of projects gradually enlarged.recognition, and poverty in agricultural communi- Accordingly, more organizations and greater man-ties became less grinding. Some signs of attitudi- power were engaged in the governmental, regional,nal changes on the part of the citizens also and corporation units of the campaign, and moreemerged. Most of all, per capita GNP rose sharply financial assistance and loans were provided.from US$ 257 in 1970 to US$ 375 in 1973. Saemaul Education was strongly reinforced The first four years of Saemaul Undong have to help campaign leaders develop their capabili-some noticeable characteristics: rapid establishment ties. Related educational opportunities werewith almost simultaneous laying of the ground- opened up to public employees, opinion leaderswork for the campaign and promulgating it; pow- and general citizens, in order to proliferate a cor-erful government involvement and initiation; and rect understanding of the campaign and promoteprioritizing of projects to improve immediate living attitudinal changes. In short, the effect of Saemaulconditions. The first phase of Saemaul Undong Undong in strengthening public order, and ratio-achieved greater success than expected owing to nalizing and modernizing the living modes of thethe government’ strong commitment, citizens’ s general public, is almost beyond description.active participation, and the social necessity for Various public events, including Nationalsuch a program. Saemaul Leaders’ Conventions, were also instru- mental in encouraging the leaders and promoting(2) Stage II: Proliferation (1974-1976) the campaign. The three years from 1974 bore witness to the Priority of projects during Stage II wasestablishment of Saemaul Undong as a national assessed in the following order: income-raisingcampaign. Saemaul Undong began expanding to projects, attitude reform projects, and living envi-
14ronment improvement projects. Strategies Impressed by the achievements in the agriculturalemployed to increase income included straighten- sector, urban citizens began to pay greater atten-ing raised footpaths between rice fields, streamlin- tion to the campaign. An increasing number of cit-ing small rivers, pursuing combined farming, izens participated in a drive to help their nativeoperating common workplaces, and identifying towns, and Saemaul Undong was launched inextra income sources other than farming, etc. As a urban areas as well.result, per capita GNP more than doubled during The combined pursuit of increased income andthe 1974-1976 period, standing at US$ 765 by the changed attitudes was another characteristic ofend of 1976. Stage II. This combination aimed at achieving a syn- Much effort went into rationalizing public ergistic effect by seeking physical wealth and men-thinking and attitudes through public education tal health concurrently. Another characteristic ofand public relations activities. Projects to improve Stage II was its successful establishment as a nation-living conditions, which received the greatest al drive. It began to penetrate the daily lives of theattention in Stage I, also received continued atten- general public by gaining their understanding andtion in the second stage: efforts to replace roofs, sympathy, and the campaign’success story began simprove house structures, install basic water sup- to reach other countries.ply facilities, and construct village centers.Traditional thatched-roof houses almost vanished, (3) Stage III: Energetic Implementationkitchens and toilets were modernized, and overall (1977-1979) The three years of the third stage of Saemaul Undong were marked by efforts to enhance the achievements of the campaign. Using villages as its basic unit of implementation had placed limitations on the program. Realizing this, the campaign began to focus more on improving economic gains by expanding the basic unit of implementation and scope of projects. It also sought to link the urban and rural areas more closely so that it could cover larger areas and create a closely linked com- munity encompassing both. Saemaul Undong reflected regional characte- ristics in its devising and implementing of plans. Emphasis was placed on raising income and expanding cultural and welfare-related facilitiessanitation improved considerably. It should be for rural areas. Raising livestock and growing spe-noted that agricultural household income was cial purpose plants were encouraged, and indus-higher than urban household income in 1976. trial parks that combined agriculture and manu- Stage II of Saemaul Undong featured spatial facturing were constructed, along with Saemauland functional expansion. The positive experi- factories, in an attempt to augment householdences of Stage I fueled the expansion of the drive income with non-agricultural sources of income.to encompass cities and various vocational organi- Village arrangements were also improved andzations, bringing some aspect of the campaign to refined, and convenient types of housing werecitizens living in every corner of the country. introduced to improve living conditions in rural
15sectors. The government guided the suppliers of movement’identity. In the earlier stages, individ- sconstruction materials to produce goods with ual villages were the campaign’basic implemen- sstandardized dimensions, and this greatly con- tation unit. This changed as villages developedtributed to the improvement of housing facilities. links with one another, thus expanding the basic On the other hand, material conservation, project unit to cover a region. This guaranteedproductivity enhancement, and healthier labor enhanced efficiency and economic gains by allow-relations were considered as the top priorities in ing several villages to develop and pool theirurban areas. Paving alleys, sweeping roads and respective natural resources. Consequently, projectalleys in front of one’house, and respecting pub- s volumes gradually enlarged, achieving greaterlic order were among the projects implemented in economies of scale. More village citizens were ableurban areas. Saemaul Undong was also expanded to use more and better facilities over a largerto include corporations and factories, where it region, and this in turn raised such facilities’uti-focused on raising productivity, conserving mate- lization rates. This trend accelerated as peoplerials, and building positive labor-management developed the capability to manage larger pro-relations, among other objectives. As a result, pro- jects, thanks to increased income and accumulatedductivity and incomes grew markedly. per capita funds raised jointly by linked villages. DifferentGNP doubled again during the 1976-79 period to Saemaul Undong entities, namely, rural andUS$ 1,394. Most of all, living conditions were urban communities, and corporations and facto-improved while regional disparities were less- ries, identified and conducted projects and activi-ened. ties tailored to their respective organizational Stage III can be generally characterized as the functions and demands. These combined to raisequantitative expansion and establishment of the the practical effectiveness of the campaign.
16(4) Stage IV: Overhaul (1980-1989) national scandal involving fund mismanagement The demise of President Park Chung-Hee sparked heated public denunciation, which inthrew the whole country into political and social turn lowered the morale of Saemaul Leaders, andchaos. The subsequent Fifth and Sixth Republics left lingering negative impacts on the campaign asrepresented a period of unprecedented turbulence a whole.and adverse history for Saemaul Undong. Led by The campaign, however, survived this adver-the government in the 1970s, it was taken over by sity and continued to implement projects such asthe private sector in the early 1980s. The Korea paving roads, giving education on combinedSaemaul Undong Center was registered as a legal farming, improving distribution, operatingcorporation on December 1, 1980. On December Saemaul Credit Union, and developing parks13, 1980, Saemaul Undong Organization Fostering throughout the country. During the 1988 SummerAct (Act No. 2369) took effect, a policy aimed at Olympiad held in Seoul, the campaign was a keyassisting and fostering Saemaul Undong organiza- to the success of the global event, organizing ations voluntarily formed by the private sector. The large-scale Olympics Saemaul Undong with thegoal of the act was to guarantee the continued working themes of order, kindness, and cleanli-implementation and promotion of the drive, and ness. Per capita GNP more than tripled from 1979help it contribute to the development of the nation to 1989, reaching US$ 4,934.and the society. With this act, the non-governmen- In short, Saemaul Undong in Stage IV fea-tal Saemaul Undong organization emerged as a tured efforts to get the campaign back on the rightnational entity that reached every corner of the track. It was changed from a government-initiatednation. to a private sector organization, enhancing the Saemaul Undong’ member associations s division of roles between the governmental andinclude Saemaul Undong Headquarters, which is non-governmental sectors. Although some dys-the umbrella organization for the Central Council function and slackened performance wereof Saemaul Leaders, the Central Council of observed in the process, the drive spared no effortSaemaul Women’Clubs, the Central Council of s to move beyond such negative side-effects andSaemaul Undong at Corporations, Factory resume its intended role. Backed up by theseHeadquarters of Saemaul Undong, and the attempts, the campaign entered the new decadeCentral Council of Vocational Saemaul Undong with renewed commitment and a positive atti-Entities, among many others. Regional offices are tude.located in major shi (cities) and do (provinces), andbranch offices operate in shi, kun (rural counties),and ku (urban district). Saemaul leaders directlower administrative units: up, myon, dong, andmaul. Saemaul Undong Headquarters was laterreborn as the Korea Saemaul Undong Center, andthe Saemaul Youth Association, Saemaul SportsAssociation, and School Saemaul Undong becamenew members. Unilateral mismanagement and insolventoperations by some self-righteous central leadersdeprived the organization of public support, andeven led the body to be widely criticized. A June 1999
17(5) Stage V: Autonomous Growth (1990-1998) needs of its field offices rather than those of the Saemaul Undong began to seek new changes desk-bound central organization. Part of this effortas it entered the last decade of the 21st century. It included tailoring projects and activities to reflectidentified the following tasks as imposed by the regional characteristics. Much attention wastimes: devoted to encouraging citizens to put their love ■ effectively responding to the heightening of their neighbors into practice and serve for oth- waves of liberalization on the international ers, promoting the sense of shared destiny, and front and localization on the domestic restoring moral ethics in the community. Priority front; projects in this stage included cultivating better ■ reversing the nation’economic downt- s living environments in individual communities, urn, which was beginning to be felt; and, transmitting and advancing traditional culture, ■ rectifying the degenerating public order revitalizing the economy, promoting direct trade that was showing increasing disorder and between urban and rural citizens, enhancing the non-ethical practices. atmosphere of hard work, campaigning for sound The launch of the World Trade Organization, and healthy life styles, restoring moral ethics, andresumption of the local autonomous government galvanizing volunteer services. Education stood atsystem, and the onset of the foreign exchange cri- the core of the campaign. Through various casualsis in 1997, all imposed formidable challenges and events and gatherings, as well as formal educationdifficulties on Koreans. Squarely meeting these and training opportunities, education for publicnational difficulties, Saemaul Undong launched servants, high-ranking officers of firms, studentsan active drive. and general citizens was provided to transform Specifically, the organization continued to their attitudes into those of Saemaul Leaders.overhaul and downsize in order to strengthen its Per capita GNP, which amounted to US$foundation of autonomy and self-reliance, and 4,934 in 1989, finally surpassed the ten-thousand-enhance its capabilities. It tried to achieve concrete dollar mark in 1996. This landmark achievement,results by being more responsive to the practical however, proved short-lived. The foreign curren-
18cy crisis that emerged toward the end of 1997 ducive to overcoming the economic crisis.handed a severe blow to the nation’economy. sThe situation remains, but Saemaul Undong hasaccepted this difficulty as a challenge of the times, C. Summary of Saemaul Undong’ sone that requires immediate attention and utiliza- Evolutiontion of its accumulated capabilities. Born in 1970, the 29-year-old Saemaul Saemaul Undong in Stage V is characterized Undong has gone through five stages character-by several initiatives. First, it attempted to develop ized by different ideals, guiding spirits, goals, pro-autonomous and independent capabilities to pur- jects, organizations, and activities. Admittedly, itsue its goals by reinforcing its basis of autonomy sometimes faced harsh criticisms from the generaland self-support. Second, it sought to enhance its public and suffered from a lack of public support.competitiveness as an organization on the global However, the overall evaluation of the movementstage by coping with the global liberalization and remains positive, since the public can appreciatedomestic localization trends. Third, it tried to Saemaul Undong’undeniable role and influence sreform the attitudes of citizens and bring about a on the nation’modernization and growth (See ssound and healthy social atmosphere, one con- Table 2). <Table 2> Development of Saemaul Undong GNP per capita Stage Priority Projects Characteristics (in US dollars) ∙Improving living environments: Expanding roads inside villages, constructing common laundry facilities, ∙Launching and igniting the campaign 1.Foundation and improving roofs, kitchens, and fences ∙257 in 1970 Groundwork ∙Increasing income: Expanding agricultural roads, ∙Government-initiated activities (1970~73) improving farmland and seeds, division of labor ∙375 in 1973 ∙Attitude reform: Fostering diligence and frugality, and a ∙Top priority on improving living environment cooperative atmosphere ∙Increasing income: Straightening rice field ridges, con- solidating creeks , encouraging combined farming, operating common working places, identifying non-agri- ∙Expanding program scope and functions ∙402 in 1974 2. Proliferation cultural income sources ∙Increasing income and changing attitudes (1974~76) ∙Attitude reform: Attitude changes through Saemaul edu- cation and public relations activities ∙765 in 1976 ∙Earning national understanding and consensus ∙mproving living conditions: Improving housing and water supply systems, operating village centers ∙Rural areas: Encouraging the construction of more modern housing, encouraging growth of special-pur- ∙Larger units of implementation by developing linkages 3. Energetic pose plants, running industrial facilities to combine agri- among villages in the same region ∙966 in 1977 culture and manufacturing Implementation ∙Urban areas: Paving alleys, cleaning, establishing order ∙Economies of scale (1977~79) ∙1,394 in 1979 ∙Corporations and factories: Enhancing productivity, con- serving materials, promoting sound labor-management ∙Appearance of distinct unit characteristics relations ∙Social atmosphere: Kindness, order, selflessness, ∙Reborn as a private sector-organization cooperation ∙1,507 in 1980 4. Overhaul ∙Economic development: Combined farming, distribution ∙Enhancing the role division between government and (1980~89) improvement, credit union activities private sectors ∙Environmental activities: Cleanliness, developing parks ∙4,934 in 1989 throughout the country, building better access roads ∙Escape from inactivity and contraction ∙Sound atmosphere: Developing traditional culture, emphasizing hard work, sound lifestyles, recovery of ∙Reinforcing the basis of autonomy and self-reliance 5. Autonomous moral ethics ∙5,503 in 1990 Growth ∙Economic stability: Economic recovery, urban-rural ∙Meeting the need for liberalization and localization (1990~98) direct trade, diligence and frugality ∙10,548 in 1996 ∙Living environment: Cultivating better community envi- ∙Efforts to overcome economic crisis ronments, emphasizing autonomous living
III. Saemaul Undong’Main Objectives s 191. Saemaul Undong in Rural dated production facilities and living conditions, making the most of what they had and cooperat- Areas ing with one another. Saemaul Undong was the product of the When Saemaul Undong was established in then-president’dedication to the development of s1970, the government was unable to provide the rural sectors, combined with the agriculturalfinancial support towards improving the standard population’desire for a better future, and was sof living in rural territories. However, rural vil- launched with the momentum taken from thislages were eager to use whatever governmental encounter.assistance was available to modernize their out- Confirming his belief that a community suc-
20ceeds because of excellent leadership, indepen- developed self-confidence, as seen in slogans suchdence and self-reliance among citizens, former as“We Too Can Do,” “A Better Future Awaits orPresident Park reiterated that diligence, self-sup- Us.” Saemaul Undong had successfully planted itsport and cooperation were the principles behind seed in rural areas.Saemaul Undong. Saemaul Undong was rapidly The conventional formula for regional com-adopted across the country, beginning in rural munity development had been “education of resi-sectors by exploiting the combination of govern- dents → adoption of implementation skills by res-mental support, active guidance from public idents → development of regional commun-ity.”employees, and the awareness and will of the The new development model of Saemaulagricultural populace. The program spurred Undong, however, was to conduct projects thatenthusiasm and energy across the country, with “meet residents’ visible needs → encourage self-rural villages as its basic implementation units. In confidence among residents, → and achieve vil-just a few years, rural villages managed to exhibit lage development.”an entirely new profile. The rural population As the campaign to cultivate better villages
21presented impressive results, the government saw improving housing. Projects to increase incomethe need for a more systematic approach to the were also implemented, including the encourage-drive. To guarantee effective rural advancement, ment of combined farming, operation of jointthe government set the general course for related workplaces, and identification of non-agriculturalprojects and limited its assistance by providing the income sources. Saemaul Undong changed courseminimum basic materials needed for the projects. from a campaign to improve rural living environ- The focus of the initial stage was on improv- ments with government-supplied resources to aing rural living environments, which was certain drive to increase agricultural income. The govern-to produce tangible results. Projects included ment provided a significant boost to the programexpanding and paving local roads inside villages, by mandating all government organizations toopening common laundry facilities, and improv- provide loans for income-increase projects.ing roofs, kitchens, and fences. Positive recogni- Saemaul Training Camps taught high-rankingtion justified the emphasis on this field, proving public servants and opinion leaders about thethat it was most urgent for rural residents to rationale of the movement, and moved them withbridge the gap between their income level and success stories from agricultural leaders. Thethat of their urban counterparts. As governmental experiences in the camps were decisive in expand-assistance in providing essential supplies for the ing assistance to the drive.related projects was inadequate, rural residents Towards the end of the 1970s, the rapidhad to tackle the problems arising from limited urbanization of Korea gave rise to an urgent needresources with diligence, self-reliance, and cooper- for balanced development between urban andation. Village councils composed of both village rural areas. Responding to this need, Saemaulleaders and residents decided how to best use Undong moved beyond its rural focus andmaterials allotted for village development. Thisexperience contributed to the growth of opinion-sharing and grass-roots democracy that reachedthe smallest administrative unit of Korea, themaul. The government was able to maximize itslimited resources by giving priority to villageswith excellent Saemaul Undong records. A specialbureau in charge of organizing and assisting thecampaign and coordinating related projects wasappended to the central government, and theSaemaul Leaders Training Institute was opened toadvance the qualifications and capabilities of thetrainees. As Saemaul Undong spread nationwide andrecorded an increasing number of major achieve-ments, the campaign earned the recognition of theKorean people as a national tool for bringingabout national prosperity. During this period,Saemaul projects came to encompass collectiveobjectives that included opening village centers,installing basic water supply systems, and
22sought to identify strategies to pursue the cam- to regional characteristics. The organization and thepaign on a broader basis. It began to pay more implementation system were streamlined, and pro-attention to the balanced development of both jects that developed urban-rural trade links, culti-urban and rural areas. Priority was placed on vated communities, developed rural traditional cul-improving the layout of rural villages and con- tures, and revitalized the overall economy, werestructing more comfortable housing facilities emphasized.called mun-hwa-ju-t’ Different project areas aek. Overall, Saemaul Undong brought aboutwere promoted to pursue different income-earn- revolutionary changes in the agricultural base ofing projects, reflecting respective regional charac- Korea by expanding agricultural roads, restruc-teristics. The government also expanded opportu- turing arable lands, building bridges, and devel-nities to earn non-agricultural income, for exam- oping agricultural water supply systems. It alsople, by constructing Saemaul factories and form- contributed to the continued increase in farminging agriculture-manufacturing industrial facili- household income by raising agricultural incometies. and expanding nonagricultural income sources. Projects to improve rural living conditions Improved housing and kitchen facilities in agri-were carried out with a focus on widening and cultural and fishing communities helped con-paving entry roads to rural villages, and income- struct a more pleasant living environment.increasing projects that encouraged combined Wider entry roads, streamlined local roads,farming and improved related distribution sys- newly opened farming convenience facilities,tems. In the 1990s, the full-fledged local and the increased opportunities to use publicautonomous governmental system led the cam- facilities allowed rural residents to enjoy morepaign to identify and implement projects tailored convenient lives (See Tables 3 and 4). <Table 3> Major Saemaul Projects (1971~1980) Project name Unit Objective Performance Growth rate (in %)Expanding village roads Km 26,266 43,558 166Constructing new agricultural roads Km 49,167 61,797 126Installing small bridges Unit 76,749 79,516 104Constructing village centers Unit 35,608 37,012 104Building warehouses Unit 34,665 22,143 64Housing improvements Unit 544,000 225,000 42Improving village layout Village 2,747Constructing sewage systems Km 8,654 15,559 179Supplying electricity to rural and fishing commu- Household 2,834,000 2,777,500 98nitiesOperating Saemaul factories Unit 950 717 75
23 <Table 4> Farming Household Income, by Year (in Korean won) Agricultural income Non-agricultural income Year Household income Amount Ratio (%) Amount Ratio (%) 70 255.800 194,000 75.9% 61.800 24.1% 73 480,700 390,300 81.2 90,400 18.8 76 1,156,300 921,200 79.7 235,100 20.3 79 2,227,500 1,531,300 68.7 696,200 31.3 It is generally agreed that the most significant not only to construct a better country, but also lay result of Saemaul Undong in the rural sector was the groundwork for a reunified nation. the attitudinal changes by the rural populace, developing self-trust, as reflected in the slogans“We can do,”or“Everything is possible.”Rural 2. Saemaul Undong in Urban residents came to embrace new traditions of dili- Areas gence, self-help, and cooperation through their enthusiastic participation in the process of devel- The urban Saemaul Undong refers to the oping their own communities, and they simulta- drive to develop cleaner and more comfortable neously developed a community awareness with urban areas by eradicating irrational practices and which to overcome common difficulties amidst establishing a sound social atmosphere. unfavorable conditions. Many factors contributed to the rise of the Future rural Saemaul Undong projects urban Saemaul Undong initiative. First, the oil cri- should focus on enhancing the overall competi- sis and subsequent sluggish economic perfor- tiveness of the rural sector in the new world order mance in 1973 led to the increasing importance of of the Uruguay Round and the World Trade conserving energy and raw materials. Urban citi- Organization, and in an adverse domestic situa- zens began to note and acknowledge the signifi- tion represented by the International Monetary cance of the rural Saemaul Undong. An increasing Fund (IMF) bail-out. The critical task in this com- number of opinion leaders who represented vari- petitiveness-enhancing drive should be to create ous segments of the society and had participated or identify jobs that kindle pride, a sense of in Saemaul Education recognized the need to achievement, and hope. Emphasis should be spread the Saemaul spirit. In addition, the atmos- placed on advancing agriculture as an industry, phere for attitude reform ripened as a means to developing organic links to connect the farming, contain unhealthy urban problems. As industrial- commerce, and manufacturing aspects of rural ization advanced, the urban populace grew in communities, enhancing cultural opportunities, terms of both size and economic influence, emerg- and improving the welfare system for the agricul- ing as a powerful group that assumed major func- tural populace. tions in the nation’ development. All of the s Needless to say, the energy of Saemaul above-mentioned factors combined to promote Undong lies in the maul, or villages, as the actual the significance of the urban Saemaul Undong field of life and work. The program must now program to the level of its rural counterpart. aggressively pursue the New Saemaul Undong, The urban Saemaul Undong, first launched in
241973, continued to expand its territory until the functions in separate and independent corpora-end of the 1970s. Since the 1980s, it has changed in tions specializing in the respective functions.nature from a government-led drive to a private Leading figures of the respective bodies who hadsector-initiated program. Projects to improve the received Saemaul education led this streamliningurban living environment began in 1973 in certain process. While respecting the unique functions ofurban areas and corporations. In 1974, one hour each branch, the independent corporationon the first day of each month was designated as Saemaul Undong organizations collaborated andSaemaul time, during which households, schools, launched, in 35 cities across the country, non-gov-corporations and organizations cleaned up their ernmental associations to implement urbanneighborhoods. This clean-up event later became Saemaul Undong Movement, i.e., Saemaulestablished as a leading urban Saemaul project. Execution Committees. In 1975, Saemaul Undong implementation Representative urban Saemaul Undong pro-system was overhauled to distribute different jects in the 1970s comprised the“three-pronged
25 campaign”and ten core projects. The‘three- Undong, then reborn as a non-governmental cam- pronged campaign’referred to mental, behav- paign, re-charted its direction by setting a self- ioral, and environmental initiatives. The mental imposed goal of advancing and preparing campaign centered around practicing Saemaul citizens’ mindsets for an advanced industrial soci- values on a daily basis, including promoting bet- ety. Representative projects in this period includ- ter ties with neighbors or those from different ed the three civil campaigns and the guest-wel- walks of society, inheriting and advancing tradi- coming campaign. tional ethics propped up by filial piety, loyalty, The three civil campaigns referred to the and reverence for senior citizens, and strengthen- daily practices of consumption reduction, respect- ing community awareness. ing the law, assisting and protecting the disadvan- The behavioral campaign emphasized public taged, and mutual cooperation. Activities includ- order on the street, positive interactions, public ed in this category were: collecting recyclable manners, punctuality, prohibiting drunken mis- waste; trading used goods; simplifying diverse conduct, and deterring physical assaults on the ceremonies; reducing the national budget; identi- street. The environmental order campaign fying and circulating ideas for consumption stressed cleanliness of the area around an individ- reduction; expanding facilities conductive to ual’ home or business, controlling the street envi- s maintaining public order; outlawing littering; ronment, including street vendors, improving overhauling markets and shopping malls; control- immediate living environments, and developing ling street environments; increasing penalties for‘greener’ cities and streams. petty offences; energizing small-scale unofficial The ten core projects were aimed at promot- village councils called Pansanghoe; and expanding ing active participation by urban residents. Such sports and hobby clubs. efforts included Saemaul clean-up, market The guest-welcoming campaign was carried Saemaul Undong, making cities greener, fostering out in preparation for the 1986 Asian Games and Saemaul credit unions, reducing petty street the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympiad, emphasizing crime, creating a safe atmosphere emphasizing the daily practices of order, kindness, and cleanli- law and order, running unofficial small-scale vil- ness. As a result, traffic and transactional orders lage councils called Pansanghoe, reducing con- were established, stores offered a wider variety of sumption, creating a supportive environment for services, and foreigners were greeted with much Saemaul Undong, and other projects reflecting more hospitality and kindness than ever before. regional characteristics. Efforts were also made to improve living environ- A look at the contents of the projects reveals ments by focusing on a positive street environ- the change in the nature of the campaign from a ment, including controlling street vendors, and government-initiated drive to one run by the pri- devising plans for the harmonized use of colors in vate sector. The projects chosen were directly cities. All these efforts combined to contribute related to the lives of urban citizens, and could greatly to the success of both events. easily fulfill common needs of urban residents. To In the 1990s, the urban Saemaul Undong pro- raise enthusiasm and morale, efforts were made to gram shifted its focus to public order, a cleaner identify urban Saemaul Leaders, remove deca- and more pleasant environment, social services, dence, allow social leaders to set the standards, and citizens’ reconciliation and harmony. Projects and strengthen the function of the Saemaul were implemented to promote the following Execution Committees. objectives: abiding by traffic regulations, systemat- In the early 1980s, the urban Saemaul ic management of signboards, bills and posters,
26voluntary services to reduce theft and vandalism,garbage collection, purifying streams, beautifyingstreets, guiding teenagers, helping the socially dis-advantaged, participating in regional festivities,and extending opportunities for life-time educa-tion.3. Corporation, Factory, and Library Saemaul UndongA. Corporation Saemaul Undong Corporation Saemaul Undong entities beganto emerge as one of the important aspects ofSaemaul Undong with the launching of SaemaulUndong Seoul Council in August 1975, as a non-governmental entity. The body’incorporation in sSeptember 1979 offered an opportunity forSaemaul Undong to energize its functions. The early corporation Saemaul Undong, wellaware of its nature as a non-governmental cam-paign, focused on constructing a sound, produc-tive workplace, and overhauling its corporationenvironment and social service activities. Theaforementioned three-pronged campaign wasimplemented simultaneously. In the early 1980s,corporation Saemaul Undong tried to re-defineitself as a tool for realizing three goals: nationaldevelopment, corporate advancement, and indi-vidual growth. Saemaul Training Institutes, followed by top man- Such shifts in the campaign’goals reflected s agement officials and employees. Most corpora-various factors. More and more attention was tions and vocational associations held a weekly orgiven to the successful government-driven Five- bi-monthly morning meeting to conduct eventsYear Socio-Economic Plans and the rationalization such as hoisting the national flag, singing theof corporate management by revamping individ- national anthem, doing stretching exercises, andual corporations and raising their competitive- publicizing events observed in commemoration ofness. Citizens were also encouraged to take on Saemaul Week. These activities were designed totheir proper role in a society moving toward a promote urban workers’mental fortitude anddemocratic, welfare-oriented state. patriotism, and ultimately, their sense of responsi- Following the launch of Corporation Saemaul bility for the nation’development. sUndong, heads of corporations were the first to The mental order campaign dealt mainlyreceive Saemaul Education in the Corporate with Saemaul Education and helping and protect-
27ing the disadvantaged. Specifically, efforts to B. Factory Saemaul Undongassist and protect the disadvantaged entailedhelping during the busy farming season, collect- The Factory Saemaul Undong directed itsing recyclable waste, and comforting institutional- energy to restoring the trust and affection of con-ized children and elderly citizens. The behavioral sumers and the general public as a whole. To thisorder campaign involved establishing public end, emphasis was placed on consolidating theorder on the street, car-pooling, and standing in foundation for industrial peace and coexistence byqueues and waiting for one’turn. The environ- s bridging the gap in value systems between labormental order campaign made significant contribu- and management, and establishing sound corpo-tions to building a better urban environment by rate ethics.encouraging changes in corporate environments Separate Saemaul Undong Executionand participation in city- or province-level cam- Committees were organized in major offices andpaigns to plant and grow trees. factories, and independent departments or sec- The corporation Saemaul Undong initiative tions in charge of Saemaul Undong were operatedalso directed its energy toward fostering a sense of to conduct the planning, implementation, evalua-unity within the corporation to create a sound tion and improvement of related projects.working environment. The movement further One minor defect was observed in relation toencouraged projects that ranged from eradicating the Factory Saemaul Undong. Recognizing thesocial distrust and containing abuse of work-relat- significance of quality control (QC) and monitor-ed authority, to ensuring fair personnel manage- ing QC in tandem with Saemaul projects, Saemaulment and improving the penalty and reward sys- departments or sections renamed themselves astem. The campaign sought to foster mutualrespect and trust between labor and management. The launching of the Corporation SaemaulUndong initiative brought about significantchanges in labor-management relations. Theatmosphere became more mature, propped up bySaemaul values. Both labor and management tookmore flexible positions in their dialogue, expand-ing their agenda to include systematic improve-ments and more futuristic orientation. The laborsector was granted greater opportunities to beinvolved in management. The corporation drive to assist and protectthe poor and the disadvantaged was noteworthyin the diversity and scale of its projects. Attentionwas given to helping colleagues who were experi-encing unfavorable conditions, and various exter-nal activities were implemented such as lendinghelping hands and supplying farm machineryduring the busy farming season, and visiting sol-diers, orphanages, and senior citizens’homes,among many.
28Saemaul-QC departments or sections, resulting inconfusion as to their primary task. Currently, the drive continues to be imple-mented by encouraging the use of pleasant words,respecting others’opinions, and complementingothers’merits and achievements, to name a fewexamples. Efforts are being undertaken for sys-tematic improvements in corporations, includingeradicating distrust, ending authoritative manage-ment, and containing abuse of job-related authori-ty. The increasing need to transform a workplaceto resemble a home encourages management totreat employees as family members. Joint birthdayparties and wedding ceremonies are beingarranged in addition to Saemaul Education, andfamily members are given the opportunity to visitthe factories. Financial assistance is given toemployees and their parents for sightseeing trips,and various outings or athletic activities are heldfor employees and their families. All these activi-ties prove helpful in promoting the sense of unityand harmony among employees. integral part of Saemaul programs.C. Saemaul Mini-Library Undong The Saemaul Mini-Library campaign is a cul- The Saemaul Mini-Library campaign began tural drive unique to Korea. It aims to promotewith the launching of the Association to vocation-related skills, cultural refinements, andProliferate Mini Village Libraries in 1961. The even the social significance of the reading adultKorean Ministry of Education endorsed the drive population by providing new information andto spread mini village libraries by designating it in cultural and emotional enrichment. Projects to this1962 as a policy project for the life-time education- end include maximizing access to books and cul-al needs of agricultural and fishing villages. Since tural events, organizing small-scale libraries and1975, when Saemaul Undong embarked on the reading clubs, operating mobile libraries, andproject in earnest, the movement has become an holding reading contests (See Table 5). <Table 5> Current Status of Saemaul Mini-Libraries (as of December, 1998) Saemaul Mini-Libraries Reading Colleges Mobile Libraries Places Members Books Places Members Units Books (thousand) (thousand) 2,811 90,461 5,256 39 2,420 72 1,128
Ⅳ. Saemaul Leaders and Saemaul Education: Roles and Functions 291. Saemaul Leaders appointee. In order to differentiate Saemaul Leaders from these government appointees and to The enthusiasm and creativity of Saemaul emphasize the fact that they represented the citi-Leaders played a primary role in determining the zenry, they were not paid for their services. Youngsuccess of the campaign. These leaders consisted candidates in their thirties were preferred andof regional representatives who were chosen for compulsory elections for new leaders were heldtheir decisiveness and leadership ability when the after several years. Such guidelines were intendedcampaign was launched. The Saemaul Leaders to secure energetic and more liberal candidates,were expected to complement or even surpass the and to preclude habitual and automatic handlingperformance and contribution of existing regional of matters. Separate leadership positions wereleaders. It should be noted that Saemaul Leaders given to female Saemaul members who tookwere not appointed by the Korean Ministry of charge of organizing female members and theirHome Affairs; rather, they were elected by resi- tasks. They also helped male leaders earn the sup-dents of the corresponding regional community. port of the communities for the campaign.Hence, in the course of conducting their responsi- Rural Saemaul Undong was implementedbilities, those elected were forced to depend great- with villages as its unit, led by a Saemaul leaderly on the authority of the government officials. and a female leader. In this regard, it can be At the initial stage of the campaign, each vil- inferred that the success of rural Saemaul Undonglage had a ri-jang, or head of a ri, an administra- has hinged on the competence of the Saemaultive unit smaller than a rural county, as a paid Leaders in the individual villages. Since the
30Saemaul Leaders played a crucial role in the suc- who wanted to engage in farming receivedcess of Saemaul Undong, their education and Saemaul education during their high school years,training was of equal importance. and promoted their capabilities as potential Leaders completed one or two-week educa- Saemaul Leaders through field training duringtion programs conducted in independent training vacations and during certain periods designatedinstitutes. The programs were designed to culti- for training conducted by other exemplaryvate devotion to Saemaul Undong, and to empha- Saemaul Leaders.size the significance of self-sacrifice and of setting In the urban areas, elected Saemaul Leadersa positive example as leaders for others to follow. worked witht’ ong as the campaign’key unit. sRather than teaching technical matters, the pro- However, they were not able to function as active-gram spent more time inspiring employees with ly as did the rural leaders in leading the residentsenthusiasm about the campaign and fostering and aggressively implementing the campaign.trust in the campaign’mission. One noteworthy s Although this situation somewhat reflected thecharacteristic of the program was the opportunity characteristics of urban life, the qualifications andit provided for ordinary citizens to work with competence of the urban leaders were also lesssome of society’leading figures in the efforts to s than satisfactory.achieve Saemaul Undong’objectives. This oppor- s The essence of Corporation and Factorytunity proved to be a source of pride and extra Saemaul Undong is to develop better ties betweenmotivation for ordinary participants in the pro- corporate owners and employees. Such tiesgram. This was manifested in the finding that over encourage owners to maximize worker welfare40% of the young rural population who opted to and consequently inspire workers to do their beststay in their local communities participated in and cooperate in efforts to cut down costs andSaemaul activities, despite the strong trend of relo- raise productivity. Currently, corporation and fac-cation among young farmers to urban areas. tory Saemaul Leaders are elected among executive The project to recruit prospective farmers and officers, managers or heads of small productionfishermen, which coincided with the launching of units of firms, and those elected are given oppor-the Fifth Republic (1980-1987), achieved satisfacto- tunities to broaden their understanding of thery results. Realizing the potential of this labor sec- campaign while developing their leadership com-tor, measures were devised to enhance the compe- petence through a variety of Saemaul educationaltency of this manpower in leading the rural programs.Saemaul Undong. Related systems were imple-mented to maximize the opportunities for theyoung rural populace to respond to the farmers 2. Implementation Process andand fishermen recruitment project. At that time, Results of Saemaulthe policy focus on the heavy industry benefited Educationindustrial high schools more than agriculturalhigh schools. Agricultural high schools that were A training institute for farmers was openednot closed were absorbed by integrated high in January 1972 in the Agricultural Cooperativeschools. In order to cope with such problems, it College run by the National Agricultural Co-oper-became necessary for the government to strength- ative Federation and began to educate farmers.en its policy support to agricultural high schools Education for Saemaul Leaders started in July ofand to students who planned to stay in rural com- the same year, and in 1973, the institute moved tomunities after graduation. High school students the Farmers’ Center in Suwon-shi, Kyonggi-do.
31The institute adopted a new name, Training and offering continued guidance andInstitute for Saemaul Leaders, set the standards assistance after the trainee’graduation sfor other institutes in Saemaul Undong, and from the program.played a pivotal role in establishing Saemaul edu- After the Training Institute for Saemaulcation as a unique form of social education. The Leaders opened in 1973, the Ministry of Homeinstitute moved in 1983 to an exclusive building Affairs named the following educational organi-constructed with government subsidy in zations as Saemaul training institutes:(Songnam-shi, Kyonggi-do). The following year, it ■ all public employee education institutesbecame Saemaul Undong Headquarters’ Training run by different central government orga-Institute. nizations, The Institute selected three goals: recruiting ■ farmers’ education institutes, andand training top-quality Saemaul Undong leaders, ■ various training institutes, either public orencouraging these leaders to engage in self-help private.programs, and contributing to the establishment These institutes reached a record of 85 loca-of a beneficial system through diligence, self-help tions in 1980. Currently, the Central Trainingand cooperation. To realize these goals, the insti- Institute in (Songnam-shi (city), Kyonggi-do)tute finalized the following four guidelines: (province), and the Southern Training Institute in ■ education at a communal camp where (Changsong-gun, Chollanam-do), both run by the trainees lived and worked alongside their National Council of Saemaul Undong Movement, trainers; serve as exclusive centers of Saemaul Education. ■ education of trainees on the Saemaul phi- The Saemaul Undong Headquarters have losophy focusing on putting spiritual ideas operated a total of 11 Saemaul training institutes into practice; listed as follows: ■ interactive education by sharing success (1) Seoul Factory Saemaul Training Institute stories during small-group discussions, launched in 1974 by the Seoul Industrial Park for Export Industries (2) Pusan Factory Saemaul Training Institute opened in 1977 by the Pusan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (3) (Anyang) Saemaul Training Institute for the Central Council of Private-Sector Saemaul Undong Organizations, former Farmers’Educational Institute opened in 1968 by the Korea Association to Study Rural Cultures (4) Seoul Educational Institute for Saemaul Credit Union Associations, formerly kno- wn as the Educational Training Institute for Village Credit Unions, which was opened in 1963 by the Korea National Reconstruction Headquarters (5) (Canaan) Farmers’ School No. 1 in (Kwang -ju-shi, Kyonggi-do), which started as a
32 small farm and became a home for agri- trainee program provides extra momentum to cultural leaders during the 1960s Saemaul Undong by having citizens participate, (6) (Canaan) Farmers’School No.2 in Won- directly or indirectly, in the campaign, and by serv- song-gun, Kangwon-do ing as an instrument to promote nationwide par- (7) Farmers’Welfare Training Institute in ticipation in the campaign. Numerous leaders are ’ Taejon-shi, Ch ungch’ ongnam-do, which reported to have been touched and inspired by began educating agricultural leaders in their Saemaul education, and have guided their the region in 1968 respective regions to successful growth and devel- (8) Taegu Saemaul Training Institute, which opment by leading or actively participating in started as Saemaul Farmers’School in Saemaul projects. 1973 The next section looks at the positive factors (9) Korea Industrial Academy in Kanghwa- that contributed to the success of Saemaul educa- gun, Kyonggi-do tion. (10) Seoul Korea Credit Training Institute, and (11) Industrial Promotion Training Institute A. Intra-Group Cooperation and in Yang-p’ yong-gun, Kyonggi-do and Inter-Group Competition Ch’ angwon-shi, Kyongsangnam-do Divided into many small groups, trainees These Saemaul training institutes have posted engaged in small-group discussions, outdooran impressive educational performance record, training, and night self-denial exercises, perform-having contributed to the education of the entire ing the tasks given to each team. They experi-Korean population. It is widely accepted that the enced strong emotions as a result of undergoing
33such tasks. These powerful experiences helped the C. Trainers’Kindness, Commitmenttrainees realize the significance and power of and Excellence of Leadershipcooperation to accomplish tasks that would havebeen impossible to do otherwise. The discussion- Trainers and other employees at the trainingand teamwork-focused small group activities institutes sacrificed a part of their family liveswere also successful in enhancing a sense of by staying at the camps together with theresponsibility in each participant. trainees. They did not receive better treatment than the trainees themselves, and since they set the standard with their exemplary atti-B. Field Trips and Inspection of tudes, the trainees respected them and fol- Advanced Technology Centers lowed their example. These exemplary train- Field trips, and the first-hand opportunity to ers and other employees have contributed sig-watch and learn advanced technologies in particu- nificantly to the resultant appreciation oflar, were more successful in factory Saemaul train- Saemaul education.ing programs than in Saemaul Leaders’trainingprograms. One of the factors contributing to theprogram’success was its approach permitting s D. Participation by Traineeschanges in trainees’ attitudes through the increase The training program has operated on theof first-hand experience, rather than from reliance basis of a participant-centered training process.on instruction. Recitation of the principles underlying the train-