A group of people are taking part in a workout session at a community service center located in the city of Gwangju, some 260 km south of Seoul. The participants are people with developmental disabilities, and they spend time together during the daytime with various activities such as gym classes, arts, and crafts.
"It was fun. I'd also like to go swimming and visit amusement parks. I want to try everything with my friends."
The Ministry of Health and Welfare started the day care service for people with developmental disabilities in March to take better care of those who could easily be alienated by society. As such, the government aims to ease some of the burden on their families.
During the daily programs, volunteers that include parents of some of the participants make sure to look after the group, making sure that no one stays behind. The community center so far has been able to run more than three cultural programs a week, including physical education and arts.
"We provide services that our participants want and need. These programs are designed for groups rather than for an individual, and as such, they aim to help the participants form social bonds. We also strive to help them become more self-reliant through these activities."
"The health ministry plans to widen the services to 17-thousand recipients by 2022, but the participants and their families say there needs to be more government support.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News, Gwangju."