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Thank you for your courage

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"When the social workers conducted a home study, they asked me insulting questions like if the father of my child was a married man or, if he ever comes to see the child.”

"Whenever I had a problem with my neighbor, it saddened me because people blamed my child without a reason. Even though it was revealed later that it was the fault of another child, I had to move to another neighborhood because of prejudice.”

"At school, children do not want to get along with my child because of the prejudice against a single parent family”

The above are actual examples from a survey of discrimination and prejudice experienced by unmarried parents in their daily lives. In our society, prejudice and discrimination against unmarried parents are still deep-rooted. The Holt Children’s Services has been holding a video contest to improve awareness for unmarried parents since 2018 to help people better understand various types of families. The contest, sponsored by the Hankyoreh newspaper, received a total of 80 works for two months from October last year, and the final five works were awarded through online public screening and in-depth expert screening processes. We interviewed Son Dong-min and Lee Saem-mul, who won the Grand Prize out of all the excellent submissions of motion graphics, dramas, commercials, and animations.

For a long time, the couple has been interested in activities that have a good influence on society.  In April last year, the couple had a simple, small-size wedding ceremony and donated the saved money to unmarried parents and their babies. The wedding ring also purchased from a jewelry shop that donated a portion of their profit to single-parent families. The couple shared common values and led a life that can positively impact the society. The couple submitted their work for the video contest after watching the clip that Holt and Omamia, one of their favorite YouTubers, jointly produced.

Mrs. Lee: I thought we could talk about what we had always thought about. I didn't expect to win the Grand Prize because it was the first time for us to enter a contest, but I was surprised to hear that we won the Grand Prize. Our wedding anniversary is coming up and it was so meaningful that we won the Grand Prize from this contest.

Mr. Son: We've been living our life with the intention to have a positive impact on society. I felt like we got the award because we have been doing a good job. It felt like encouragement for us.

The couple's video clip titled, "Courage," portrays not only the sadness but courage of the unmarried, single parents. There are so many courageous choices in the world, but the courage to save and protect life is invaluable. Her husband Son Dong-min's opinion is incorporated in his video clip a lot.

Mr. Son: My mother gave birth to me as a single mother and died of stomach cancer when I was six years old. After that, I was adopted by my parents. I heard that my mother has been looking for families to take care of me even while she was fighting with cancer. I made the video clip harboring gratitude for my mom’s courage to protect me.

While making the video, Son Dong-min said it felt even more thankful for his biological mother. He wanted to let the world know that the love of unmarried single parents who saved lives is so great. His wife, Lee Sam-mul, hasn’t heard much about his biological mother from her husband, but she got to learn how he really felt through the video.

Mrs. Lee: I want to say thank you to my mother-in-law for saving his precious life. Because of her, I was able to meet my husband. I would like to express my gratitude to my other mother-in-law for raising my husband with love after adoption. Actually, my husband felt sorry for his adoptive mother. He was worried that if he expresses his longing for his biological mother, his adoptive parents might feel hurt.

Mr. Son: I showed my (adoptive) mom the video I made and she felt, "This is how my son feels about his biological mother." When I talked to my mother about winning the competition, she wasn't hurt at all, but was very happy to hear the news.

I come from both a single parent family and an adoptive family. I want to thank both my biological mother and adoptive parents for protecting my precious life. Just like me, children from unmarried parents and adoptive families will definitely value themselves when they grow up. So, I want to help children learn to love themselves, even though sometimes it may not be so easy. Lastly, I would like thank my adoptive parents who welcomed me as a family member and gave me so much love. I love you so much. You are wonderful parents!


The Grand Prize winner of the video contest for Improving the Perception of Unmarried Parents' Families <Cournage>

Our society still has prejudice and discrimination against single parent families. Enjoy the award-winning work of the contest! We hope you can learn to respect the single-parent families through Holt Children's Services. When you change your negative perspective, amazing changes occur in unmarried, single parents. Please join us in our efforts now to provide amazing opportunities to unmarried single parents!