Volunteering at Eastern Seoul Welfare Society Orphanage

Volunteering at Eastern Seoul Welfare Society Orphanage

On Thursday I accompanied a new friend to Eastern Seoul Welfare Society near Hongik University to volunteer at the orphanage they run there.  The woman I attended with has been volunteering at orphanages throughout Korea for over eight years.  She also collects supplies and distributes them at the orphanages.  This particular orphanage has been in place for many years.
         For years South Korea has been known as a “baby selling country” because foreigners from  around the world wanting a child come to Korea to adopt from what is viewed as a “stable, efficient and corruption-free” adoption country. From 1999 to 2011 U.S. families adopted 18,605 Korean babies. Wanting adoption to become more localized, in 2012 new laws were put into place.         Korean officials wished to make a greater in-country foster care and adoption program, making international adoptions a last priority.  The new law only allows foreigners to adopt children if the Korean government fails to put children in foster care after two years.   There are many beliefs and customs in Korea that make it uncommon for Korean people to adopt. When they do chose to adopt it is important for the baby to look like the parents.  If skin color, hair or facial features are different then Koreans will often choose not adopt.  They also generally prefer a daughter because it is customary in Korea for the oldest daughter in the family to care for their parents.
         With this new law, orphanages are becoming more crowded and babies are staying much longer.  Within the past eight years my co-volunteer has seen the orphanage change from simply just newborn babies to crawling, moving and grooving toddlers.

With budget cuts there are less workers to attend to growing children.  During my three hours at the orphanage I spent my time holding, playing with, feeding, rocking to sleep and changing diapers of various children.  I could not imagine how patient and hard working the employees at the orphanage are to do their job!  They are in great need of volunteers to help care for and stimulate these growing babies.

I am very thankful to have the opportunity to spend time with these precious babies! I am excited to continue to volunteer!  If you are interested in volunteer opportunities or donating baby clothes, toys and supplies please e-mail me!


I've been living abroad for a decade now! My travels have lead me to visit over 80 countries, marry a fellow globetrotter, and reside in 8 countries in four different continents. I am currently based in Brussels, Belgium! Join me as I focus on sustainable budget friendly travel and giving back while living abroad!

13 thoughts on “Volunteering at Eastern Seoul Welfare Society Orphanage

  • May 9, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Hi Megan! My name is Sophie, and I’ve been living in Korea since August. I’m really interested in volunteering here, but I’m having a hard time finding information about how to do it. Is there any info you can give me? I know this post is from a year ago, so this is kind of a long shot, but I hope you see it! 🙂

    Thanks so much.

  • July 7, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Megan, can I have your e-mail? I am very interested!

  • July 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Megan! I don’t know if my other comment posted, but can I contact you via e-mail?

  • August 7, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Hi Megan! I am really interested in doing volunteer work like this. I was wondering if you have time, could you give me some more information? or if I can email you.I hope you get this. ☺

    • September 13, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      Yes! I am excited you are interested in getting involved. Please e-mail me and I will provide you with more information!!

  • November 10, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Hi! I sent you an email, but just in case it goes to your spam, would you mind emailing me any information you might have about who I can contact to volunteer here? (If they still need volunteers 😉
    Thanks so much!
    Email: Irishprincess.ginny@gmail.com

  • November 11, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Hi!! I’ve tried posting before but it seems it didn’t work…or I don’t know how to do it properly. @_@ Anyway, my friend and I are really interested in volunteering and would love to get some more information if possible! I’ve email you but just in case it went to your spam, I’ll leave my email!
    Hope to hear from you!! 🙂

  • January 4, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Hello Megan! I really, REALLY want to volunteer at a orphanage. Is there an age limit? I’m 20 years old. Also, I don’t know that much Korean. Will that be a problem? Please send me more info when you can! Thank you so much 🙂

    • February 8, 2016 at 9:50 am

      No! I think your language limitations and age should not be a problem. Please e-mail me for more info! I am happy you’d like to get involved!!

  • January 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Hi Megan! I know this is a post from long ago and like ViaKorea above said, I’m having trouble finding information on how to volunteer as ESWS. Could you please help me? Thanks!

  • May 30, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Hi my name is Jessica. I live in the United States, but I was adopted from Seoul, South Korea when I was a baby. I would love to come and volunteer there. Could you please send me more information.

    Thank you,

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