Open Arms Toronto Scholarship was formed to help children in South Korean welfare centres (orphanages). Currently, our focus is to assist orphans that have aged-out of the system.
Adoption rates within Korea have historically been low due to cultural prejudices against orphans. Many children are simply not “adoptable” under current laws governing adoption. Increasing number of orphans are therefore remaining in welfare centres until they age-out of the system and are left to provide for themselves.
Upon high-school graduation, aged-out orphans leave the centres with a one-time government grant of $5,000 or less, few life skills and little guidance from caring adults. This amount does not cover basic accommodations in many areas. Finding meaningful work is difficult and most cannot afford further training or education. In addition, many aged-out orphans cannot provide employers with the family registry form that most companies in Korea require. These disadvantages, combined with a lack of knowledge about life basics, and inadequate trusted adult support, lead many into precarious and marginalized lives.
With our guidance and financial assistance, South Korean orphans can realize better futures. Our aid will support their education or training to help them achieve their potential. Open Arms Toronto Scholarship, a project from St. Timothy Presbyterian Church, is a scholarship fund to mentor and educate South Korean orphans. Our scholarship supports individuals for study in South Korea or Toronto, Canada. The scholarship will cover tuition and board with a host family if studying in Toronto. Let’s give these young adults a chance to explore their possibilities.