KOICA Worksshop for Samoul Undong

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KOICA Pakistan held a one day Workshop on Saemaul Undong; Implications for Socio-economic Development of Pakistan

[On Dec. 6th, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), official donor agency of the Republic of Korea has held a workshop ‘Saemaul Undong (SMU); Implication for Socio-Economic Development of Pakistan’ at KOICA Office. The workshop them was how to ensure KOICA’s grant aid program sustainability via SMU and presented the success story of initiating SMU in Punjab province, where Saemaul Undong methodology was adopted to revitalize 2,000 rural communities and shares development experiences of Korea for poverty alleviation and income generation.

Mr. Sung Choon-ki, the Director General of KOICA Pakistan began the workshop with his opening remark, and said that “Saemaul Undong has high potential to be adopted in Pakistan and it will contribute greatly on social and economic development of Pakistan. Since, Pakistan particularly Punjab has vast human and natural resources that can be used to create income and eradicate poverty. Pakistan has similar industrial structure to Korea in 1970s”. He also added “I hope the workshop would be a chance for Pakistan to apply SMU to rural community actively”.

Mr. Mohsin Khan Workshop Coordinator said that “Improving and empowerment of minds is essential to sustainability of the projects. Most of the developmental theories and model in development are compose of either social or physical improvement or empowerment of people. But the Korean participatory development model “New Village Movement” is one of the unique and comprehensive model that encompasses physical, social and cognitive development of the communities to not only change their living standards but to create resilience via mental reforms/changes pertinent to sustainability.”

The speaker at the first session Prof. Rai Niaz Ahmed Vice Chancellor PMAS-Arid Agriculture University of Rawalpindi emphasized importance of capacity building and role of universities and institution, ‘Implication of Saemaul Undong for Development Aid Projects in Pakistan’. He said “We can continue sustainability of aid projects by adapting core elements of SMU such as Ownership, Participation of local residents, Leadership to Pakistan” and “AAUR has plan to support rural development projects, like training village leaders, dissemination of SMU, development of rural self-governing capacity, connected them with Pak-Korea Capacity Building Center for AAUR’ an ongoing project by KOICA”.