Marriage migrants, actively participating in providing interpretation services for foreigners in quarantine and making donations
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, multicultural families, such as marriage migrants, have stepped up in various fields in local communities.
Starting in early April, the population of foreigners in Daegu, including international students, foreign workers, marriage migrants, have increased. Of them, 161 foreigners are in isolation for self-quarantine as of June 22.
In an effort to prepare for unexpected situations, such as people in isolation leaving the premises of their places of residence due to language barrier and other issues, and also to detect foreigners with symptoms as early as possible, Daegu Metropolitan City has been utilizing a pool of interpreters* made up of marriage migrants who are affiliated with the Healthy Family Support Center to monitor foreigners in self-quarantine.
* Interpreter pool project: a project in which marriage migrants who are fluent in Korean help inexperienced foreigners settle in to Korea by providing interpretation services.
From April 8 to June 14, A total of 86 marriage migrants from nine countries have provided interpretation service to 850 foreigners in self-quarantine, monitoring and performing on-site visits (seven times) for average of 12.6 foreigners a day, to prevent the community spread of COVID-19.
On her way home from work, Lee Hyo-min, a marriage migrant from Vietnam who is currently working as an interpreter and translator at Dong-gu Healthy Family Support Center, received a request for interpretation from Dongdaegu Station for two Vietnamese laborers. She traveled to Dongdaegu Station to ensure that the workers were safely treated for sample collection and other necessary steps.
The Daegu Multicultural Lecturers’ Association, which is a non-profit organization mainly consisting of marriage migrant women who are working as lecturers in their local communities, donated KRW 1,385,000 to the Daegu branch of the Community Chest of Korea to be used for overcoming COVID-19.
Ngyuen Thi Kim Thui, [KHTC1] a marriage migrant from Vietnam, purchased masks, hand sanitizers, and other items and donated them to the Healthy Family Support Center. Despite being unable to meet and practice, the Ikoi Choir, made up of Japanese marriage migrants to Korea, also participated in the efforts to overcome the COVID-19 crisis by making a video of themselves singing about their longing for home and posting it on their social media account.
Ko So-hwa, a migrant from China who is working as part of the interpreter pool, said, ”I am happy to be able to help foreigners who have to quarantine themselves in a completely unfamiliar country get through these difficult times.” She added, “As a member of this community, I am very proud to be able to support the country’s response to COVID-19.”
“The question of whether or not foreign residents and multicultural families can be assets for our community is entirely up to us,” remarked Park Jae-hong, head of the Women and Family Policy Division at Daegu Metropolitan City. “We will provide all the support we can so that they can establish themselves in this society and so we can help the community to see multicultural families not only as people who need help from our society but as partners and members of our society.”