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Korean Nuns Pledge to Raise $1 Million for UN Girls' Education and Empowerment Programs

January 19, 2011

A group of nuns are proof that support to tackle global problems transcends boundaries, religions, and generations. An interfaith association of Korean nuns from the Buddhist, Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Won-Buddhist religions has pledged to raise $1 million for the UN Foundation to help fund UN programs to educate and empower girls in Ethiopia.

The nuns’ group, known as Samsohoe, visited the UN Foundation in June to deliver a $200,000 check and to learn more about the programs their pledge will support. They were also eager to discuss their motivation: several of the group’s members were orphaned during the Korean War and felt a debt of gratitude toward UN Peacekeepers from Ethiopia who protected and cared for them.

According to Rev. Jijung, one of the four Samsohoe members who participated in the visit, “this is our way of saying thank you, sixty years later.”

In the Korean language, “samsohoe” means “a group of three smiles.”  It derives from an ancient Korean legend, and in modern times, the term “samso” describes friends with different religious backgrounds. Founded in 1988, Samsohoe is the first Korean organization of its kind led by female spiritual leaders. The UN Foundation looks forward to partnering with them as our work continues to unfold. 

 Check out our video with Sr. Catherine from Samsohoe below: