‘Dogani of hope’ strides with the aroma of fresh brewed coffee

Disclaimer: The following is a totally unauthoritative personal translation of an article appeared in <The Hankyoreh> on Dec.21, 2011 covering the opening of Cafe Holder no.1, a cafe stall ran by Inhwa school graduates. The school which is liquidated now rattled the whole nation with gruesome sexual violence by teachers and employees. But people tried vehemently to help the graduates stand by themselves and harmonize themselves with the society. The opening of Cafe Holder no.1 is the first accomplishment of the effort. We all wait with our fingers crossed and hope it all work out successfully. All rights regarding this post stay with the author of the original article or with <The Hankyoreh> and this post will be scrapped immediately at their request. Original article of this post can be found in the link at the bottom.

‘Dogani of hope’ strides with the aroma of fresh brewed coffee

Reporter An Kwan-ok 안관옥 기자메일

Inhaw school graduate baristas opened ‘Cafe Holder’ no.1

“We will repay everyone with happy delicious sips of fragrant coffee.”

At 2PM in the 21st afternoon in Gwangju Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation Building 1st floor lobby. Park Eun-hye(21), an employee of ‘Cafe Holder’, the workplace for Inhwa school graduates, made a sweet promise using a sign language in front of guests invited to the opening ceremony. “I was so excited and could not sleep last night. I will show off the coffees I learned during the last 3 months’ of barista training”, said Park who also has the hearing impairment smiling brightly. Inhwa school, a special school for hearing impaired young students in Gwangju, became the background of the novel and the movie <Dogani> whose vivid depiction of gruesome sexual violence incidents committed by teachers and employees recently stirred the nation. The name ‘holder’ is chosen to convey the ideal of people who erect their lives independently but live together. In the Cafe Holder no.1, 5 people will work; 3 hearing impaired people including Park, one manager, and a sign language translator.

About 200 guests such as Inhwa school graduates, the author of novel <Dogani> Gong Ji-young, the CEO Uhm Yong-hoon of Samgeori Pictures, the production company of movie <Dogani>, mayor of Gwangju Metropolitan city Kang Woon-tae etc. attended the opening ceremony and congratulated the beginning. Novelist Gong who, with the publishing company of novel <Dogani> Changbi, had willingly donated 100M KRW for the Cafe establishment fund said “When I went to grim places, there always were beautiful souls of angel holders. I will continue this beautiful tie with Inhwa school children like these people.”

The feelings of civil organizations like Inhwa school sexual violence committee, Silloam People Corporation, Holder steering committee who tried to dig up the truth of <Dogani> and hoped to heal those damages were particularly special. Because they really tried hard to raise fund, secure a place, and prepare for business since June last year to help Inhwa school graduates who had lost their chances of education to get along with the society and live independently.

The president of Silloam People Rev. Kim Yong-mok said “We got really a nice Christmas present. We will register Cafe Holder as a social business corporation next year and try to stabilize the business by opening branches no.2, 3, or more.”

Inhwa school graduates, converging into the cafe after the opening ceremony, made a sign language ‘I love you’ by holding thumb, index, little fingers up and shared happy feelings with other people.

광주/안관옥 기자 okahn@hani.co.kr

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