The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services in partnership with the Korean Government have conceptualized the Saemaul Undong (SMU) concept that seeks to enhance community development, in a bid to reduce poverty and change lives.
The Saemaul Undong (SMU) concept is a strategy that accelerates the development of communities especially in the rural areas of Southern Korea, which the Zambian Government seeks to replicate and localize the concept, in an effort to improve community development in the country.
Ministry Of Community Development and Social Services Permanent Secretary, Angela Kawandami who is representing Zambia in Korea at the Saemaul Undong invitational training, highlighted that apart from reducing poverty, the Saemaul Undong concept is envisioned in such a way that, once fully actualised the concept will further increase incomes among community members.
Ms Kawandami noted that the Ministry is working with the Government of Korea in localising and preparation for the implementation of the Saemaul Undong Concept which will be called Community Led Transformation Project in Zambia in selected pilot villages such as the Kafue District of Lusaka Province, Chibombo District of Central Province, Mazabuka and Chikankata Districts of Southern Province respectively.
Ms Kawandami added that during the training an agreement was reached to use the concept in Chikankata, Mazabuka, Kafue and Chibombo Districts, in order to see how much progress can be recorded.
“It is worth noting that as the concept is being adopted and enshrined in our National Development Plan and National Social Protection Policy, the concept will contribute remarkably in transforming the country through improved living standards of the people in rural areas,” she said.
Ms Kawandami who is accompanied by Director for Community Development, Patricia Muyamwa, expressed gratitude for the concept will enhance protection of the environment, improve rural infrastructure development such as roads, bridges and housing and equally improve other areas such as water and electricity supply, installation of communication and creation of communal facilities which will continue improving the lives of the people in communities.
Ms Kawandami has since acknowledged and thanked the Korean Government for working diligently and in close collaboration with the Zambian Embassy in Korea in putting together the life changing programme.
The establishment of the Saemaul Undong concept in Zambia backs to 28th October, 2019 when the Zambian Government through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and the Korean Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Saemaul Undong Concept which signified the beginning of partnership between the two countries.
The main objective of the MoU was to disseminate Saemaul Undong in order to facilitate rural development and poverty eradication in the two countries especially Zambia, and to promote active participation and mutual cooperation between the two sides for the successful implementation of the Saemaul Undong.
The Saemaul Undong is an integrated development approach that was used by South Korea to modernise its rural communities and develop the country, the ideology focuses on improving people’s living standards through mind-set transformation, agriculture, infrastructure development among others in rural communities.
Saemaul Undong is Korea’s rural development movement initiated by President Park Chung-hee in the 1970s, Saemaul Undong refers to any community development movement which builds a community or village to improve villagers’ quality of life based on the spirits of diligence, self help and cooperation, and approaches by the villages, of the villagers, and for the villagers.
Furthermore, Saemaul Undong is also based on self-reliant decision-making through the process of planning, implementation, evaluation and feedback to the next level, as it is a nation-wide campaign that has contributed to Korea’s development which inspired the Korean people to cultivate a self-relying, can-do spirit and served as the driving engine of Korea’s economic development.