We were very pleased to host a delegation of South Korean social workers in October 2012. Dr. Dong-Ho Jang a Social Work Professor from Namseoul University in South Korea learned about the Florida Prosperity Partnership via the internet. Yes, it truly is a world wide web. They obtained funding through a generous grant from Samsung to travel to the United States to learn about our financial education and asset building capabilities. They wish to initiate an innovative nation-wide and community level project to help Korean people to make good financial choices.
While in Florida, they were able to visit with University of Florida IFAS for the Florida Master Money Mentor program, the BEST Project in Tallahassee, United Way of Northwest Florida, Catholic Charities in Panama City, Habitat for Humanity in Marianna, United Way of Miami-Dade/United Way Center for Financial Stability, and Jewish Community Services of South Florida.
They were also able to teach us more about South Korean, and even global debt issues. In South Korea, households in the lowest 20 percent income bracket have debts in excess of two years of their income. Also, Credit card debt in the lowest 20 percent income bracket exceeds public assistance benefits for 4 people and half of the public assistance beneficiaries in South Korea are delinquent on their debt. The household saving rate significantly decreased from 23.2% in 1998 to 3.1% in 2011.
While in Panama City, we garnered some press coverage from WJHG News (see the segment below) and The News Herald (you can read the News Herald story here). Below is a collage of pictures from their visit!