Kowi - A Korean Kiwi Story
PRODUCER - VERONICA McCARTHY
DIRECTOR - MARY JO TOHILL
A typical Saturday for the Chung family, Mum, Dad and four teenage children, is not unlike most in New Zealand. They whiz around to sports practice, catch up on jobs around the house and they go food shopping.
But their Sunday is very different - that’s because they’re busy preparing the food they bought, not just for their family but for up to 100 people. They take that meal to a local park and share it – with Christchurch’s homeless people.
If this isn’t astounding enough, the fact that they mostly fund it out of their own pockets certainly is. What’s even more surprising is that the Chungs are Korean.
Daniel Chung, 55 was the first of his family to arrive in New Zealand from South Korea 16 years ago, seeking a change and a better lifestyle. Hyun-Sook followed him out a few years later and they married. They now have four children and the hurly burly of life in a busy household with the children coming and going.
For the Chung children, feeding the homeless is just something that’s part of what they do on a Sunday as a family, and they too simply want to help. With their own immediate family of six to look after, this is often a struggle financially, but they are dedicated to continuing the effort, no matter what.
The need to act was a way of giving thanks for their four Kiwi-Korean children, David, Samuel, Joseph and Esther - gratitude for the opportunities their adopted country has given them. So they decided they would all do their part. Off they went, armed with food on a fine Sunday morning and they’re still doing it four years later.
The Chungs are a good example of people who transcend all cultural and social barriers, not just because they aren’t indigenous New Zealanders, but simply because they care. This is a story that shows a struggling immigrant family putting aside their own needs to help others. It give us an insight into the Chungs lives –modest heroes of the homeless – and despite all the challenges they turn up every Sunday to feed the hungry.