Sister Leipst writes from SCF in Korea
Sister E.I. Leipst, the first nurse appointed from New Zealand to work for the Save the Children Fund in Korea, has written to the Hastings branch of the SCF describing aspects of her work in Masan, South Korea.
Sister Leipst spent a week in Hongkong [Hong Kong] before she flew on to Seoul. From there she was taken to Pusan where she spent a few days observing work and meeting SCF staff.
At the Pusan clinic a meal of cornmeal is cooked at midday for the very poor mothers and children who have had a long wait. This meal is probably all they have all day, she writes.
Regarding Masan, Sister Leipst says: “All this week I have been in the wing helping to look after the 88 children. Some three-year-olds look like six-months-old children, and as if they don’t know how to smile. “One child between 4 and 5 years looks only 15-months-old, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw her sitting with a large bowl of rice feeding herself. Even the spoon looked too heavy for her. Others are as fat as any New Zealand child, and well on the way to going home.
“Four of the older children are at Seoul hospital learning occupational therapy. The ideas they bring back will be of great value to the other children as they get bored doing the same things.
“There is a full-time schoolteacher, and this is wonderful as education is not free in Korea. The children in the wing are most fortunate.
”There is a very strong family tie. A 15-year-old lad came miles to the clinic with his five-year-old sister. She had a temperature of 105 degrees, and was very ill with typhoid fever. Each day he comes to visit her and tell her stories.
“I’m starting to learn Korean in earnest this week, as it will make it easier to speak to the children.”