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South Korea

Korean Benedictines to offer scholarships in Africa

Benedictine Waegwan Abbey to offer financial assistance after visit to Tanzania highlights dire state of schools

ucanews.com reporter, Seoul

ucanews.com reporter, Seoul

Updated: August 07, 2018 05:58 AM GMT
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Korean Benedictines to offer scholarships in Africa

Abbot Blasio Park Hyun-dong of the Benedictine Waegwan Abbey (center right) in a photo with students of a minor seminary run by a Tanzanian Benedictine abbey on May 1. (Photo by The Catholic Times of Korea)

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The Benedictine  Waegwan Abbey in South Korea has said it will offer scholarships to African students in Togo and Tanzania who study at schools run by other Benedictine abbeys.

The Korean Benedictine brothers are now supporting impoverished churches and parishes in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Abbot Blasio Park Hyun-dong visited several abbeys in Tanzania including Ndanda and Peramiho under the Benedictine Congregation of St. Ottilien from April 28 to May 5.

The Benedictine abbeys in the East African country run technical, nursing, teacher-training schools and minor seminaries and the abbot inspected a number of these to assess their financial needs and general situation.

Benedictine missionaries first set foot in the region in 1888 and have been spreading the Catholic faith and contributing to the development of local communities there now for 130 years.

Helping to run social facilities like schools and hospitals is one of the key ways in which they share their fraternity with local people.

"I was surprised by the situation at the schools. Their classrooms are packed with 180 students each and many lack access to wells or drinkable water," Abbot Blasio Park said.

"I met up with our African brothers who have devoted themselves fully to the evangelization of the region."

Waegwan Abbey will next decide in conjunction with local abbeys in Tanzania which students are most deserving of scholarships. They will be handed out starting from next year.

"They need our prayers and support. I hope many Koreans from our flock will join our project and help these students," the abbot added.

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