Seoul, Korea Whang Youn-Dai, the former president of the Korea Disabled Peoples Development Institute, has been named the winner of the 2009 Citi-YWCA Women's Leadership Awards.
She was recognized for her many years of service in providing care to the disabled. Although she suffered from polio as a child, she worked hard to become the first female physician specializing in providing care for people with disabilities in Korea.
Taking care of patients at the Severance Medical Center, she established the Korean Polio Children's Special Education and Welfare Association. In addition she also opened the Chung Nip Polio Center and was appointed as Director of the Center. She later served as Director of the Korea Employment Promotion Agency for the Disabled.
At the 1988 Seoul Korea Paralympics she donated her award money to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). In her honor, the IPC introduced the Whang Youn-Dai Achievement Prize to recognize the achievements of Paralympic Games athletes.
Kang Kyo Ja, Chairperson, YWCA Korea, said: "We are delighted to recognize and honor outstanding Korean women who have dedicated their lives to helping others and making a difference in many communities across the country."
Other Award winners:
Young Leader of the Year – Lim O-Kyeong, a famous, three-time Olympic gold medal winner. Through her achievements she has inspired many women and girls to take up the sport. She is also renowned as a leader thanks to her player-manager success. She has led her team to the Japan Handball League championship finals for eight consecutive years. Since July 2008, she is the player-manager for the new Seoul City Hall Handball Club.
Special Prize – Molly Holt, the head of Holt Children's Services, is the first winner of this new award category. She is recognized for her lifelong work in helping orphans and children with severe disabilities.
Following her nursing school studies in the U.S., Molly arrived in Korea in 1956. At the time, there were no welfare programs for disabled children and she worked tirelessly to provide assistance and build facilities for people with disabilities. Today she heads Holt Children's Services which oversees programs to support single mothers as well as foster homes.
Thanks to funding support from the Citi Foundation, the Citi-YWCA Korea Women's Leadership Awards program was launched in 2003. The awards honor the achievements of women who have contributed significantly to Korean society.
Past winners include: Park Dong-Eun, UNICEF Korea Director General, Jeong Gwang-Mo, President of Consumers Union of Korea, Chang Myung-Soo, former President of Hankookilbo Newspaper, Yoon Jung-Ok, Co-Head of Korean Council for the Women drafted for military sexual slavery by Japan, Minister Cho Hwa-Soon of Dalwol Church, and Lee In-Bok, Manager of Nazareth Sacred Home.
In addition, Kim Ki-Hye, Head of Susunhwa house, Han Bi-Ya, World Vision Emergency Relief Team Leader, Kim Sung-Joo, CEO of Sungjoo International, Kim Young-Mi freelance producer, Bang Gui-Hee Sotdae Literature publisher, and Lee So-Yeon, Korea's first astronaut are past Young Leader award winners.
The 2009 presentation ceremony will be held at the International Conference Room Press Center on October 29.
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