The History of Won


The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 3. Fruition of the Sacred Work

Chapter 2. Establishment of the Institutions Working Toward the Objectives

4. Pioneering Charity Work and Sanatorium Project

The new Order`s charity work, for which Sot`aesan had wished to very large extent while he was alive, began with relief for the war victims immediately following the country`s Liberation from Japanese rule in 1945. In November of that year, the first fruitful result of the endeavor was achieved when an orphanage, Bohwawon of Seoul, was established in Hannam-dong. In January Won-Buddhist year 36 (1951), Bohwawon of Iksan (with Song Hyehwan as its first director) was inaugurated, which accepted some of the orphans housed at Bohwawon in Seoul. They were relocated to the General Headquarters during the January Fourteenth Retreat. By assuming the operation of Iri Orphanage, whose managerial responsibility was transferred from the City of Iri in May of Won- Buddhist year (1953), the new Order strengthened its footing in taking care of homeless children.
Meanwhile, as the result of its relentless pursuit of establishing a nursing home at the General Headquarters since April of the thirty-fourth year of Won-Buddhism (1949), the new Order obtained authorization to open a nursing facility for the elderly in March Won-Buddhist year 37 (1952). The Shinryong Nursing Home (with Song Hyehwan as its first director) was established inside the General Headquarters. With the construction of the nursing home in July Won- Buddhist year 41 (1956), the Home was renamed the Central Culture Center and was relocated to the new building. The Jeonju Nursing Home that was established around the same time, and the Dongrae Culture Center, established in April Won-Buddhist year 48 (1963), also contributed substantially to protecting the homeless elderly and nurturing the Order`s elder members who contributed in various ways.
Also, in order to establish a sanatorium and a charity hospital facility, to provide health care services to Jeonmu-Chulshin, the Geumsan Orchard was purchased with funds from Bohwadang in March Won-Buddhist year 35 (1950). In addition, the Geumsan Sanatorium was established (with Yi Dongjinhwa as its first director). This later was moved to the General Headquarters in Won-Buddhist year 38 (1953), and was transformed into the Central Sanatorium (with Song Hyehwan as its director) in April Won-Buddhist year 39 (1954). In May Won-Buddhist year 40 (1955), a new building that doubled as Bukil-myeon Clinic was constructed. Then in October Won-Buddhist year 42 (1957), with the authorization to open the Donghwa Hospital, a government fund was received. In Won-Buddhist year 44 (1959), this fund was used for the completion of a two-story hospital building with the total floor space of 870 square yards. However, due to personnel difficulties and managerial conflicts, its relocation, suspension of operations, and reopening, followed until it joined hands with the Beop-Eun Foundation. After the merger, it took great pains to achieve its intended goal.