On the first day of June, Asian Times had an interview with Muriel Ndolo from EcoFemme. Due to the pandemic and the tight schedule of EcoFemme, the interview was done in a written form.
Q1. Hello, thank you for participating in this
interview. Can you briefly introduce yourself?
A. My name
is Muriel Ndolo. I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo and have been
living in South Korea since 2004. I am married and have 3 children.
Q2. What is the ultimate goal of EcoFemme? Please explain
when and why EcoFemme is founded.
A. EcoFemme was
created on May 30, 2009 at the initiative of Mrs. Jinsook Park.
It is not easy
for migrant women to adapt and find work in a host country, especially when
they immigrate for asylum.
Often meeting refugee women, she realized that these women were
not doing anything because of a lack of opportunities. They stayed at home doing
house chores and taking care of the children, despite the different skills they
had. That is how she came up with the idea of working with them.
At first, it was
difficult to find a suitable program. Then the idea of learning drawing came to
her, especially seeing the artistic potential of these women, to whom she
taught Korean in the organization called PNAN.
As a result,
refugee women were able to have drawing classes with volunteer teachers.
It was only a few
years later that EcoFemme became interested in all migrant women because Ms.
Jinsook Park had realized that refugees and migrants face the same socio-cultural
and economic problems, and that many of them were depressed and needed
Seeing that the
children of migrant women often have a problem with cultural identity, EcoFemme
has further expanded its field of work by incorporating an education programme
It was only on May 30, 2019, during a concert
organized to celebrate the 10th anniversary of EcoFemme that the
legal representative changed.
Q3. EcoFemme is collaborating with migrant women in Korea.
What kind of people are working in EcoFemme?
A. EcoFemme focused first on refugee women. Now Ecofemme
works not only with refugee women, but also with marriage immigrant women and
all other immigrant women interested in what EcoFemme does.
Q4. I found there was the first online exhibition of EcoFemme
recently. What kind of activities are going on in EcoFemme?
A. Now 2 online classes are opened: art and
French courses are intended for the
children of immigrants from French-speaking countries.
We will also provide an online summer camp for
immigrated children (as well as parents who wish to join) in July. The goal of
this summer camp is to learn how to play the recorder.
Q5. I read that EcoFemme focuses on building migrant women’s
creative capacity and cultural resources. Why creativity and cultural resources
are so important for migrant women besides financial support?
A. Each person’s culture is important for his development. It is true that
migrants in general adopt the culture of the host country, but do not forget or
reject their own culture as a reference point.
Migrant women are raising their children in a country that has a different
culture from their own. That is why it is important to be able to understand
the culture of the host country and, by mixing it with their own culture, it is
possible to find similarities and differences.
This mixture of culture is a source of inspiration in
the creation of artistic works and can be seen in migrant women’s drawings.
They are able to create unique works that mix cultural differences.
Q6. In 2020, EcoFemme’s Annual General Meeting was held in
online due to COVID-19. Can you explain about the role of The Annual General Meeting of EcoFemme?
Annual General Meeting plays an important role in showing to our various
sponsors how we use finances. It allows us to establish a budget for the
Q7. What kind of difficulties the migrant women in Korea are mainly facing, and how does EcoFemme help them?
A. They often face
communication problem. And some of them stay home, raising young children, they
have difficulties to find stable job and/or communicate with others, which
leads to a withdrawal into themselves. Then there is the culture gap.
To overcome this,
we sometimes organize culture classes. Migrant women talk about the culture of
their respective countries for local communities to better understand them.
We also organize
special lecture to understand what a refugee is and the reasons why people
leave their home countries to seek asylum somewhere else. We believe that those
lectures can provide lots of information to help local communities accepting
After the art
class, we organize an exhibition to present the artwork of migrant women. If
sold, they can receive income. We also provide the counseling with specialized
volunteers (for those who need)
Q8. Working in EcoFemme, what was the most impressive
experience for you?
most impressive experience for me is the way I am treated at work, with no
discrimination and equally with others, although I am a migrant woman.
Q9. I wonder what would be the most important virtue for
the society where various people, including migrants, live together.
A. Diversity is
A society made up of peoples from different nations
has a diverse and rich culture, there
is respect and understanding of different cultures while appreciating them
Q10. This is the last question. Many people including
migrant women will read this article. Please introduce how people can
participate in or help EcoFemme’s work, and how they can contact EcoFemme.
A. Those who are willing to participate in or
help EcoFemme’s work are welcomed and can contact us by email at the address(email@example.com)
The participation or help can be:
-Providing any kind of training,
especially art training,
-Buying products made by migrant
women or from their art works,
-Collaborating with people who have projects to promote
the work and lives of migrant women,
-Register as a sponsor.
Thankfully, Ms Ndolo answered the questions very sincerely despite of her tight schedule. She gave a detail explanation of how EcoFemme works as a partner of migrant women.I hope this interview to be a good opportunity for readers to understand EcoFemme. Anyone who are interested in participating or supporting EcoFemme's work can visit its website:https://ecofemme.or.kr/
Thankfully, Ms Ndolo answered the questions very sincerely despite of her tight schedule. She gave a detail explanation of how EcoFemme works as a partner of migrant women.
I hope this interview to be a good opportunity for readers to understand EcoFemme.
Anyone who are interested in participating or supporting EcoFemme's work can visit its website: