Girl’s motherliness earns public praise
“I have seven younger brothers and sisters who follow me as true sister and mother at home,” Jang Jong Hwa said as she addressed the recent Second National Conference of Exemplary Young People of Virtue in Pyongyang.
Participants in the meeting and TV audience gave her a big hand as they heard that the 20-year-old became the “mother” of seven orphans.
As a student, Jang dreamt of becoming a swimmer as she excelled in the sport. But she changed her mind.
She had taken pride in her mother Ro Chun Bok as she was widely known in Kangson for actively supporting steel producers though busy with her work at the public catering agency in Chollima District, Nampho, where there is the Chollima Steel Complex, a leading metallurgical industry base of the country. And just before finishing her middle school course Jang came to know that she was her adoptive mother.
Gratitude for the mother who had devoted all her affection to her welled in her. She made up her mind to work with the sick yet hardworking mother in the same workplace to help her even a bit.
One day in January two years ago, Jang visited the steel workshop with aid materials for smelters together with her mother. There she came to see three girl orphans the workers of the workshop were raising in place of their parents who had worked there.
That night, Jang was wakeful as the looks of the girls clinging to her arms lingered on.
A few days later, she said to the mother she wanted to adopt them.
“Mum, you’ve brought me up like your own child. I want to look after them like you have done me. I may fail to take care of them like their mother, but I can be their caring sister.”
Ro said she feared people would say a child raises children. But Jang was determined and finally obtained her approval. And she went out to bring them home in no time.
A month later, she adopted four more children, with a suckling baby just over one year old among them. Jang became responsible for seven children at the age of 18.
Though it was her own choice, it was not an easy job to bring up several youngsters.
Waiting for her at home after a day’s work was not the table of hot meal, but their washing. It was also her duty to check their homework and help them prepare for school. She could find no time to enjoy with her friends on holidays as well as after work each day.
She shed a shower of tears as she nursed the suckling. Once she sat up all night lulling the crying baby. She occasionally had to dodge people who looked askance at her as the very young woman had the baby on her back.
Her sincerity brought children closer to her.
Gradually, she was awakened to her duty as their mother, not only as their elder sister.
For the maiden who has never brought forth a child to do so was not so easy. In the course of bearing and overcoming all mental and physical burdens, she developed into a staunch mother who smiles in the face of hardships on behalf of her children’s happiness.
She paid particular attention to their study and living.
She learned how to play the guitar by cutting sleeping time at night to help a sister who was backward in music. She built a flowerbed in the courtyard to admonish a naughty brother against flower picking and get him to plant and raise flowers by himself.
She never thought her devotion of romantic maidenhood to the children is self-sacrifice.
Her commendable deeds were soon widely known to many.
Regarding her deeds as laudable, officials, colleagues and neighbours as well as those of the district people’s committee and youth league committee gave her a helping hand and encouragement unassumingly.
Supreme leader Kim Jong Un praised her as a “maiden mother” as he shook hands with her just before the photo session with the participants in the Second National Conference of Exemplary Young People of Virtue.
People call Jang Jong Hwa another beautiful flower blooming in the flower garden of human love.
In recognition of her noble spirit and virtue, the state conferred on her Kim Jong Il Youth Honour Prize, the highest honour for Korean young people, on May 29.
Jang Jong Hwa (middle) readjusts the helmet of her adopted youngest brother.