Dandelion School
Dandelion Community

Introduction to Dandelion Community

Dr. In Soo Kim

1. Our Philosophy

  Our philosophy is in the characteristics of dandelion which has a threefold meaning in relation to its leaves, roots and seeds.

  1) leaves: Simple and decent life style : through working by hands and making life self sufficient, we experiment on our third-world-friendly life style.

  2) root: we try to think deeply, act deeply and have relationships deeply with God and people in our daily life.

  3) seeds: Dandelion spreads its seeds by wind and we consider the wind as Holy Spirit. Whenever the 'wind' wants us to go, we will go and serve the poor, with pioneer spirit of the dandelion seeds.

2. Brief History of Dandelion Community and our fields of working

  The community has more than 20 years of history as a 'community' and 19 years of history as a officially called community 'Dandelion Community'. It was established on April 5th, 1991.

  Since February 1986, we have been working on our mission work for rural areas of West Gyeongnam, where the least number of churches are built, and the most poorly evangelized region in Korea. Then our work have expanded year by year. Our main fields of working are: building and supporting rural churches, education for rural church workers, farmers, and youths, marketing of organic vegetables and fruits, other processed organic agricultural products, promoting positive exchanges between rural and urban area, and rural development projects in developing countries such as Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Mongolia and Tunisia.

3. The size of the Community

  1) members: 45 members including 6 families

  2) area : 0.6 acre for accommodation, 5 acres for farming.

  3) main businesses : Dandelion School(www.dandelionschool.net), Agriculture, Alternative Technology Centre(www.atcentre.org),  Dandelion Art Center

4. Main projects and businesses

  1) Education

(I) Dandelion Community had been educated many university students through the 'Christian Students meeting in the Department of Agricultural Studies at Gyeongsang National University.

(2) Organizing 'Rural Vision Trip', a combined programme of camp and seminar for single college students, rural church workers and farmers. (twice a year, 30-50 participants for each programme)

(3) Summer and Winter Schools : Camps for elementary school children, and for the Youth (twice a year, 30-50 participants for each programme)

(4) Dandelion Holistic Education Training Centre : This programme is designed for people who want to Live in a rural village with alternative lifestyle, together with people already changed their life style and started to live in a rural context.

(5) Rural Experience Camp : This programme is for Asian-African people who want to experience rural situations of Korea. (about 100 participants since then)

(6) Dandelion School : Alternative education for youth 30 students, 10 full time teachers with unique program.

  2) Volunteering and development work for Korean rural villages

(I) Dandelion Community has built 22 churches since 1988.

(2) We provide assistant programmes for self-sufficiency, mission, spiritual development of rural churches.

(3) Various projects and consultings for community development and support, habitat(housing services), and medical activities.

(4) Rural youth training programmes and rural-urban exchange programmes.

  3) Life giving agriculture.

(1) Dandelion Community introduced the concept and method of organic farming into the West Gyeongnam.

(2) Area of our community's own farm is: 3 acres for rice cultivation, I acre for vegetables and 1 acre for potato. 

(3) We established direct market network with churches for distributing.

4) Overseas projects

(1) Cambodia

① 'Neighbor of Cambodia'(NOC), a Non-governmental Organization (NGO) is our body of Cambodian mission works.

② School of Dream and Future(SDF)

- Making rural village leaders' curriculum of practical and vocational education for I year

- subjects: English, Bible, Art, Physical education(Taekwondo), agriculture, animal husbandry,etc.

- 40-50 students every year.

③ Community development projects through 'Community Health Education (CHE)' programme : 4 villages in Kum Trea, Takeo

④ Kirivong Church : mission and child care centre.

⑤ Irrigation canal project

- From Mekong river to Sumuraong county, Takeo

- total length of 7.5km

- It is estimated that about 100,000 USD is required to complete this project.

- currently under construction and about 50% of progression has been shown.

- expected benefits : 1,900 hectare of land will become arable, helping 2,020 families(10,000 people) directly.

- Some 100,000 people's economy will indirectly benefit as well.

⑥ Koinonia House : Dormitory community for college students in Phnom Penh aiming to educate young leaders among the college students. (currently 10 students)

(2) India 

① Project site: North-eastern India. CRBC(Council of Rengma Baptist Churches), Nagaland

② LD1 (Leadership Development Institute)

- 30-40 students every year, taught in English.

- Students from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sikkim.

- The main subjects: Theology, Community Development, Vocational Training, Music, Leadership; Bee Keeping, Bee acupuncture, etc

③ Bee keeping and Bee acupuncture skills has been instructed to local church leaders

④ Regular Inviting programmes to Korea and regular visits to Nagaland and surrounding areas are actively on-going.

⑤ 'Dairy Farming Project for Eradicating Poverty of North Eastern India & Himalayas Region'

- Currently searching for 20 dairy farming families in Korea who are able to participate financially.

- By donating one male calf a year, we can expect alleviation of poverty. The calf would be distributed to local families and churches.

 ⑥ Assist Bible translation project. (to Rengma language)

(3) Other countries

① Tunisia : support disabled people in rural areas, primary education, assist anti-desertification projects.

② Mongolia : support vegetable cultivation project

③ Myanmar : Oasis Project (digging wells for dry rural areas)

5. Alternative Energy and Technology Distributing Project

1) Director:

  Dong-Keun Lee (Trained in East London University and Alternative Technology Centre in the UK)

2) Currently on-going projects

- Eco-village project : first straw bale house is now completed (I l6m3)

- Consulting : renewable energy and eco-construction related consulting

- Education and technology training : Gandhi school and Training centre

- 500W wind power plant project

- Bio-diesel

3) Partnership

- IBCD (Institute for Biblical Community Development at John Brown University, USA)

- Sung II En-Teck Co., Ltd

4) Up-coming projects

- Generate renewable energy : building wind power plants, small-size hydro-power plants, solar energy systems.

- Toilet with natural sewage treatment system without use of water.

- Poverty alleviation project in third world countries (Cambodia, India. Tunisa etc) by proper use of 'intermediate technology'

5) A range of training programmes of various level and length are available. (1 week, 2week, and longer term courses are available)

6. Eco-village Project (Community Village Project)

1) Consisting of people and families of sharing vision and lifestyle. The village will be built in a environmentally friendly way. With alternative technology and energy system, the village will be managed self-sustainable and sufficiently. We want to make a model of alternative lifestyle through this project.

2) currently with 3 families, and in three years, 10 more families arc expected to participate.

3) project site : about 3acres (10,909m3)

7. Rural Culture and Art - Dandelion Art Centre

1) Dandelion Art Center (www.dandelionart.co.kr)

2) Provide opportunities for combination of rural life style and artistic beauty, promote cultural exchange between rural and urban culture.

3) Selling and exhibiting of a wide range of naturally dyed products(T-shirts. curtains, pillow etc), terracotta, wood prints, ect

4) Teaching arts to local people and children, and overseas education projects (Tunisia, Cambodia)

8. Short and long term plans

1) Dandelion School

- Middle school equivalent curriculum

- Form of unauthorized alternative school

- Community spirit, Ecological and alternative life style, self direct learning method, internationalizing education, education for serving the poor

- characteristics of our curriculum : community education on friendship base emphasize of self-sufficient life style, school like homeschool.

- Admissions period : september, 2006

2) Direct interaction of organic products

- distribution network with cooperation of local villages and rural churches

- products: organic eggs, rice, wheat, soybean, various fermentation product: etc.

3) Return-to-rural project

- 3 month, 6 month and 1 year courses are available.

- less than 10 members for each course

- content : managing self-sufficient lifestyle in a rural context, Organic farming, use of alternative technology, education for their own children. etc.

4) Training center for Asian-African rural leaders

- Similar as ARI in Japan

- Taught in English

- Subjects: Organic Farming, Christian Community Development, Third work development, Holistic Human Development, etc

Contact address is : 42 Galjunri, Sinanmyeon, Sancheong, Gyeongnam 666-961.

Our website is www.dandelion.or.kr and telephone number: 82(0)55-973-6813



Introduction to ATC(Alternative Technology Center)

by Nathan

My understanding of the alternative energy center at the Dandelion Community is as of yet very limited.  However, I will do my best to describe that which I know. This center is one of three areas of the Dandelion Community, with the others being the boarding school and the handicrafts workshop.  The purpose of the center is two-fold; to provide a medium for the gospel to be spread and to alleviate dependence on non-renewable resources.  In the world today, the supply of the worlds primary energy sources, fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), are being very rapidly depleted.  Since these are non-renewable resources, as they continue to be consumed for energy, they can’t be replaced.  There is no way that the people of the earth can continue to use these resources at the present rate; it’s only a matter of time until they are no more.  There must be more sustainable resources used. Thus, the alternative energy center works at developing practical ways to implement alternative energy solutions. These solutions include solar energy, wind turbines, bio-diesel and gas, hydro-power and methane-digesters, and other systems that use renewable sources or reuse what already exists.  The community is an example of these solutions actually lived out.  A visit to the community will reveal the solar heating and cooking apparatuses, the wind turbines, the bicycle-generators, and even a small-scale methane digester, all of which the members of the community have built and developed.

One of the ways that the goal of alleviating dependence on non-renewable energy is realized is through education.  Throughout the year, there are various workshops conducted at the community that are very well attended.  The workshops include an overview of the importance of using renewable energy sources and focus on one particular aspect present at the community.  For example, at a workshop on wind turbines, the participants will not only learn about them, but also make one that can be taken back to their community and used.  Various school groups also attend and learn about what they can do to help lessen dependence on fossil fuels and even get to construct themselves a miniature, working solar oven to take with them.  Various individuals also stop by to learn about these exciting possibilities of alternative energy.  It is by the education of the people of the world that together we can make the goal of sustenance apart from fossil fuels a reality. 

Through all of this is the underlying reason this work; spreading the gospel.  Many third-world countries are not developed enough to use expensive fossil fuels for energy.  However, they do have wind and sun, and the alternative energy center strives to help them realize that these can be practical sources of renewable energy.  Thus, the center takes a holistic approach to their ministry with them.  In addition to sharing these ways of simply and effectively harnessing the available resources at hand for energy, they also share with them the gospel message and good news of Christ.  In this way, the center is providing for both a physical and spiritual need. 

Thus, the Alternative Energy Center at the Dandelion Community in southern Korea is, has, and will continue to not only share the Good News of the risen Christ with people all over the world, but also shine their light in the darkness of the current and imminent energy crisis, beckoning for others to join them in their journey toward energy sustainability.