Over the past three years, it has been my great pleasure to serve OMEP as the World President. During my term, I was fortunate to work with the most passionate early childhood educators and advocates from all around the world. I was truly inspired by their sincere contributions to early childhood education and care.
I joined OMEP as General-Secretary to OMEP Korea in 1995. Being elected as vice president for Asia-Pacific region in 2012, I began to serve OMEP at the regional and world level. I can’t express in a word what I’ve experienced in OMEP for the last 25 years. The more I learn about history of OMEP, the more I meet people, the more I attend meetings, the more I am impressed how much OMEP has been devoted to children all over the world. OMEP has become a voice for children that the international community cannot neglect. It has been a great honor for me to be able to serve such a historically renowned organization.
I don’t think I would have done my job well without the help of a lot of people. The former world presidents, Selma, Ingrid, and Maggie have been good mentors. They advised me when I didn’t know where to go or what to decide. I also appreciate current and former Executive Committee Members who have been with me for three years. Thank you Judith, Bimbola, Nektarios, Nyamikeh, Udomluck, Ingrid, Mercedes, and Eli. I believe we were a very good team. I especially thank Eli and Judith for their emotional support. Without their sincere affection and encouragement, it would have been difficult for me to get through the difficult times.
I am in debt to our representatives to UN, UNESCO, OAS, and other organizations. Thank you Maria Pia, Lisbeth, and Daniele. I also appreciate Presidents of all National Committees who always trusted in me. Last, but not the least, I would like to express my sincere thanks to my team. Thank you Soonhwan, Minyoung, Jieun, Kyoryoung. In the last three years they’ve done a lot more than I have done. If you think there’s something I’ve done well, it’s thanks to them. I will treasure all the memories and friendships I have made.
I am so happy to hand over my torch to my successor, Mercedes Mayol Lassell. She has been Vice President for Latin America for 6 years. She is a seasoned early childhood researcher and policy maker, who has a great vision for OMEP. I am sure Mercedes will continue the visibility that OMEP has achieved in the past years and bring OMEP to new heights. OMEP will continue to sustain its legacy with a great team to serve for the best interests of young children around the globe.
Although my term as World President is over, I will remain a full supporter of OMEP. I wish new World President and Executive Committee Members very best and every success.