The 2-page handout

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Many people around the world stay at home and do not want to go out. They cut themselves off from the world outside. They are recluses … people who do not want to meet other people. The government in South Korea has thought of an idea to encourage these people to "re-enter society". It will pay young people $500 a month to leave their home. The monthly payment will be for lonely people aged nine to 24 years old who come from poorer families. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said it wants to help younger people. It said it wants young people to go out. This will support their "psychological and emotional stability, and healthy growth".

There are many reasons for people not wanting to leave the house. The number of recluses has gone up because of the pandemic. Korea says about 3.1 per cent of young Koreans are reclusive. They "have noticeable difficulty in living a normal life". The government said children shut themselves off from society for many reasons. These include bullying, exam stress, family problems, bad parenting and technology and social media. It said the $500-a-month payment will help these young people. This means they could be less likely to have mental problems. They will also be healthier. Korea has an ageing society. It needs young people to work so they can help old people.



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