Nurse Young-shim Baek, when a nurse at Korea University Medical Center in Seoul in 1990, decided to go to Kenya to serve people in Africa as a medical missionary. In 1994 she then moved to Malawi and began serving in rural Malawi. With the help of locals, she made bricks to build the area's first clinic and started to treat over 100 residents a day.
But she soon realized the urgent need for a more sophisticated medical facility and local medical human resources. With the help of a benefactor, she eventually established a 180-bed hospital, the Daeyang Luke Hospital, on the outskirts of the capital of Lilongwe at which voluntary medical workers coming from abroad are now treating over 200,000 local people annually.
In addition, to overcome the shortage of local medical human resources, she established the Daeyang Nurses College, and began promoting the establishment of a medical college. She has also established a kindergarten and an ICT college to promote continuous education for the local populace. She believes that education is the most important contributing factor to overcome poverty. As a result of her philosophy and service efforts, Malawi may continue to make progress in upgrading the quality of life.
As a result of her relentless service, she is known in Malawi as "the Korean Nightingale". Although diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2010, she continues to dedicate herself to service. She believes that the totality of steadfast efforts in overcoming every obstacle are like drops of water that eventually form a great sea and that each bit of help that she provides creates increasing hope to the people. She is striving to achieve even greater heights by planting the seeds of hope through her humanitarian service that transcends nationality, ethnicity and religion.