The Ryonggul Store is a volunteer unit located 30 ri (about 12 kilometers) away from Sangwon County in North Hwanghae Province, nestled on the mountainside. Meet So Yong Ju, a woman who has served as the manager for 27 years, is at the helm of this small mountain store.

Locals fondly refer to her as “The Mistress of Ryong Village.” She not only fulfills her responsibilities as the store manager but also actively engages in commercial service activities to ensure the convenience of the villagers. This is not only a matter of managing the store but also a testimony to her selfless dedication to others. She has won the hearts of the residents with her warm generosity.

Mrs. So Yong Ju, despite a busy schedule, goes out of her way to visit ailing farmers, even turning into a caregiver and nurse for them. When young farmers who had lost their parents and were living alone were establishing their households, she joyously celebrated like a close family member, providing them with new clothes and high-quality cosmetics. For the children of farming households graduating from middle school and heading to defend the country, she prepared thoughtful gifts to ensure they carry a piece of their hometown love. In times when a farmer’s child had outgrown their shoes, she would travel to a distant shoe factory to alleviate their worries. During her voluntary service hours, she decorated the homes of busy farming families with beautifully patterned wallpapers.

But that’s not all. Despite her busy 27 years of volunteer work, So Yong Ju dedicated herself to helping the families of war veterans who were cherished and praised by the country. She visited these families alone or with her children, singing songs and reading books to foster a warm family atmosphere. Every time she interacted with war veterans, she shared stories of the time when People’s Army heroes planted young saplings in the burning hills during the liberation war, instilling a sense of duty in them. She engraved their requests in her heart and continued to improve her volunteer activities. While serving in the country’s defense station, she sustained an injury but, with honor, extended her support to the discharged honorable soldiers and their families.

So Yong Ju also collected medicinal herbs for medical treatment and caught freshwater fish to improve the health of these honorable soldiers. She took care of the home repairs of one veteran, ensuring his health and well-being. Her stories include visiting new mothers and babies in the village, bringing baby clothes, seaweed, and mountain honey. She sincerely helped struggling families, providing them with strength.

So Yong Ju has treated the people of Ryonggul village like her own family for 27 years, giving everything she has without reservation. Her virtue of self-sacrifice for the greater good has shaped her ordinary life into something extraordinary at the age of twenty-seven.

In the country, her deeds have been highly praised, and she has been recognized as a socialist patriotic contributor. She has been invited to national events, showcasing the acknowledgment of her remarkable contributions.

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