PYONGYANG — The issues that occur within North Korean borders are tragic, and the refugees fleeing are in dire need of assistance. When pondering the question of how to help people in North Korea, many may wonder what to do, and if any substantial changes can even be done.
This is where Liberty in North Korea, a refugee rescue organization, is giving people an opportunity to help. By donating, participating in fundraising, purchasing items and even serving as an intern in either the U.S. or South Korea, people are able to aid in saving the lives of North Korean refugees.
It takes $3,000 dollars to cover the costs needed to rescue one refugee. This includes $250 for basic needs, $500 for transportation, $100 for accommodation, $1,350 in rescue fees, $300 for emergency and unforeseen expenses and $500 for resettlement, assistance and empowerment. One hundred percent of donations go directly to helping North Korean refugees. This donation-funded program has rescued a reported 618 refugees; of these, 400 have relocated and settled down somewhere safe.
The long escape route used totals 3,000 miles circling through China, all the way back around to South Korea. Hyeonseo Lee states that once refugees flee to China, they still fear for their lives. China considers them as illegal immigrants, and can possibly punish them before sending them back to the unsafety of North Korea.
Many North Koreans spend a significant amount of time in refugee camps before escaping to either China or South Korea. By donating to Liberty in North Korea, people are saving North Korean refugees from misery, torture and even death.
Park states that North Koreans do not know that “human beings have rights”. Being brainwashed by these dictators from birth blinds them from seeing what life should and could be. “These people just don’t even know they have rights to be alive and be happy,” says Park. Yeonmi Park recounts that 70 percent of North Korean women and teenage girls are sold for as little as $200, being sold herself for around $300 at age 13.
Testimonies from young women such as Yeonmi Park and Hyeonseo Lee reveal how dangerous these situations can be, and how important it is for people to be aware and care about how to help people in North Korea.
One of the best things to do to help North Koreans is to spread awareness and support refugees. “No humans deserve oppression just because of their birthplace,” says Park. If humans have the ability to go to outer space, why not venture within Earth and help suffering people?
When wondering how to help people in North Korea, simply remember to expand awareness and donate money or time.
– Noel Mcdavid