Every year thousands of North Koreans risk their lives to escape political, economic and social repression. Being caught illegally crossing the North Korean border can result in punishments including torture, forced labour and internment in a political prison camp. If the escapees make it across the border to China they are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and setting up a new life for themselves is incredibly tough.
This is where LiNK comes in. The organisation makes it their mission to rescue refugees and provide them with support and assistance in resettling, and importantly, helping to empower the refugees once they have settled in a new country.
The organisation was founded in 2004 and is based in California. Every year they take on a group of interns who are known as ‘Nomads’ who spend six weeks training at the HQ and then eight weeks on the road where they speak to thousands of people and educating them about the situation in North Korea.
After watching a powerful TED talk by Joseph Kim (which I’d HIGHLY recommend! You can watch it here), I got in touch with LiNK who Joseph mentions in his talk, and was lucky enough to meet up with three super inspiring Nomads from LiNK who were touring the Pacific North West of America and Canada and take some photos.
As of today, 405 North Korean refugees have been rescued and through LiNK’s resettlement assistance programme are provided with help in healthcare, education, language training and community building. This means that 405 North Koreans have been empowered to take a stand for creating their own lives. This is huge!
LiNK are such a great organisation because they are changing lives, and their mission is to cause social change by tackling the narrative of what is going on in the world that shouldn’t be happening. There are tons of ways to be involved in the organisation so check out their website if you’re interested in finding out more: www.libertyinnorthkorea.org