By Eum Young Kyung -- a Rescue Fund volunteer
The NKHR Rescue Fund team held its first event “A Conversation with Eunju Kim, a Former North Korean Refugee” on February 20, 2014. The event was held at Bitter Sweet Sound café and bar in Hongdae from 8 to 10 p.m., and we took our successful first step towards achieving the goal of raising USD 15,000 for the whole year by raising approximately USD 300. We initially aimed at gathering about 30 people but about 40 people from a number of different countries – the United States, Germany, Taiwan and Singapore – attended the event. The event began with the audience’s big round of applause for Eunju, as there was an announcement that she graduated from Sogang University with BA in Chinese language and literature just one day before the event. Eunju shared experiences of her life back in North Korea, including her personal story of starving for five days and writing a letter to her mom when she was not around searching for food, as Eunju felt that she was really going to die from starvation. She also talked about the story of her father who died of starvation, as well as how her father’s friend died of malnutrition shortly after taking one of the foods on her father’s funeral table secretly to fill his empty stomach.
The second part of Eunju's talk was about how she arrived in South Korea. She concluded her speech by saying that North Korean refugees need moral rather than financial support in order for them to successfully adjust to their new life in South Korea. Her explanation about why North Koreans are not subverting the regime and how they are incapacitated from revolting against the government helped the audience gain a fresh perspective about human rights situation in North Korea. There was a Q&A session afterwards, followed by live music performance, and the audience also had a chance to have a casual chat and exchange their views on North Korean human right issues.
At our second fundraising event we are showing a documentary film “Kimjongilia.” Afterward, there will be a short talk by a former North Korean refugee followed by a Q&A session. This event will serve as a valuable opportunity for you to get your questions about North Korean human rights answered, so please feel free to join. It will take place on March 15, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Haechi Hall, Myeongdong. We look forward to seeing all of you!
We are a group of volunteers fundraising for NKHR (Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights) to rescue