Event: A Woman’s Voice: Testimony of Eunju Kim
On June 29, 2013, NKHR Rescue Fund hosted North Korean re-settler Eunju Kim, who described her trials escaping North Korea and, eventually, reaching South Korea. The talk was the third such event held by NKHR at Tripti Cafe.
Eunju’s desire to leave North Korea stemmed less from political reasons as much as it did from her need to get food. Nearing starvation, China seemed like the ideal destination because it was depicted as a land where she could eat candy to her heart’s content. Eunju decided to escape with her mother and sister.
Eunju’s testimony is rare for the insight it gives into the experience of female refugees. According to Eunju, the experience of defection varies according to gender: while men are generally exploited for their labor, women are sold as slaves or brides. Contrary to her dreams, upon arrival in China, Eunju experienced harsh discrimination and her mother was sold as a bride. Eventually, her family was able to come to South Korea, though signs of her trauma remain. Remembered fear of deportation in China made Eunju extremely sensitive to the sounds of sirens. Even now, in South Korea, her heart races when she hears sirens. Nevertheless, though difficult, Eunju noted that the fact that her family was never separated made her experience a relatively “easy” one.
Eunju expressed a peace with her past that many have yet to find. For these reasons, Eunju urged the audience to keep talking about the humanitarian crisis in North Korea, for the sake of those for whom fear is still their inescapable present.
Event: Songs of Freedom - a Benefit Concert
On July 6, 2013, NKHR Rescue Fund hosted a benefit concert called "Songs of Freedom" at the Camarata Music Company Studio in Haebongchon. The concert featured Carolyn Demisch, Jennifer Waescher and the Adjourning Vagabonds, who performed covers, acoustic folk and original music respectively. The performers selected various songs revolving around one theme - freedom. Through beautiful music, the performers reached out to the audience, urging them to support Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights in their rescue efforts.
This fundraiser event was a part of the 'North Korean Human Rights Refugee Rescue Fund' (탈북난민 구호금 모금운동) and all fees and donations are being used to support and save vulnerable North Korean refugees who are hiding in countries like China, still waiting to be rescued from the risk of repatriation and prison camps.
Thank you to everyone who came to the benefit concert to support this cause!
We are a group of volunteers fundraising for NKHR (Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights) to rescue