We cannot thank everyone enough for their support. The money raised by the NKHR Rescue Fund has been used to bring five North Korean refugees to safety! Although we had hoped that the money raised would rescue six refugees, we faced increased costs due to difficult circumstances and arrests in China.
We want to take a moment to briefly share the refugees’ stories with you. Safety concerns prevent us from divulging any identifying information about refugees, including photos or their real names.
Three young siblings
We received an urgent request from a father seeking help for his three young children, ages 4, 7, and 9. The father, his wife, and their three children were hiding in China, but the young parents were fearful that they would soon be caught and desperately wanted their children to be rescued.
Back in North Korea, the father had worked in the logging industry, but the family had no money. They could not afford to send the children to school. The children were constantly hungry, and faced with their children’s malnourishment, the parents believed they would not survive another winter. They decided that the children’s only chances for survival were to escape North Korea, even at the risk of being caught or dying while on the run.
After crossing the border, the family was given shelter in China. But believing it would only be a matter of time before they were caught by local police, the parents contacted NKHR with a desperate plea that their children be saved. Thanks to you, the children are now safe and will arrive in South Korea shortly. NKHR was also able to help their parents come with them by raising money from private donors.
A father and his 14-year-old daughter
A few months ago, Min-su, currently a university student in Seoul, came to NKHR’s office asking for help saving his family. He had reached South Korea on his own some years earlier and had been saving money to rescue his family in North Korea ever since. But the situation had turned urgent. His mother was taken into detention in North Korea, and Min-su was worried that his fourteen-year-old sister and extremely ill father would soon be detained as well.
Thanks to the Rescue Fund, Min-su’s father and sister were able to escape North Korea, travel safely along the “underground railroad” and reunite with Min-su in South Korea. Min-su has not given up hope of bringing his mother to South Korea too.
These rescues would not have been possible without the generous support of our donors and volunteers. On behalf of the five refugees, we sincerely thank you.
But remember, our work is not done yet—there are still countless others who need help. Even though our 2013 Rescue Fund goal has been met, NKHR continues to receive rescue requests, and any contribution that you can make goes directly to helping us respond to those requests.